HC Deb 22 September 1915 vol 74 cc543-6

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of the 3rd February, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."


I desire to draw the attention of the Financial Secretary for War to the necessity of establishing a depot in Dublin for the reception of military goods and civil stores. I spoke to the hon. Gentleman about the matter to-day, and not receiving a satisfactory reply, I now bring it forward. I would like, briefly, to refer to the fact that this is an agitation that has been going on for something like twenty years. Long ago the Dublin Trades Council, and subsequently the Irish Parliamentary Trades Congress, and all the public bodies, particularly in Dublin, passed resolutions on this matter. My object in bringing it forward is to help the Government and not to hinder them. From the information that I have received, and from inquiries that have been made, I find, or at least I am informed, that the military authorities and the civil authorities in Ireland are in favour of the establishment of this depot. The reason is quite obvious, because the goods have to be sent across the Channel and then re- turned back to Ireland, and the result is that there is great cost, it is less convenient, and it adds to the expense in every way. It would be much more useful, both for the Government, and for the manufacturers in Ireland, if this depot were established. I do not see the hon. Gentleman in his place, and, therefore, I suppose there is no use in my proceeding with my argument, until I see someone present who has authority to reply. Hon. Members may think that this is a small matter, but I can assure them it is a matter which interests the Irish people, of all classes and of all politics, very much. It is a matter which interests Conservatives, Liberals, Nationalists, and those who are opposed to them. We all want more prosperity and more work in Ireland, and we are entitled to a share of the War expenditure in Ireland, particularly for those articles which are manufactured in our country, and which are necessary for the carrying on of the civil and military government in Ireland. I do not wish to pursue the subject as there is no Minister present to answer me. I do think, however, that this is a matter worthy of consideration, and I will bring it before the House some other time.

Mr. GULLAND (Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury)

I am very sorry that no representative of the War Office is here. I do not know whether the hon. Member has given notice that he intended to raise this matter.


I gave notice.


I am sorry. The Financial Secretary had to reply to certain matters in the Debate to-day and perhaps he thought, as the hon. Member did not take that opportunity of bringing the matter forward, he would not bring it forward tonight. I will tell the Financial Secretary, and I am sure that he will be very sorry that he was not in his place to hear what the hon. Gentleman has said.


I will put down a question for some day next week and give him an opportunity of replying. I told him to-day at Question Time I would bring this up on the Adjournment, and I gave notice to Mr. Speaker. Therefore it is not my fault. I intend to see this matter out. I think we are entitled to have this depot in Dublin, and I cannot see any valid reason why it should be refused.


Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will explain why he did not raise this at the proper time, on the proper Vote. If he is so keenly interested in this matter, perhaps he can explain why the writ for the Harbour Division of the City of Dublin is not moved so that the electors can have an opportunity of discussing the matter. There is a vacancy in the Harbour Division which has existed for over a month, and the people of the Harbour Division are keenly interested in the question of munitions. I think the Government are doing something in the matter, because they have sent over to Ireland a most able and intelligent officer (Captain Kenny), an Irishman, who has the interests of the entire country at heart, and who is ably devoting himself to this question. Now the hon. Member raises the question on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House, when there are only ten Members present, after he has let slip the proper opportunity of calling attention to it. I would urge him, if he wishes the Irish people to believe in the sincerity of this new move on his part, to prevail upon his party to allow the writ for the Harbour Division to be moved, so that Dublin may be properly and efficiently represented in this matter.


I should like to say in reply—


The hon. Member has exhausted his right to speak.

Question put, and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at Twenty-three minutes before Eight o'clock.