HC Deb 23 November 1917 vol 99 c1537
25. Captain O'NEILL

asked whether it is the intention of the Government to make public the findings of a Court of Inquiry which was held in Belfast in October last to investigate the circumstances of the death of Lance-Corporal R. Quinn, late Royal Irish Rifles?


As the result of the Court of Inquiry the General Officer Commanding - in - Chief, Ireland, has directed that the officer who appeared blameworthy should be tried by court-martial. In these circumstances, the case being sub judice, it is not proposed to make public the finding of the Court of Inquiry.

Captain O'NEILL

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Court of Inquiry was held in public, and the proceedings were reported in the Press, and as great interest is felt with reference to the circumstances in which this soldier lost his life, will he say whether only one officer is held to be blameworthy, and, if not, what action is proposed to be taken against any others?


My hon. and gallant Friend will understand from the answer which I have given that only one officer appears to be blameworthy at the present time, and he is being tried by court-martial. It is true that the Court of Inquiry was held in public, but that does not make it necessary to make public the findings of the Court of Inquiry at the present time. I think that it would be prejudicial to the interests of the officer who is to be tried by court-martial.


May I ask my hon. Friend whether it is not somewhat anomalous to have the evidence in public and the findings not made public?


I do not think there is any material objection to the findings of the court-martial being made public. My objection is that they should not be published now pending an investigation by the court-martial.


Will the hon. Gentleman give some assurance that after the Inquiry of the court-martial he will then publish the findings?


I will consider that.