§ Mr. T. P. O'CONNOR
(by Private Notice) asked the Attorney-General for Ireland whether there is any statement with regard to the unprovoked attack made on 200 Belfast Nationalists returning from the 1918 Nationalist meeting at Blackrock, outside Dundalk, on the 15th August, on their journey to the city; whether sixteen persons, including several women, were assailed at several points on the journey and compelled to go to hospital; whether this attack had not all the appearance of a prearrangement by signals, such as the blowing of whistles; whether this attack was not entirely unprovoked, as the party consisted entirely of Nationalists who had taken part in a Nationalist meeting in opposition to the Sinn Fein policy: whether immediate inquiries will be instituted by the Government to detect the organisers and inspirers of this cowardly and unprovoked attack; whether the Government has any statement to make with reference to the recent disturbances in Ireland; and whether General Hackett Paine, ex-head of the staff of Ulster Volunteers, will still be retained as head of the forces and responsible for the administration of the Defence of the Realm Act in the North of Ireland?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL for IRELAND (Mr. D. Henry)
Iregret that, owing to the short notice which has been given, I cannot add to the information my hon. Friend has in his possession, but when I receive any information I will communicate at once with my hon. Friend. Immediate inquiries will be instituted, and every effort made to detect the organisers of the attack. So far as the latter part of the question is concerned, I have no statement to make in reference to the recent disturbances, beyond what is contained in the Press, and it will be obvious to the hon. Member that the appointment of a general to take charge of the force is a matter entirely for the War Office.
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how much service General Hackett Paine did in France, or on any other front?