HC Deb 08 July 1920 vol 131 cc1630-1
7. Colonel ASHLEY

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the strong criticism of the Government, for neglecting for several days to restore law and order in Londonderry, which the Londonderry coroner expressed when investigating the circumstances of the death of the eighteenth person killed during the recent riots, and to the rider of the coroner's jury expressing surprise that, through their criminal laxity, the Government did not take adequate steps to avert the trouble; and will he state what officials have been reprimanded for their neglect of duty?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As soon as the outbreak occurred the control of the situation passed into the hands of the military. The Civil Government co-operated in every possible way with the military, and my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary repudiates the suggestion that there was neglect of duty on the part of any of those responsible, whether military, police, or officials of the Irish Government.

Colonel ASHLEY

Is it not a fact that the magistrates, assembled in a room, sent a telegram to the Castle on the third day of the riots asking for help and received no answer, and could not troops have been sent on the third day just as well as they were sent on the seventh?


I am sure the military authorities did all in their power to get troops and despatch them to Londonderry.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the strong allegations which are being made that the Government deliberately held their hands and winked at the whole thing until it had gone on for several days?


The hon. and gallant Gentleman should give notice of charges of that kind.