HC Deb 07 June 1905 vol 147 c956

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether, having regard to a statement recently made in a speech by Sir Douglas Brooke, Baronet, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of the county of Fermanagh, at Maguires-bridge in that county, while addressing an audience of Orangemen, 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 those Protestants how to shoot those rifles straight, and that there were a good many of those rifles still in the country, any search will be instituted for concealed arms among the tenantry of Sir Douglas Brooke, similar to the search for arms instituted by the direction of the Government among the tenants of the De Freyne Estate; and, if not, whether he can explain the different methods of administration with respect to the concealment of arms in Orange districts and in Nationalist districts; and whether the Lord Chancellor's attention has again been called to Sir Douglas Brooke's speech, with a view to his removal from the commission of the peace.


As I stated on May 29th. † I must decline to make any announcement as to the intention to search for unlicensed firearms. No question of religion arises in connection with this matter. Searches are made whenever and wherever there is reason to believe that arms are illegally kept. As regards the concluding inquiry of the Question, the Lord Chancellor's attention has already been called to the speech, but I will again bring the matter before him.