HC Deb 27 July 1922 vol 157 cc663-4
57. Mr. DEVLIN

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the circumstances under which three young men, John Gore, James McAllister, and John Hill, were killed in Cushendall, County Antrim, on the night of Friday, 23rd June last, by members of the Ulster special police, who arrived in the village with British soldiers in motor lorries and Crossley cars; whether he is aware that the Northern Government has issued an official statement to the effect that these men were killed in an attempt to ambush a party of specials; that overwhelming testimony is forthcoming from eyewitnesses that there was no ambush or attempted ambush on the occasion; that the killing was deliberate and unprovoked; that on arrival in Cushendall the specials opened fire on the people who were standing in the streets, and when these scattered and fled to shelter, the specials entered houses where John Gore and John Hill were, and, after asking these men what religion they were, shot them on learning they were Catholics; and that the specials had arrested James McAllister when he was cycling along the country road to his home in Glenariffe, and brought him in a motor to Cushendall, where they shot him dead under revolting circumstances; and whether, in view of these facts, he will appoint an impartial commission to inquire into the matter, or, otherwise, send an independent representative to investigate the facts on the spot and report to the Imperial Government?


Yes, Sir; His Majesty's Government have decided to institute an inquiry into this case, and Sir James Craig, while not desiring himself to initiate the inquiry, has intimated his willingness to give all possible facilities. Pending this inquiry, I am unwilling to accept or discuss the allegations made in the question.


What form will this inquiry take?


I have not actually settled the composition and the method of the inquiry, but if a further question is put down in a day or two, I can give an answer.


Will the right hon. Gentleman also order an inquiry into the murders of British soldiers and police in Southern Ireland?