HC Deb 06 June 1921 vol 142 cc1505-6
39. Mr. MOSLEY

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that an American Commission, comprising 11 senators, 4 congressmen, 13 bishops, 3 governors, and other prominent citizens has recently examined many witnesses, Irish and American, upon present conditions in Ireland and has furnished a detailed report; whether he is aware of the conclusions of this Commission to the effect that the Imperial British Government has incited their agents to slay, burn, and loot, has tempered with terror and alcohol this chosen instrument for the appointed purposes of the Imperial British Government in Ireland, and that the moral responsibility for the crimes of this instrument rests on those that fashioned and used it; and whether, in view of the fact that this publication commands a world-wide circulation, he is in a position to prepare a detailed refutation of the indictment and secure its circulation abroad?


I am informed that this Commission, which was a purely informal body, has taken evidence from a number of persons holding extreme views on the question of Irish government, and on the basis of such evidence has issued a report couched in violent language attacking the policy and administration of His Majesty's Government in Ireland. His Majesty's Government were invited to send witnesses to give evidence before this Commission, and declined, on the ground that they were unable to recognise the right of citizens of a foreign State to hold any inquiry into the conditions of any part of His Majesty's Dominions. On the same ground, His Majesty's Government do not now propose to enter into any controversy with this self-constituted body of investigators.


Will the right hon. Gentleman institute a judicial inquiry by English judges, with a view to refuting all such allegations?


No, Sir. I do not think the report of this inquiry affords a shadow of ground why the Government should change their policy.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one Governor retired from this Commission when he found its partisan character; and is he aware that the general opinion of the country is that they had better mind their own business?


I am not aware of what the hon. and gallant Member has just stated, but I should not be surprised.