HC Deb 04 August 1904 vol 139 cc995-6

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that an attempt has been made by a high official to intimidate the Catholics employed in the Veterinary Branch of the Department of Agriculture on account of certain inquiries made in this House; and, if so, what steps he proposes taking to prevent so serious a breach of the constitutional Privileges of Parliament.


The reply to this Question is in the negative. What occurred was this. The secretary to the Department recently received from four clerks attached to the Veterinary Branch a communication offensive in tone, which repeated several of the misstatements of fact and unfounded insinuations that have been made the subject of public comment. He informed these officials that while the Department was always willing to receive representations from the staff of a proper and respectful character, and had shown much solicitude on behalf of the officials in question, the Department could not consider a document of the kind, and would feel compelled to take serious notice of a persistence in the methods which the document illustrated. The matter is one affecting the internal discipline of the Department, with which it is competent to deal.