HC Deb 03 March 1908 vol 185 cc548-9

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether the attention of the police has been directed to the action of the Longford branch of the United Irish League in calling upon graziers in that county not to renew their lettings in March, unless they desire to be visited by a blackthorn brigade; if he can state if any, and what, steps are being taken to prevent such case of intimidation; and will the Irish Executive inform the United Irish League that it will not be a party to the sub-division of grass lands where terrorism has been employed to dispossess the present occupier.


I am informed that resolutions to the effect mentioned, purporting to have been passed at indoor meetings of the United Irish League, have appeared in the newspapers, but the police have no evidence that such resolutions were actually passed. An extra force of twenty-one policemen lave been maintained in County Longford for the past six months, with the object of preventing interference with the holders of grazing lands in the exercise of their legal rights. I have more than once stated in this House, on the authority of the Estates Commissioners, that if they should purchase untenanted lands in regard to which intimidation has taken place they would refuse to allot any portion of the land to persons who had taken part in any such intimidation.


asked the right hon. Gentleman whether the Government would correspond with the United Irish League to that effect.


No, Sir, I do not propose to correspond with any one to that effect.

MR. MOORE (Armagh, N.)

asked whether permission to newspapers to circulate in the district with these intimidatory notices in them was not an incentive to intimidation, and whether the right hon. Gentleman would proceed to stop such publications.


was understood to say that the question of the wisdom of interfering with newspapers was one which the hon. and learned Gentleman must leave to him.

* MR. CHARLES CRAIG (Antrim, S.)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that, if a year ago he had ordered the Estates Commissioners to do what he had now ordered them to do, there would have been none of this, trouble.


said that Question did not arise out of the Question on the Paper.