asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can now give the House any information as to the fate of the three British officers and one private who were kidnapped at Macroom at the end of April and are supposed to have been murdered?
I regret that I can add nothing to the reply which I gave to the Noble Lord the Member for Battersea South on the 30th May last, namely, that I have no further information regarding these officers and the soldier, but that the military authorities no longer feel able to hold out any hope that they are still alive.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything as to the rumour which was very current that these officers and the soldier were taken to Macroom Castle, tried by a detachment of the Irish Republican Army, and shot there?
No, I know nothing of that. I shall be very glad of any evidence given to me on the question.
Is it the case that Macroom Castle was surrounded and held by His Majesty's forces? If so, why were the men inside the Castle not taken prisoners?
I know nothing of that. I must have notice of the question.
Is there any truth in the story told that the Commanding Officer of the Hampshire Regiment, in which two of these officers served, had communicated with the next-of-kin as to the death and murder of these officers?
I have said that the military authorities no longer feel any hope that these officers and the soldier are alive. I also said on another occasion, believe, that the relatives have been informed. At any rate, I understood that.