CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - CUSTODY OF SPORTING GUNS.

PADRAIG Mac ARTAIN

To ask the Minister for Defence whether all sporting guns handed over to the British Authorities and stored in Island Bridge Barracks are now in possession of the Government; further, if the more expensive guns were removed before Island Bridge Barracks was handed over to the Irish Government, and whether, prior to the introduction of the Indemnity (British Military) Bill in Dáil Eireann the British Government agreed to compensate the owners of such guns.

All guns handed over to the British Authorities are not in our possession. Arrangements were made prior to the final evacuation of the British that we would take care of such as could be identified. Others were transferred to England. No doubt, claims for compensation by persons who voluntarily surrendered arms which cannot eventually be returned will be considered by the British Authorities.

Through what channels are the claims to be put forward?

At the present moment I am in communication with certain solicitors who desire to state claims, and I believe that these claims will be put forward through the Ministry to the British, but when the general question arises, at least when a decision has been taken with regard to the general return of these arms, a more satisfactory and expeditious method of dealing with these things will probably be arranged.