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Question

Volume 203: debated on Monday 1 August 1870

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said, he wished to ask Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether his attention has been drawn to a proclamation published in the Derry Liberal Journals by the Derry Liberal Defence Association, calling upon the Roman Catholics of that city and the adjoining districts to assemble and suppress by force the annual historical celebrations of the Apprentice Boys on the 12th of August; and, whether he will endeavour to secure the withdrawal of this manifesto; and, what steps Her Majesty's Government intend taking for the preservation of the peace and the protection of the loyal citizens of Derry on the day in question in the event of his intervention proving unavailing? He put these questions to the hon. and learned Gentleman not merely as Solicitor General for Ireland, but as Member for the city of Londonderry, and because, upon several occasions, he had claimed especially to represent the Roman Catholics of the North of Ireland. ["Order, order!"]

, in reply, said, he would begin by stating that he had never claimed especially to represent the Roman Catholics of the North of Ireland. ["Order, order!"] His attention had been called to an advertisement, which he supposed was what the hon. and gallant Gentleman called a proclamation, addressed to the Roman Catholics, and, without expressing an opinion as to whether a correct construction had been put upon that document by the hon. and gallant Member, he would say, on behalf of the Government, that all the power at their disposal would be used to preserve the peace and uphold the law on the occasion of the coming anniversary. For himself, he might add that no exertions would be wanting to bring about that result. He was sensible, however, that the hon. and gallant Member, and those who acted with him, could exercise an influence quite as great as his own in maintaining the peace at the approaching commemoration. He could assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman and the House that the Government were fully alive to the importance of protecting all the inhabitants of Derry at all times, and he believed that all, without exception, were entitled to the name of loyal subjects of the Queen.