§ 70. Sir W. DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is now in a position to inform the House whether an armed guard of six soldiers in the charge of a corporal, while marching through the streets of Ennis, were seized by a number of men and robbed of their rifles, bayonets, ammunition, and helmets; whether the soldiers made any and what 1226 resistance; whether any of the attackers have been apprehended or any of the rifles or ammunition recovered; and what is the reason for not proclaiming martial law in districts which are entirely under the control of the Sinn Fein organisation and the ordinary law has ceased to operate?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
I am informed that an armed guard was attacked in Ennis in the circumstances stated, and that resistance was offered by the guard. One non-commissioned officer and one assailant were wounded. None of the assailants have been apprehended. An inquiry is being held by the military authorities.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
Are we to understand that an officer in charge of a body such as this is authorised to open fire?
§ Sir W. DAVISON
Is it not very hard on our soldiers to have to act as though they were in a peaceful country, when war has been proclaimed on them by the population among whom they are acting?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Clearly it is impossible for the soldiers to make an attack upon the inoffensive civil population of the country.
§ Lieut.-Colonel CROFT
Is not the first thing to be done to arrest the leaders of these movements in every part of the country. Unless you do that can you hope for any improvement?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Has not that been the Government policy for the last twelve months, and is it not the fact that it had no effect whatever?