HC Deb 01 August 1918 vol 109 cc602-3
34 and 35. Mr. FIELD

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland (1) how many rifles have at any time been lent by the Ulster Volunteers to the War Office; if these rifles were lent on any understanding that they should be returned or replaced at the end of the War; (2) whether he has any official information showing that any arms are in the possession of any civilians in Ulster; and whether he can say how many compulsory searches for arms have been made in Ulster and in the rest of Ireland, respectively?

37. Mr. BOLAND

asked what steps, if any, he has taken to disarm Ulster Volunteers in North-East Ulster?


asked whether instructions have been issued to the police to seize the arms of the Ulster Volunteers; whether it is the intention of the Government to exercise, in the disarming of the Ulster Volunteers, the same methods which were applied to people possessing arms in other parts of Ireland; whether steps for disarming Ulster Volunteers have already been taken; and, if so, when he hopes to be able to assure the House that those arms have been seized?


As I have already stated in reply to previous questions on this subject, I cannot make any general statement at present with regard to the matters referred to, beyond saying that steps are in progress to secure the surrender of arms throughout the entire country.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say what answer he has received from the leaders of the Ulster party on this question of surrendering the Ulster rifles? We all know perfectly well that they could be surrendered immediately if they were ordered to be given up.


I cannot make any statement yet.


May I say, in justification of my own position, that no request has ever been made to me?


I was not previously aware that my right hon. Friend had control.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman now realise that he is utterly unfit to govern Ireland?