§ 38. Viscount CURZON
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any of the persons kidnapped by the forces of the Irish Free State are yet unaccounted for or have not yet been released, including special constables; and, if so, for what reason; and whether he has yet reached any decision with reference to the suggestion by the Irish Free State Government that a joint inquiry should be instituted into the murders of Lieutenant Genochio, Captain Meade, and Sergeant Cunliffe?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
In reply to the first part of the question I am informed that 1952 with the exception of the special constables arrested at Clones railway station on the 11th February, all the persons kidnapped by the Irish Republican Army during the recent border disturbances have now been released and have returned safely to their homes. I am not yet in a position to make any statement in regard to the ease of the Clones special constables whose continued detention is still the subject of correspondence between His Majesty's Government and the Provisional and Northern Governments. In reply to the second part I would point out to the Noble Lord that in my reply to his question of the 7th instant I stated that the Provisional Government had suggested a joint inquiry into the case of Lieutenant Genochio there has never been any such suggestion in the other two cases referred to by him. I am waiting a further communication from the Provisional Government regarding the former case; regarding the two latter I am not in a position to add anything to the reply which I gave on the 7th instant.
§ Viscount CURZON
As regards the special constables captured at Clones, does His Majesty's Government recognise the capture as legal or illegal?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
No, Sir. The position in which these men are placed at the present time cannot, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, be justified, because they have been apprehended, but have not, so far as I am aware, been brought up before the magistrates, or brought to trial in the ordinary way. They are merely being detained.