HC Deb 13 February 1922 vol 150 cc589-90
64. Captain Viscount CURZON

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government yet have any information as to whether any of the arms, munitions, or equipment turned over to the Provisional Government by the Army authorities were used in the invasion of Ulster?

149. Mr. LYNN

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of motors, motor lorries, and other vehicles, and the number of arms and rounds of ammunition, handed over to the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland by the British military authorities in Ireland; and on what terms the transfers have been made?


No transport of any kind, or arms or ammunition, have been handed over to the Provisional Government by the military authorities in Ireland. But, as I informed the House last week, 200 rifles, 5,000 rounds of ammunition and 21 motor-cars or lorries have been handed oved by the Police Authorities subject to a valuation. This transfer was made upon my authority with the express object of furnishing the new Provisional Government in a regular and proper manner with the means of equipping a small uniformed and disciplined force with which to maintain their authority. This force is now in training at Beggarsbush, near Dublin. I have been categorically assured by the Provisional Governrnent—and I accept their statement—that none of these arms, munitions or equipment has at any time been sent north of Dublin, or could possibly have been used in the recent outrages on the borders of Northern Ireland. The Irish Republican Army detachments in various parts of the country have, however, a certain number of British military rifles and of police cars, which were taken in the recent conflict, and of these, of course, I have no record


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any indication as to the time when the Irish Republican Army will cease to figure in the machinery of the Government of Southern Ireland?


It depends largely upon the rapidity with which the forthcoming Bill passes in Parliament, and upon the election that takes place in Ireland for the new Parliament.


Does the right hon. Gentleman know when it will cease to be called by Mr. Collins and Mr. Griffith "the Irish Republican Army"?


Are the Provisional Government taking any steps to restore to His Majesty's Government the arms and motors stolen from the police force?