HC Deb 04 May 1922 vol 153 cc1530-1
56. Mr. G. MURRAY

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that a self-appointed committee of Sein Feiners has been and is billeting on the houses of Irish loyalists in Dublin large numbers of their followers; that these billetings are often accompanied by threats of violence should a complaint be made to His Majesty's Government; that in some cases the occupants of the houses concerned have been ejected in order to make room for the newcomers; and that the Provisional Government, though appealed to, has refused to take any steps for the protection of His Majesty's subjects thus, affected; and whether His Majesty's Government are prepared to extend to His Majesty's loyal subjects in Ireland the same protection which has hitherto always been afforded to British subjects whether within or without the Empire?


I understand that a number of Dublin residents have recently been compelled, by threats of violence, to take into their houses and maintain strangers who are sent to them as refugees by a body styling itself the Belfast Boycott Committee, but that no cases have come to notice in which the residents themselves or their families have been expelled from their homes. It is not correct, however, to state that the Provisional Government have refused to take any steps to protect the citizens of Dublin from this invasion of their liberties. I am aware of instances in which protection has been asked for and given, but in the majority of cases the householders prefer to submit to the injury rather than to seek police protection, which might expose them to the danger of some subsequent act of retaliation by the boycott committee or their agents. The activities of this committee are a bye-product of the campaign of anarchy which is being deliberately pursued by the opponents of the Treaty, and the policy of His Majesty's Government is to refrain from any intervention which might embarrass the Provisional Government, who are doing their utmost in difficult circumstances to restore law and order.


When is the Provisional Government likely to function?


When will the Northern Government function?