HC Deb 09 November 1911 vol 30 cc1812-3

asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that on 20th October a man in the employment of Mr. Richard Kingston, a Protestant farmer who is boycotted, was maltreated by two men in the vicinity of Crookstown and forcibly prevented from proceeding along the highway to the railway station, whither he had been sent to cart some goods to his employer's farm; and whether any proceedings have been taken against the men concerned in this outrage?


On a point of Order, Sir. I submit to you that a question should be the means, not of conveying information, but of asking for it. This question says: "A Protestant farmer who is boycotted." I respectfully submit that that should not have been allowed to appear on the Paper; it is a matter of controversy. The hon. Gentleman is entitled to ask "Is he a Protestant farmer?" and "Is he boycotted?" but not to put in a question a statement of fact that is open to controversy?

Captain CRAIG

Also on a point of Order. May I say that Mr. Kingston is a Protestant, and is being boycotted?


I have no doubt the better form would have been to have asked whether the man was a Protestant and whether he was boycotted; and the answer of the Chief Secretary would probably have been that he did not know.


Then the more reason for the hon. Gentleman not being allowed to state it.


I may say I propose to deal with the question by omitting the portions referred to. I am informed by the police authorities that a man employed by Mr. Kingston was stopped on his way to the railway station with a horse and trap on the 20th October by two men. He was not allowed to proceed, but no blows were struck. No proceedings have been taken against the men, who are as yet unidentified, but the police are making inquiries.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Mr. Kingston referred to in the question has been recently engaged in caluminating his Catholic fellow countrymen on English platforms?