HC Deb 10 November 1921 vol 148 cc581-2
Sir W. DAVISON (by Private Notice)

asked the Prime Minister whether, having regard to the fact that the Irish Republican Army is mobilised with arms and munitions of war in numerous camps throughout Ireland, while the loyalist population has been disarmed, he can give an assurance that adequate military and other arrangements have been made for the protection of the loyal population of Ulster and Southern Ireland in the event of a breakdown in the present negotiations with the Sinn Fein delegates?


That is not the question of which I have received notice.


May I say, in explanation, that Mr. Speaker asked me to alter the form of the question, and put the latter part first. I asked Mr. Speaker whether it would be desirable for me to communicate with the Prime Minister, but he said that, as the substance of the question was the same, I need not trouble to do so?


The first words were really preamble. It is the latter part which was the real question.


I only want to point out that that is not the question of which I received notice. I will answer the question of which I received notice.

As the House has already been informed, it has been agreed that if the negotiations unhappily break down there shall be reasonable notice of the termination of the truce, and His Majesty's Government would, of course, do all in their power to protect life and property. It would not be desirable that I should make any statement as to the measures which the Government have taken, or are prepared to take, in that contingency, which I earnestly hope will not arise.