§ 52. Lieut.-Colonel HURST
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the crimes of arson committed in and around Manchester during the last fortnight; what is the extent of the loss incurred; if there is evidence that the crimes were the work of Sinn Feiners; and whether steps have been taken to trace and arrest those responsible?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt)
The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to this question. I have received reports on these crimes, and much regret that in some places appreciable damage was caused amounting probably to some £20,000 in all. Fortunately, the attempts were for the most part frustrated by prompt action on the part of persons on the premises, fire brigades, and police. The police are taking active steps to bring the offenders to justice, but have not so far obtained sufficient evidence for the prosecution of any individuals. There is, however, no doubt that the crimes were organised by Sinn Fein.
§ Lieut.-Colonel HURST
Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of organising some of the many unemployed ex-service men in Manchester as auxiliary police?
§ Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY
On what ground does the right hon. Gentleman say that there is no doubt at all that this was done by Sinn Feiners?
§ Mr. WATERSON
May we take it that the people who have suffered will be granted some compensation, and will such compensation be levied upon the local authorities or be a national charge?