HC Deb 07 April 1921 vol 140 cc433-4
60. Major M. WOOD

asked the Chief Secretary how many men have been carried as hostages on military or police lorries; how long they were detained; how many casualties have occurred among these men; and whether he has any report as to the circumstances under which the casualties, if any, took place?


I am unable to furnish the hon. and gallant Member with information as to the number of persons who have been carried as hostages, or as to the length of time for which they have been detained. There have been no casualties to hostages carried on military lorries, and there has been only one casualty, a case of wounding, to hostages on police lorries. An official inquiry is being held into the circumstances in which this casualty occurred.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is it the official policy to carry civilians as hostages in these lorries, and is not that against all the laws of war?


That is a matter for the military authorities in the martial law area.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is this the official policy? Has this the approval of the right hon. and learned Gentleman's Department?

Major WOOD

Is there any record kept of the number of hostages carried in lorries, and, if not, does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman think there ought to be a record, or is any police officer entitled to take any Sinn Feiner or anyone and put him on a lorry whenever he likes?


Will the Government abandon a policy which is both useless and barbarous?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

It is scandalous—like the Germans.

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