HC Deb 17 June 1920 vol 130 cc1427-8
26. Colonel ASHLEY

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the hon. Member for South Dublin County (Mr. G. Duffy) has, during recent months, been resident at the Grand Hotel, Paris, describing himself on his official card as Envoyé du Gouvernment Elu de la Républic Irlandaise, and has been actively engaged in carrying on anti-British propaganda; will he state on what ground a passport was issued to this hon. Member; and will His Majesty's Government draw the attention of the Government of the French Republic to the mischievous activities of the hon. Member and request his removal from French territory?


Perhaps before the right hon. Gentleman replies to that question, I may, Mr. Speaker, be allowed to make a personal explanation? It has been suggested to me that in the matter of this passport, I might be confounded with the hon. Member mentioned in the question. No name is given, the only reference being to the hon. and gallant Member for Dublin County. I happen to be the only Member sitting for a Division of Dublin County, and the question is open to some misconception. As a matter of fact at least one Member has suggested to me that he thought I was the person referred to. Mr. Speaker, I should like to say that I honestly endeavour to spend five days out of the seven in this House, and having done that, I do not feel sufficiently young or possessed of sufficient energy to go to Paris for political propaganda.

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Lloyd George)

My hon. Friend is the last man in the House to be suspected by anyone of being the person in the question.

I am aware that the hon. Member for South Dublin has been residing at the Hotel Continental in Paris for the last fourteen months, and that his notepaper is headed "Delegation du Gouvernment Elu de la République Irlandaise," and that he describes himself as "Envoye de la Républic Irlandaise." The hon. Gentleman was actively engaged in soliciting subscriptions to the so-called Irish Republican loan. I have no precise information as to his other propagandist activities. At the time of his application, the object for which he desired a passport was not stated. His Majesty's Government do not propose to approach the French Government in the sense suggested in the last part of the question. There need be no doubt that the French Government and the French people estimate at their true value the absurd pretensions of the hon. Member for South Dublin.

Colonel ASHLEY

Will the right hon. Gentleman give instructions to the Foreign Office to withdraw the passport of the hon. Member for South Dublin County?


Is it not time that the Government considered the question of calling over the Roll of this House in order to get rid of these dishonourable men?

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY



Who subscribes to these funds?


I should be very surprised indeed if they paid expenses.

Colonel ASHLEY



We have already dealt with the question of passports. The hon. and gallant Member had better put his question on the paper.

Colonel ASHLEY

With great deference, Mr. Speaker, the question is about passports.


The question was whether the right hon. Gentleman would consider withdrawing the passport.