HC Deb 07 November 1921 vol 148 cc25-6
80. Colonel BURN

asked the Chief Secretary whether on 8th August, 1921, a man named Foley, one of a party of armed rebels, was captured in Bandon while seizing a motor car belonging to the wireless station, Royal Irish Constabulary; whether he was in possession of a revolver and dum-dum ammunition; whether he was tried by field-general court-martial and convicted; whether subsequently two members of the Royal Irish Constabulary were kidnapped; and whether Foley was then released in exchange for the kidnapped constables?


Foley was arrested, not in the act of seizing a car belonging to the Royal Irish Constabulary, but in the course of a search for a car which had been seized by Sinn Feiners some time before. As he was found to be in possession of a revolver and two rounds of ammunition, he was tried and sentenced as stated. As the result of further enquiries into all the circumstances, the Commander-in-Chief, while confirming the finding, decided to remit the term of imprisonment imposed. As regards the kidnapping of the constables referred to, it had been represented that this was an act of retaliation for the arrest of Foley which Sinn Fein regarded as a breach of the truce; Foley was accordingly not set at liberty until an undertaking had been given that the constables would be immediately released.

Colonel BURN

Was not this man in possession of dum-dum bullets?


I am sorry that the answer does not deal with that point, but I will see that the hon. and gallant Gentleman gets an answer on that specific point.


On whom does the decision rest as to whether or not the truce has been broken?


Each case stands by itself. No one regrets more than I do any breach of the truce, but, under the terms of the truce, they must be dealt with in the way contemplated, or by force. I believe that it is my duty to deal with them in the way contemplated by the truce.


Will the Government do something more than regret breaches of the truce?


Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us what Clause in the truce—for I see none—deals with a breach of the truce?