HC Deb 17 June 1920 vol 130 cc1425-6
12. Mr. DONALD

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland under what circumstances Constable King, an English ex-service man who lately joined the Royal Irish Constabulary, met his death; whether the Government will take steps to see that policemen in future are accompanied by a military guard; and whether the Government are now in a position to issue a Report of the number of crimes in Ireland?


Constable King was murdered near Bantry on Saturday evening last, when returning in plain clothes on a bicycle to the barracks at Glengariff. He was fired at and wounded, he then escaped and hid in a farmer's house, but was followed, dragged outside and shot dead. He was on leave of absence at the time. He had served four years in the Navy, and took part in the battle of Jutland. A report, such as is suggested, is regularly issued.


Was this unhappy man a Presbyterian?

Colonel ASHLEY

Are the police, when they go on leave, not allowed to take their revolvers to protect themselves against attacks like these?


Yes, Sir, but I regret this constable was not carrying his at the time.

Major E. WOOD

In view of the anxiety that exists in all parts of the House on these matters, would the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of issuing a statement showing what new steps the Government are taking to secure improvement?


So far as that can be done, having regard to the public interest, it shall be done.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the state of affairs that is going on in Ireland would not be tolerated for one week in this country; and is he aware that the success of the Sinn Feiners in Ireland is due to the weakness of this Government?


I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government are dealing, so far as possible, with an extremely difficult situation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Government to issue an Order asking for volunteers in Ireland, who know the position in that country, and could deal with it far better than this Government can?