HC Deb 04 April 1905 vol 144 c327

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to a speech made by Sir Douglas Brooke, Baronet, at an Orange meeting held at Maguiresbridge, in the county of Fermanagh, on March 9th, in which he stated that at the time of Mr. Gladstone's second Home Rule Bill he had given out rifles to his Protestant tenantry and had taught some of the Protestants how to shoot these rifles straight, that there were a good many of these rifles still in the country, and some of them in his residence, Colebrooke, and that he would issue them to loyal Orangemen should the necessity to do so arise; and if so, whether, having regard to the position of Sir Douglas Brooke as a justice of the peace and deputy-lieutenant, his language has been brought under the notice of the Lord Chancellor; and, if so, what explanation, if any, has he given for the use of such language.


The Lord Chancellor informs me that he knew nothing about this speech, and does not think it very important to consider what was said in reference to incidents of many years ago, and which may never recur.


But how many of these rifles are in the district? What does he consider about it?


I am afraid I am unable to do more than give the House the reply of the Lord Chancellor. I cannot say what he considers.