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INNER HISTORY DISCLOSED AT OFFICIAL INQUIRY. MIMIC ATTACK ON DUBLIN CASTLE. At the official inquiry into the causes of the rebellion in Ireland remarkable evidence was given by Sir Matthew Nathan, who re- cently resigned the Irish Under-Secretary- ship. I/_>rd Hardinge is chairman of the Com- m-dwü, and with him are Mr. Justice Shearman and Sir Mackenzie Chalmers (late iirxler-SecTetary of the Home Office). The Commission, said Lord Hardinge, pro- posed first of all to inquire into what system there was in force in Ireland to enable the officials to obtain information as to the movement which led up to the rebellion: what information eacn. responsible official obtained; to whom he communicated it; and what steps were taken on the information received. Sir Matthew Nathan's statement traced the rapid growth of the Sinn Fein move- ment throughout Ireland since the com- mencement of the war. At the time of the rebellion the police estimated that the num- ber in the movement was 15,200, and the j majority had enrolled as Irish Volunteers. Considerable sums of money, said Sir Matthew, had been supplied to the move- ment in Ireland by sympathisers in America. It was estimated that < £ 16,000 was received from America and paid into the Dublin banks from the middle of September, 1914, to the following April, when the money was withdrawn. The police had ascertained that shortly before the outbreak of the insurrection there were 1,886 rifles and a number of guns and pistols in the Irish provinces, and 825 rifles and an unknown number of other fire- arms in Dublin. Referring to the importation of arms, Sir Matthew 'said a search was made in Dublin, but had not revealed any considerable store either of arms or ammunition. There had been, however, considerable thefts of ex- plosives, and bombs had been manufac- tured at various places in Ireland and in Scotland. "Dealing with events which immediately preceded the rebellion, Sir Matthew said that early in March notification was re- ceived by Sinn Fein leaders in Iieland that it was the intention of Germany to strike a final blow on land, sea and air. The Irish Volunteers were asked to be ready to render their promised assistance. WHERE IS MONTEITH? I Leaders of the anti-British movement in Ireland declared that it would be madness to attempt a rising unless the help promised by Monteith was immediately available. Monteith was a dismissed ordnance store- keeper who had gone to America and was supposed to be in Germany. Sir Mackenzie Chalmers: What has hap- pened to Monteith? Sir Matthew Nathan: He escaped when Bailey was taken. He had several consul- tations with leaders in Ulster. Sir Matthew stated that on April 17 a letter was shown which told of a contem- plated landing from a disguised German ship accompanied by two submarines with arms and ammunition on the south-west coast of Ireland, with a view to reaching Limerick and arriving on Easter Eve. The letter was shown to the Inspoctor-General of the R.I.C., and sub-inspectors in the south and south-west counties were put on their guard. On the evening of April 18 the police re- ceived an intimation from a woman that the Castle would be attacked on the night of the 19th, but nothing occurred. On the evening of the 22nd the R.I.C. re- ported the receipt of a message from the county inspector at Tralee that in the morn- ing they had captured a boat with 1,000 rounds of ammunition and three rifles. The inspector also reported that they had arrested one of the three men and that the other two had escaped. On the 22nd the sinking of the Aude was reported. The possibility of a rising was always kept in view. A movable force of 2,500 men, some mounted, with three field guns, was in existence, and 1,000 men were to be turned out in Dublin if required. I A REBEL MAJORITY OF ONE. Sir Matthew next dealt with a proposal made at one time to intern T. J. Clarke and the leaders in England under the Defence of the Realm Act. The Home Office, however, required evidence of actual connection with the enemy, which was not available. The witness then told how the leaders met on the Saturday or the Sunday and de- cided by a majority of one to start the in- surrection. In reply to Mr. Justice Shearman, Sir Matthew said he thought there was no statute in Ireland preventing armed drilling with an illegal purpose, and he added, "W were not deterred from taking action by the absence of statute.. We were deterred frankly for political reasons." Mr. Justice Shearman observed that when women were being trained for hospital work and first-aid it was obvious that they were training for war in Ireland. They were drill- ing for the purposes of rebellion. They were also conducting sham attacks on Dublin Castle. What action was taken then? Sir Matthew was understood to reply that the Chief Secretary was fully aware of these things. Both items of information were at hie disposal. Lord Hardinge: Did it not strike you at the time as a rather extraordinary thing that these people should have been per- mitted to make a mimic attack on Dublin Castle and notliing- done to prevent it?—Of course, we were accustomed to all sorts of operations in Ireland. Did it not strike you as coming rather nearer home than the usual military parades?—I thought it very undesirable. Lord Hardinge: You did not regard thie sham attack as a dress rehearsal?—No. I Was the fact that no notice was taken in accordance with the general policy laid down by those responsible?—It was in accordance with the general lines of policy. 'I -—— ——'

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