HC Deb 12 April 1921 vol 140 cc946-7W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the late Captain Peek had only one motor car at his disposal for use with the detachment of the 9th Lancers under his command at Stokestown at the time of his murder, although frequent requests had been made for more cars; whether he is aware that, in the opinion of military men familiar with the circumstances, the murder of Captain Peek and Lieutenant Tennant might have been prevented if they had had motor car escort; whether a number of motor cars requisitioned from civilians in Ireland to prevent their capture by rebels, are not being fully used by the military authorities; and whether, in order further to safeguard the lives of officers on duty in disturbed parts of Ireland, he will give instructions that in future no military party travelling by road shall consist of less than three motor cars manned with fully-armed guards?


The transport available with the detachment of the 9th Lancers at Strokestown was: 1 15-cwt. Crossley, 1 combination Clyno side-car. The number of vehicles off the road for repair precluded any increase being made in the number of motor vehicles at Strokestown. Captain Peek's party was in the Crossley when ambushed. Captain Peek and Lieutenant Tennant were both armed and had a Hotchkiss gun and crew with them in the Crossley. All confiscated cars are being fully employed. Local orders exist that, whenever possible, troops are to move in two or more vehicles. Owing, however, to the necessarily large numbers of detachments, the numbers of vehicles constantly under repair, and the short notice at which troops are frequently required to move, it is often the case that sufficient transport is not available to enable small parties to move in more than one vehicle. Even where two or more vehicles are employed, the danger of the occupants of any one vehicle being killed or wounded by the initial firing cannot be altogether obviated.