HC Deb 17 August 1916 vol 85 cc2041-2

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if his attention has been called to the correspondence between Sir John Ross and the late Chief Secretary, in which the former declared that his resignation of the post of Chief Commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1914 was a protest against an act of tyranny and of unfair dealing on the part of the Chief Secretary in dismissing the Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Harrel, for conduct which was approved by Sir John Ross, his superior officer, and for which the latter accepted full responsibility; whether, in view of Sir John Ross's statement that Mr. Harrel had always discharged his duties most faithfully and most efficiently, and that the action for which Mr. Harrel was dismissed by the Chief Secretary was taken with the concurrence of the Under-Secretary for Ireland, who later changed his mind and censured Mr. Harrel, and having regard to the vindication of Mr. Harrel's conduct by the recent rebellion in Dublin brought about by the feebleness of the late Chief Secretary in dealing with the disaffection which it was the aim of Mr. Harrel to suppress, he proposes to reinstate Mr. Harrel or to make public acknowledgment of his services and to compensate him for his treatment by the late Chief Secretary and the Under-Secretary for Ireland?


I must refer my hon. Friend to the replies given by the Prime Minister to his questions on this subject on the 27th June and 6tn July.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the replies to which he refers given by the Prime Minister were on account of the temporary character of the Government of Ireland at that time, and am I to understand now that the right hon. Gentleman has been appointed Chief Secretary, whatever other changes may occur in Ireland, this injustice will not remain unredressed?


My hon. Friend must not expect me to acquiesce in the imputation of injustice in a case which I have not myself investigated, but if representations are now made to the Government of Ireland with regard to this matter they will receive the attention which all representations ought to receive.


Is this Gentleman being employed by the Government now?


I am not sure of the facts, but I have reason to believe that Captain Harrel is rendering very good service in the Royal Naval Reserve.


If inquiries are going to be made by the Irish Government into this matter, will they also make-inquiries as to why no Government official was suspended in Belfast for not interfering with the landing of arms at Lame?