§ CAPTAIN CRAIG (Down, E.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, whether, in view of the fact that the constabulary authorities were consulted by the Irish Government before the introduction of the Peace Preservation Act of 1881, he can say if a similar course was adopted prior to the withdrawal of the Act twelve months ago; and, if so, whether it was upon the advice of the constabulary authorities, and with their approval, that the Government decided to terminate the operation of the Act.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
I do not know what foundation there may be for the suggestion containing in the Question that the constabulary authorities were consulted by the Irish Government before the introduction of the Peace Preservation Act of 1881. But however that may be, I do not propose to make any statement as to whether or not His Majesty's Government thought fit to adopt a similar course before deciding not to renew the Act. The hon. and gallant Member is of course aware that any communication upon such questions which may pass between the Government and the police authorities are of a strictly confidential nature. I will only say that the Government were in full possession of all the facts bearing 685 on the matter, and that they gave the question full consideration.