HC Deb 27 June 1916 vol 83 cc736-7
54 and 55. Mr. R. McNEILL

asked the Prime Minister (1) if his attention has been called to the correspondence between Sir John Ross and the late Chief Secretary for Ireland, 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 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 recent occurrences in Dublin, he proposes to reinstate Mr. Harrel or to compensate him for his treatment by the late Chief Secretary and the Under-Secretary for Ireland; (2) if his attention has been called to the charges made against Lord Shaw's Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances of the conflict between the military and the people in Dublin on 26th July, 1914, by Sir John Ross, who was then chief commissioner of police in Dublin, in a published letter to the late Chief Secretary, in which Sir John Ross asserts that all the Court of Inquiry did with reference to the conduct of Mr. Harrel was to make insinuations which were wholly unjustifiable, and to express some vague opinions, many of which did not even touch the issues before it, and that a great deal of evidence vital to the case was excluded from the consideration of the Court; and whether, in view of the gravity of such allegations made by a responsible officer, he proposes to have a further inquiry into all the circumstances, or to take any other action in the matter?


Yes, Sir, my attention has been called to the correspondence referred to in the two questions of the hon. Member. The answer to the concluding part of both questions is in the negative.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any reason for that decision?


On the whole I do not think it is advisable at this time and under the circumstances to revive that question.


The statement attributed to Sir John Ross so far as it relates to me and my action on the occasion referred to is pure fiction.