HC Deb 07 April 1921 vol 140 cc441-2
32. Sir J. BUTCHER

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that numerous murders of ex-service men by rebels have recently taken place in Southern Ireland; that in the month of February last eight ex-service men were so murdered; and what means exist of making provision for the families and dependents of such men?


I regret to state that the answer to the first and second parts of this question is in the affirmative. The continued loyalty to the Empire of these gallant men who fought to uphold the honour of Ireland in the Great War is the only known cause of their murder. Apart from any payments which may be due from the Ministry of Pensions in certain cases where the murdered men were in receipt of disability pension, compensation may be claimed from the local authorities subject to the provision of the' Criminal Injuries Acts.


If the local authorities do not pay is there any mode of forcing payment, or of providing it from some other place?


Yes, it can be deducted from the grants paid by the Crown to the local authorities, and it is open to the person aggrieved to attach by a garnishee order any rates payable to the local authorities.

Captain LOSEBY

Has the time not now come to afford special protection to these ex-service men, whose proved loyalty makes them a certain target for this murder gang?


Very often these men are murdered in protecting other people.


Is it not the case that many of the people whose claims are not paid are not in a position to enforce them, as they cannot obtain orders such as the Attorney-General mentions, and will he see if other means can be arranged to help them?


Every facility is given as regards deduction from the grants. I will see if these facilities can be extended.


Is not the best protection of the ex-service men for the Government to found their policy on the principles for which these ex-service men fought?

58. Sir W. WHITLA

asked the Chief Secretary if he will state the number of ex-service men who have been murdered by the insurgents since 1st January, 1920?


The number of ex-service men who are known to have been murdered by Sinn Fein rebels in Ireland since the 1st January, 1920, is 150. Of these, 80 were members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and 30 members of the Auxiliary Division. The remaining 40 were civilians.