HC Deb 25 November 1920 vol 135 cc650-1W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Mr. Tucker, a member of the Society of Brush makers, who was charged before the Recorder in Dublin with intimidation in the course of a strike; whether he is aware that Mr. Tucker, as a union official, was given the duty of seeing that the union pickets did not break the law; that evidence was given to the effect that Mr. Tucker took no part in the intimidation; that the jury failed to agree, and the Recorder stated that if a settlement of the strike was arrived at probably no more would be heard of the charge against Mr. Tucker; that the strike has been settled and Mr. Tucker is back at work with the firm involved; and that just prior to the case coming on again it was reported to Mr. Tucker's solicitor that the military authorities had taken the case in hand and that Mr. Tucker was to be tried by court-martial; and whether he can explain the reason for this action on the part of the military authorities, in view of the fact that the case has no political significance whatever?


My attention has been called to this case. As it issub judice I cannot discuss the details, but I may say that, on the evidence before me, the Government would, in my opinion, be lacking in their duty if they did not proceed with the case. I am assured that the Recorder made no such statement as is attributed to him in the question. The suggestion in the last part of the question that only cases with a political significance are referred to the competent military authority for trial by court-martial is without foundation. It is a regrettable fact that in many districts in Ireland justice cannot be obtained even in ordinary criminal offences from the civil -courts, and it is for that reason that this case with many others has been referred to the military authorities.