§ 52. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Prime Minister if he will now state the composition of the tribunal and the character of the promised public inquiry into the killing of non-combatant civilians by the military in Dublin in connection with the recent insurrection; whether the inquiry will embrace the cases of the three non-combatant civilians, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Thomas Dickson, and Patrick M'Intyre, shot at Portobello Barracks and buried in the barrack yard; the cases of the seventy-one prisoners, including women, shot in Richmond Barracks and buried without identification; the cases of Ernest 1665 Cavanagh, John Hewson, William Maguire, Harris, Casey, and Fowler, shot in the Eden Quay area the cases of Thomas Hickey, Christopher Hickey, Peter Connolly, Peter Lawless, James M'Carthy, Patrick Hoey, and George Ewing, shot in houses in North King Street and buried in cellars and yards there; the cases of Councillor Carroll, Patrick Nolan, and a boy named Coade; the case of Patrick Derrick, shot in the yard of his father's house in Eustace Street; the case of the Reverend Father Watters, shot dead by soldiers when on his way to administer the last sacraments to the dying; Nurse Kehoe, shot by soldiers while engaged in her professional duties; Mrs. Naylor, shot on Great Brunswick Street bridge; if all those cases are not to be inquired into, will he state the grounds for differentiation; whether all the officers and men involved in all those cases will be produced for examination and cross-examination; whether civilian witnesses will be allowed to appear and give evidence without adverse consequences from the Government; and when the inquiry will open?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
With regard to the first part of the question the composition of the tribunal of inquiry into the shootings at Portobello Barracks, which are the only cases in which a public inquiry has been promised, is in course of settlement, and I hope to make an announcement on the subject very soon. Public inquiries have not been promised into the other cases mentioned in the question. I stated my reasons for this decision on the 17th of this month in reply to a question by the hon. Member for East Mayo.
§ Mr. O'SHAUGHNESSY
Will the public inquiry include the shooting of one man in Phoenix Park who was a non-combatant?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I do not know to what the hon. Member refers. I said shooting at the Portobello Barracks.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Does the Prime Minister maintain that the failure to give a ministerial pledge deprives the people in Ireland of rights they otherwise have? Will the Prime Minister explain why he distinguishes between the Sheehy-Skeffington case and other cases under precisely the same circumstances, and how he reconciles the answer he has just given with that 1666 given on the 10th May, in which he said that similar cases would be followed by similar procedure?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I have already answered this question many times. I do not want to repeat what I have said.
§ 67. Mr. P. WHITE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, why he refused permission to the hon. Member for North Meath to visit Arthur Griffith, an untried prisoner detained at Reading?
Arthur Griffith is interned at Reading. The grounds for his internment are stated in the notice of the Order which has been served upon him. I have not yet received any recommendation about him from the Advisory Committee, but they are dealing this week with the cases of all the Irish prisoners at Reading who have not previously appeared before them. Griffith is allowed to receive visits in accordance with the rules. Applications from Members of Parliament to pay special visits have been exceedingly numerous, and are allowed as far as possible, but a certain discretion had to be exercised in the matter.
If the hon. Member who has put the question is specially desirous of visiting this man I will certainly arrange it.
There is a very large number of visits, and it is quite impossible for me to know about every one of them.