HC Deb 21 December 1915 vol 77 cc176-7

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he will now state the total cost of the twenty-four men of the Connaught Rangers, with seven motor cars, in their last recruiting tour in county Leitrim, from the 20th to the 29th November, inclusive, with the net result of one recruit; whether Recruiting Lieutenant O'Donnell spoke at all their meetings; and will he say how many military officers are now so employed in Ireland?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Mr. Tennant)

Since I answered the question put by the hon. Gentleman on Wednesday last, although I have not had the opportunity or privilege of visiting county Leitrim, I have ascertained that the recruiting tour in question was the means of bringing in a large number of recruits. It was efficiently conducted by Colonel Harrison, Major Murphy, and Captain O'Donnell. I am informed that they were well received and hospitably treated in all the towns they visited, and that the presence of Lieutenant Mike O'Leary, V.C., was a source of great gratification to all the audiences addressed. As I have previously indicated, I do not know the total cost of the tour, but as a considerable number of the motor cars used were lent free of charge by local gentlemen, the cost of the tour was insignificant in proportion to the results obtained. My information is that every incident connected with the tour reflected great credit on the people of North Leitrim.


Can the right hon. Gentleman inform the House whether all these decoy military officers are equally inefficient?


It would not do for me to make comparison between individuals in the Army, but I may say that all these gentlemen have acted admirably and the results have been most successful.


Has the right hon. Gentleman made any inquiries as to the source from which these questions have been asked? Is he aware that it is a small section of Sinn Feiners who have made a cats paw of my hon. Friend, for the purpose of retarding recruiting in the county?


It has been my privilege to see hon. Gentlemen representing Ireland in that quarter of the House in many capacities, but not previously in that of a catspaw. I have other duties to perform than making inquiries of the nature suggested.