§ MR. M'CARTAN (Down, S.)
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether his attention had been called to the evictions commenced on the Skinners' Estate, near Draperstown, County Derry, on, Monday last; whether 250 policemen, 1785 under command of one Divisional Magistrate, one Resident Magistrate, one county inspector, and five district inspectors, have been sent there by the Government to assist the sheriffs, bailiffs, and emergency men in carrying out the evictions; whether the shopkeepers of Draperstown kept their shutters on their windows when the evicting force were leaving the town for the scene of action on Monday morning; whether the shopkeepers and car owners refused to have any dealings with the police when engaged on these evictions, and whether the public pump of Drapers-town was locked against them; whether the cars ordered by the authorities from Coleraine and Derry were unable to reach the evicting parties, owing to the removal of the bridges, and on account of the obstacles placed, in their way; whether the police, before their departure from Draperstown on Monday morning, charged with drawn swords men, women, and children in the streets of the town; whether he can state the number of the persons evicted and the amount of rent, and also the amount of costs due by each evicted tenant; and, whether the authorities will permit the Irish National League to erect huts or sheds on the evicted farms, in which the homeless tenants and their families can obtain shelter, pending the passing of the remedial measures for the Irish tenants?
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER SECRETARY (Colonel KING-HARMAN) (Kent, Isle of Thanet)
(who replied): A force of 200 police was sent not to assist, but to protect the Sheriff when carrying out the evictions on the Skinners' estate. I regret to say that it is true that the party met with a considerable amount of opposition and obstruction as mentioned. It is not a fact that the police charged any persons with drawn swords in the streets; a party of truncheon men, however, did disperse a disorderly mob. The number of persons evicted was 38 from six holdings. The total amount due was £203, which includes £68 borrowed money, and the costs in one case £4 10s. and in the remainder £2 10s. in each. As to the last part of the Question, the authorities have no power whatever to direct or order landlords to allow huts or sheds to be erected on evicted farms.