HC Deb 06 April 1922 vol 152 cc2435-6
Viscount CURZON

I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, "the failure of the Government to provide adequate facilities for the protection and removal of disbanded members of the Royal Irish Constabulary and their families to England."


I think the Noble Lord must submit a more definite Motion than that, after the statement made by the Government to-day.

Viscount CURZON

May I add to my Motion the words "in view of the disgraceful murder of two ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary in Ireland reported yesterday"?


That is not the point. We have just been told that fresh instructions were given by the Secretary of State for the Colonies yesterday, and the Noble Lord should have brought forward a Motion to indicate some quite definite failure on the part of the Government. I could not accept the Motion he has put forward.


On a point of Order. May I point out that although the Chief Secretary said that facilities had been given, he indicated no way by which these men could get accommodation when they came here?


On a point of Order. Upon the question of whether this is a definite Motion, we have had a statement that steps have been either contemplated or taken to give protection. These steps have proved entirely inadequate. These murders have been going on for some time, and now they culminate in these things which came to our notice yesterday, and my Noble Friend desires to call the attention of the House to this definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, that the Government have failed to give protection to these disbanded Royal Irish Constabulary men up to the present moment, and I venture respectfully to submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that that is a definite matter, because of the failure to give protection, that it is urgent, because these men are being murdered, and that it is of public importance, for the honour of our country and the protection of our subjects.


The hon. and learned Member, I think, forgets that since the passage of the Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill we have passed the responsibility for order in the Southern part of Ireland to the Provisional Government.

Lieut.-Colonel ARCHER-SHEE

May I ask the Leader of the House if he will receive a deputation this afternoon to discuss this matter, if we do not get the adjournment?


I should have been more flattered by the request of the hon. and gallant Gentleman if he had put it before he had tried to get the Adjournment.

Lieut.-Colonel CROFT

What other course could he take?


Of course, I shall be glad to see my hon. and gallant Friend on such a subject.


Might I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, before he sees the deputation, he will consider what has been said by the Chief Secretary, that there is no desire on the part of these men to come over to this country?


That is not what I said. There is a desire on the part of some, but I have no knowledge of any great desire on the part of the whole force to leave Ireland.