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Murder Of Sir Henry Wilson

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 28 June 1922

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asked the Prime Minister whether O'Brien or Connolly, The murderers of the late Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, were released from prison in England or Scotland under the Treaty arrangements with the Sinn Fein Provisional Government?

I have been asked to reply. As this question has been put down, and failure to reply might create prejudice, I will depart from the usual procedure in regard to matters which are the subject of judicial proceedings, and reply to it. The answer is in the negative.

I would, however, beg hon. Members, while the case is sub judice, to refrain from putting questions of this kind, which are calculated to be prejudicial to persons awaiting trial. All the relevant facts will be disclosed at the proper time.


asked the hon. Member for the Pollok Division of Glasgow, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, if he will state who is responsible for keeping the national flag flying at topmast on the public buildings, e.g., the Tower of London, the Customs House, and other State-owned buildings during the time when the public funeral of the late Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson was in progress; and whether he is aware that keen resentment has in consequence been aroused, to allay which, will he make careful inquiry into the circumstances, and give such directions as he may deem necessary?

My Department is responsible for issuing instructions as regards flags on public buildings. Flags were not generally flown on public offices, but the War Office flew the flag half mast. The Admiralty flag is never lowered, even on the death of the Sovereign, but the White Ensign was flown on the Mall Arch at half mast as a mark of respect to the late Field-Marshal. The Tower, being a fortress, is under the jurisdiction of the Constable. The Custom House flies its own flag, like the Admiralty, and it is much regretted that through a misunderstanding this flag was not dropped. Instructions were given for the flag on the Houses of Parliament to tie flown at half mast during the funeral ceremony.

Has the hon. Gentleman received any explanation from the Constable of the Tower for the want of respect shown there?

May I ask you, Mr. Speaker, whether it was with your concurrence and approval that the notice appeared on Monday morning, the day of the funeral, stating that only those ticket-holders, Members of this House and others, who happened to possess near them Court suits or uniforms could attend the funeral?

I was one of those most anxious to pay my respects to the memory of the late Field-Marshal, but I was precluded from doing so. Although I have outgrown my Court suit, I have a uniform, but not here.