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British Troops, Dublin

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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7.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any British regiment is now in the Dublin area; if so, whether any casualties have occurred recently; whether the troops are allowed out of barracks; and for what purpose they are required?

The answer to the first and third parts of the question is in the affirmative. In regard to the second part, I regret that a gunner of the Royal Artillery was killed on the 12th May, and a non-commissioned officer of the Royal Army Service Corps on the 27th May. In regard to the last part, the troops are required for reasons of policy which cannot be dealt with within the limits of a Parliamentary answer.

What steps are taken to safeguard the lives of these men in Dublin, as every time they are compelled to go out of barracks they are in danger of their lives—of being shot at?

Does the figure given by the right hon. Gentleman include the casualties or merely the killed?

The hon. and gallant. Gentleman asks what precautions are taken?

Subject to this, that, of course, the troops could be confined to barracks; but that is not a possible condition for any length of time.

Will the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies deal with this question when he makes his statement to-day or to-morrow as to why troops are still retained in Dublin? That has not yet been answered by the Government.

Yes, I will endeavour to point out why it is necessary to keep them in Dublin.

Will the right hon. Gentleman give directions that these soldiers shall not be allowed out of barracks without having arms to protect them against these savages?

I am not going to interfere with the discretion of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief in Ireland. He is very well aware of the conditions and makes the. arrangements he considers necessary.

Are these troops kept in Dublin at the request of the Provisional Government, or against their wish?

No, Sir; they are not kept in Dublin at the present time at the request of the Provisional Government, but because the process of evacuation has been temporarily suspended.