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Boycotting In Ireland

Volume 17: debated on Wednesday 15 June 1910

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asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether minor boycotting had been denned as attempts to boycott where the effects are inappreciable; and whether he would state the number of persons comprised in this category throughout Ireland who are refused the necessaries of life in the districts in which they reside, and who are compelled to procure them from a distance?

The definition given by the hon. Member is not complete, but it may be taken as approximately correct. The Inspector-General of Constabulary, under whose direction the returns are compiled from reports furnished by the local police, has no reason to believe that there are any cases returned under the heading of minor boycotting in which the persons affected are refused the necessaries of life in the districts in which they reside and are compelled to procure them from a distance.

asked the Chief Secretary whether the landowner who is referred to in the footnote (b) to the Return of boycotting cases presented to this House on the motion of the hon. Member for Cambridge University (No. 116 of 1909) is Mr. C. N. Clarke, of Holycross, Thurles; and, if so, will he explain the statement in that footnote that Mr. Clarke is now only boycotted in a minor degree, in view of the facts given in evidence at the recent trial before the Court of King's Bench in Dublin?

Mr. Clarke is the landowner referred to. I am informed by the constabulary authorities that in the early part of 1909 he and the men in his employment were very severely boycotted. In or about April of that year there was a distinct improvement; the boycotting of Mr. Clarke's men ceased, and it was understood that the severity of the boycotting in his own case had been considerably relaxed. In these circumstances it was stated that at the date of the Return, the 22nd April, 1909, Mr. Clarke was boycotted in a minor degree. In the following June, however, it was ascertained that Mr. Clarke was still considerably, but not completely, boycotted.

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that when twelve policemen have to be stationed in the district Mr. Clarke is being boycotted in a minor degree?

No, Sir, I do nothing of the kind, but just at the moment when the return was made, Mr. Clarke's case was very considerably ameliorated. However, it was only a temporary improvement, and a short time afterwards it became clear that he was severely boycotted.