§ 36. Mr. LUNDON
asked the Home Secretary if he would say how many members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police were on duty in the streets of Dublin, and particularly O'Connell Street, on Easter Monday and how many of them were killed or wounded; at what hour were the police taken off duty; whether he has read the Report issued by Sir John Maxwell; whether he stated that the Dublin Metropolitan Police had to be taken off the streets or they would have been cruelly murdered if they fell into the hands of the rebels; is he aware that numbers of the police force were taken prisoners by the rebels and kept unmolested at the Four Courts and at Jacobs' biscuit factory; and whether, in all the information that he has at his command, he agrees with the statement in General Maxwell's Report as to the murder of any policeman falling into the hands of the rebels?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Duke)
There were 177 members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police on duty in the streets of Dublin on Easter Monday from nine a.m. They were all withdrawn before three p.m. There were in addition eight constables on duty in Sackville Street from nine a.m., and one superintendent, one station sergeant, and twenty constables from twelve noon; the latter party remained in Sackville Street about one hour, and the other eight were withdrawn before three p.m. Two constables wee killed and four wounded on Easter Monday. Members of the force were arrested and detained by the rebels at Jacobs' factory and at the Four Courts. The police in uniform, who were all unarmed, were withdrawn from the streets by order of the Chief Commissioner after he had ascertained that two constables had been killed by the rebels and several wounded. I have read the Report issued by Sir John Maxwell, and I think there 2252 can be no doubt that when the Chief Commissioner became aware that his men were being fired upon, and that two had been shot dead and four wounded he was right in his decision to take these unarmed men in uniform off the streets.
§ Mr. LUNDON
Is the right hon Gentleman aware that the rebellion broke out at twelve o'clock on Easter Monday? At twelve o'clock on Easter Monday, according to the answer just given 177 Dublin Metropolitan Police were in O'Connell Street, and remained there until three o'clock in the afternoon.
§ Mr. LUNDON
Of the 177 a great number were in Sackville Street, which was in possession of the rebels from twelve o'clock noon, yet in Sir John Maxwell's Report he suggests that the police had to be withdrawn, or they would have been cruelly murdered. How is it that those in Sackville Street were not murdered?
Am I not entitled to ask a supplementary question arising out of the answer of the Chief Secretary?
Would the right hon. Gentleman answer that part of the question which deals with Sir John Maxwell's Report, as to whether there is any foundation for the charge in that Report that the policemen would have been cruelly murdered by the rebels if they had not been taken off the streets?
Will the right hon. Gentleman, or the Government which he represents, ask Sir John Maxwell to withdraw that charge, for which there is not a shadow of foundation?
§ Sir H. CRAIK
On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to say of a gentleman who is actively in command of troops for his Majesty's Government that he is "as big a murderer as there is in Ireland"?
It is a most disgraceful phrase to use. It did not reach my ears. I hope the hon. Member will see fit to withdraw it.
§ Mr. LUNDON
Sir John Maxwell, in his Report, states that the rebels would have cruelly murdered the Dublin Metropolitan Police if they had not been withdrawn from the streets. The rebels were in possession from twelve o'clock until three o'clock, and no men were murdered. Sir John Maxwell, during his term in Ireland, has been as guilty of murder as—[HON. MEMBEES; "Withdraw!"]
The hon. Gentleman has availed himself of the privilege of asking a question to make a statement of a gross kind against a public servant. The hon. Member is entitled, in the course of Debate, to make statements, so long as they are of a Parliamentary character, but he is not entitled at Question Time to make statements of that sort.