HC Deb 18 November 1920 vol 134 cc2112-3W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Weekly Summary, circulated to the Royal Irish Constabulary, is paid for wholly or partly out of public funds; what is the amount paid out of public funds for this purpose; who is the editor; by whom was he appointed; and, if the cost of the "Weekly Summary" is not wholly defrayed from public funds, what is the organisation that makes up the balance?


The "Weekly Summary" is wholly paid for from public funds. Its cost is approximately £16 10s. weekly, which figure includes postage to all barracks in Ireland. The "Weekly Summary" is edited from the Office of Police Adviser in Dublin, but it is not considered advisable to mention the name of the official for obvious reasons.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether in the "Weekly Summary" circulated officially to the Royal Irish Constabulary the number dated Friday, 29th October, 1920, contained a statement that uniformed Sinn Feiners had shot Lynch; whether in a statement on 22nd September Dublin Castle admitted that Lynch had been shot by men in the forces of the Crown on the alleged ground that he resisted arrest; and whether the British Government has approved of this action or whether it is taken on the sole responsibility of the Irish Executive?


In the "Weekly Summary" of 29th October, 1920, a quotation from the "Church Times" appeared in which a writer stated that "uniformed Sinn Feiners" were responsible for the shooting of Lynch. An official statement was issued from Dublin Castle stating that Lynch was shot while resisting arrest. In view of the fact that the Irish Press had given wide publicity to the latter, the letter in the "Church Times" was republished without alteration as it contained other matters of general interest to the police. The responsibility for the publication of the "Weekly Summary" lies with the office of the Police Adviser.


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the official weekly statements isued to the Press by Dublin Castle with regard to what is repeatedly described in these statements as the guerilla warfare in Ireland; whether he is aware that these weekly statements are incomplete, and misleading to the public, in that they report only one side of this guerilla warfare, namely, the attacks on and casualties suffered by forces of the Crown and the destruction of or raids upon Crown property such as barracks and mails, together with raids for arms by persons unnamed; and whether he will cause these weekly statements to be supplemented by reports and statistics of the destruction of civilian property in the shape of houses, shops, creameries, farm-buildings, farm produce, factories, etc., by forces of the Crown, and of the casualties suffered by the Irish Republican Army and other civilians, whether in combat with forces of the Crown or otherwise, and of raids on private houses by forces of the Crown?


I am unable to agree with the hon. Member that any of the official statements issued to the Press from Dublin Castle are either incomplete or misleading to the public, and I do not propose, therefore, to take steps to have them modified in the manner suggested by the hon. Member.