§ 18. Sir FREDERICK BANBURY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the rules of the Gaelic Athletic Association exclude from membership of the clubs affiliated to it all soldiers, sailors of the Royal Navy, miltiamen, or pensioners of the Army and Navy, and that at the annual meeting of the association on the 4th instant a motion to suspend the disqualification during the continuance of the War was withdrawn; if he is aware that the maintenance of this rule by an association which claims to be one of the largest Nationalist organisations in Ireland operates against the enlistment of members of the Gaelic athletic clubs; and what action, if any, the War Office intends to take?
§ Mr. TENNANT
I understand that the facts are as stated in the first portion of the question. It would be difficult to say what precise effect on recruiting of the rule in question might be, and in the circumstances no action is contemplated.
§ Mr. J. O'CONNOR
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this organisation declines to be regarded as a Nationalist organisation, and is one which includes all parties in Ireland?
§ Mr. P. J. MEEHAN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the majority of the Reserve men and recruits who have joined in Ireland have been members of this association?
§ Sir F. BANBURY
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will take steps to put a stop to any society passing resolutions which will stop recruiting in Ireland or elsewhere?
§ Mr. TENNANT
Of course, we would not only deprecate that, but do what lay in our power to prevent any such action as the hon. Baronet suggests. Very little information has come to the War Office about this society. I was not aware of what the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Meehan) has said, that a large portion of the troops who were joining were members of it, and I think it is interesting to learn.