§ 48. Mr. SWIFT MacNEILL
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that on Friday, the 3rd instant, on the eve of the breaking up of the Finner camp, Ballyshannon, county Donegal, Colonel Madden, the officer in command of the 3rd battalion Irish Fusiliers, ordered the guns and bayonets of the men of that battalion to be taken from them, packed up, and dispatched by rail to headquarters, and that the men of the battalion marched out of camp unarmed, whereas the men of two other battalions left the camp with guns and bayonets; whether Colonel Madden has been called on for an explanation of this course of procedure; if so, what explanation, if any, has been tendered by him; and what action have the authorities of the War Office taken or what action do they intend to take in respect to this proceeding on the part of Colonel Madden?
§ 49. Mr. VINCENT KENNEDY
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that 1489 Colonel Madden, the colonel in command of the 3rd battalion Irish Fusiliers, the Queen's Militia, ordered the men of that regiment on Friday, the 3rd instant, to give up their guns and bayonets, which were conveyed by rail to the headquarters, and that on Saturday, the 4th instant, on the breaking up of the camp at Finner, county Donegal, where the regiment was training, the men of that regiment marched out of the camp disarmed, while the men of other regiments who were also training at Finner camp were allowed to retain their arms; were the rank and file alone deprived of their arms, or were the officers of the regiment also disarmed, or if any distinction in this respect was made between the officers and the men; what was the reason of that distinction; and whether the War Offiffice authorities intend to take any, and, if so, what action in the matter?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am informed that the procedure has been, entirely normal and dictated in each case solely by consideration of what was the most economical method of getting the arms back from the camping place to the usual place of storage. In one case, as the troops were themselves proceeding to the place where their arms are stored, they took them in their hands; in the other, as they were proceeding elsewhere, the arms were collected and sent by train.