(by Private Notice) asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland if he will give to the House the latest information regarding the casualties during the week-end in Ireland, and whether he considers the Government in Ireland has taken, or is taking, ample powers of action to deal with the situation?
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
I have also received notice of a somewhat similar question from the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Islington (Sir N. Moore), from the hon. Member for Bournemouth (Lieut.-Colonel Croft), and horn the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool (Mr. T. P. O'Connor). As to the question of policy raised, the Prime Minister will reply.
I shall read to the House the latest telegram from Dublin with reference to the cruel and savage massacres of wounded and unarmed British officers in Dublin yesterday. May I say this series of cold blooded and carefully-planned atrocities will, I hope, bring vividly before the House and the public the cruel reality of the Irish situation? We are fighting an organised band of paid assassins, whose plans, recently discovered, include the destruction of life and. property in this country, as well as in Ireland. In the first place, a wire received at one o'clock p.m. to-day states that 35Everything is apparently normal in Dublin to-day. All outward trains are not running, and motors are severely restricted. There have been no fresh disturbances.I shall give now, just as I have received them, the details of, I think, one of the most awful tragedies in the history of our Empire:There have been fourteen deaths, six injured, including one assassin and three assassins captured redhanded with arms. The circumstances of the deaths of British officers were as follows:—
"CASE A.—119, Lower Baggot Street. One murder.Raid presumably as in others. Captain Baggally, Court-Martial Officer, shot dead. When police arrived every occupant of the house had left, and no witness was available to describe circumstances. This gallant officer had lost a leg in war and was a barrister by profession. He had been employed as Prosecutor on Courts-Martial.
§ May I say that nearly all these officers were non-combatant officers.
"CASE B.—28, Earlsfort Terrace. One murder.Murderers' leader rang bell, asked maid for Colonel Fitzpatrick. She disclosed whereabouts of bedroom of Captain Fitzgerald. Leader then called in about 20 men, who were placed in position in hall. Leader entered Fitzgerald's room. Maid heard his shouts and the assassin's voice say,' Come on! Four shots fired into body in rapid succession. Police found Captain Fitzgerald in bed in pool of blood, forehead shattered with bullets, another through heart and one through wrist which held up to ward off shot. All fired point-blank. Officer unarmed. This gallant officer was the son of a Tipperary doctor, recently employed defence officer, Police Barrack in Clare, was then kidnapped by I.R.A., who tried to shoot him with own revolver, which miraculously missed fire. They then twisted arm until it was dislocated, dragged him to a field, propped him against wall, fired at him. He overlept wall and escaped, and had come to Dublin for surgical treatment for arm. Only few days out of hospital before assassinated.
"CASE C.—22, Lower Mount Street. One murder in house.Two further murders resulting near by. Facts are, maid opened door, 20 men rushed in and demanded to know bedrooms of Mr. Mahon and Mr. Peel. Matron's room out pointed. They entered and five shots fired immediately at few inches range. Mr. Mahon killed. At same time others attempted enter Mr. Peel's room. Door locked. Seventeen shots fired through panels. Peel escaped uninjured. Meanwhile another servant hearing the shots shouted from upper window to party of officers of Auxiliary Division who passing had left Beggars Bush Barracks to catch early train southward for duty. These officers at once attacked house, 36 after despatching two of their number, temp. Cadets C. A. Morris and Frank Garniss, to their depot for reinforcements, both of whom were assassinated on the way. The officers chased assassins through house and captured one, whom their fire had wounded, and three others, all of whom were armed.
§ Sir H. GREENWOOD
These men will be tried for murder.Mr. Morris lived at Mitcham, was Lieutenant, Machine Cun Corps, had served in France, aged 22, joined Auxiliary Division 12th October. Garniss joined 13th October, had 15 years' service in Army. Lived in Hull. These first deaths in Auxiliary Division which is doing such splendid work in Ireland.CASE D.—At Briama, 117, Morehampton Road. Murder of one officer and two civilians.Just before nine a party of between 12 and 20 armed men knocked at the door, and it was opened by a boy of 10 years, the son of Mr. Smith, the householder. They rushed into the house and dragged Mr. Smith and Captain McLean (who were in bed with their wives) into a front spare bedroom. Mr. Caldow, the brother of Mrs. McLean, was thrust in beside them, and all three were shot in cold blood. Captain McLean and Mr. Smith were dead before an ambulance could arrive. Mr. Caldow was seriously wounded. Mr. Thomas Henry Smith, who was the landlord, was about 45 years of age, leaves a wife and three children. Captain McLean, who served with the Rifle Brigade during the War along with his brother-in-law, Mr. John Caldow, a native of Prestwich, Scotland, had come to Ireland with the view of securing employment in the Police. Captain McLean leaves a wife and child. Both Mrs. Smith and Mrs. McLean were in the house when their husbands were murdered. It is said that the assassins dragged their victims to empty room to murder them, as Captain McLean, wrhen overpowered, implored them not to murder him under his wife's eyes. On completing their dastardly work the murderers ran out of the house and disappeared.CASE E.—92, Lower Baggot Street. murder.Party of raiders, numbering dozen, were let in by landlady, Mrs. Slack, and asked for Captain Newbury, Court Martial Officer, who lived there with wife. Seeing crowd, landlady rushed upstairs in terror and saw nothing subsequent happening. Men knocked at Newbury's door. Mrs. Newbury opened it, and, seeing crowd of men with revolvers, slammed door in their faces and locked it. Men burst door, but Newbury escaped to inner room. Captain Newbury and wife together tried hold door against them. Almost succeeded in shutting it when men fired through door, wounding Newbury, who, though spilling blood, nevertheless got to window, flung it open and was half-way out when murderers burst into room. Mrs 37 Newbury flung herself in their way, but they pushed her aside and fired seven shots into Newbury's body. Police found it half in and half out covered with blanket which wife, though prostrate, had placed over it. Woman's resolution and her subsequent grief strongly affected police party. Significant notice that murderers in this case, as in two or three others, made diligent search for papers, hoping perhaps find and abstract documents or evidence on which military law officers working.CASE F.—28, Upper Pembroke Street. Two officers murdered and four wounded.Residence of Mrs. Gray was raided at nine this morning by about 20 men, some of whom came on bicycles. The house consists of several flats. Raiders armed and undisguised held up a maid on the stairs and Mrs. Gray, the proprietress, who was leaving her room. House appeared to be familiar to them as they broke up into parties, went to various parts of the house. 10 to 12 shots were heard, and, following these, assassins decamped. Mrs. Gray and her maid visited rooms immediately and found Major Dowling, Grenadier Guards, had been shot dead at his bedroom door. Captain Price, of the Royal Engineers, was found dead in the room next door. Captain Kenlyside, Lancashire Fusiliers, whose wife most gallantly struggled with the murderers and thereby frustrated their purpose, was wounded in the arm. Colonel Woodcock was fired at as he came downstairs. He appeared to have taken the raiders who were in the hall unawares. He called out to Colonel Montgomery, who, coming out of his room, was wounded in the body. Turning towards his room to secure a weapon. Colonel Woodcock was also wounded. Colonel Woodcock and Colonel Montgomery both belong to the Lancashire Fusiliers. A sixth officer, Mr. Murray, of the Royal Scots, was also wounded as he descended the stairs. A lady resident in the house went from room to room seeking help, and in every room found only dead, dying, or wounded men.CASE G.—38, Upper Mount Street. Two murders.House entered Twenty armed unmasked men let in by servant, Catharine Farrell, who unwillingly outpointed rooms occupied by Lieutenant Aimes, of Grenadier Guards, and Lieutenant Bennett, of R.A.S.C. Motor Transport. Maid rushed upstairs and told officer sleeping upper floor and another male lodger that murder was being done downstairs. Fusilade shots heard. When they came downstairs, they found two bodies in pool of blood in Aimes's bedroom. Bennett evidently dragged from bedroom in bed clothes into brother officer's room, where both shot together, their bodies lying side by side.This is the last of these horrible atrocities:
CASE H.—Gresham Hotel, Sackville Street. Two murders.Party 15 to 20 men entered open door hotel, held up boots and head porter with revolvers. They went to rooms occupied by 38 ex-Captain Patrick McCormack, Army Veterinary Corps, and Lieutenant L. E. Wilde. Party, one of whom carried huge hammer, knocked first Room 14, occupied by Wilde. He opened and asked: 'What do you want?' For answer, three shots were fired into his chest simultaneously. Party then moved to Room 24, entered room, and found McCormack sitting in bed reading paper. Without word, five shots were fired into his body and head as he sat there. Bed saturated, body and especially head horribly disfigured. Possibly hammer was used as well as shots to finish off this gallant officer.
§ Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
I beg to ask the Prime Minister a question of which I have given him private notice—
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I must ask the hon. Member to resume his seat when I rise. If he wishes to ask a question, he will have an opportunity.