[ 31 October 1920 ]

On this day in 1920  Austen Chamberlain, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer who was considered a dovish moderate on the issue of Ireland, wrote to his sister reminding her of the positive impact of brutal acts of British retribution against Irish civilians.  It was he claimed, “a fact that the reprisals had secured the safety of the police in places where previously they were shot down like vermin.”[1]

General Sir Nevil Macready, who was the commander in chief of British forces in Ireland, concurred, noting that the “whole atmosphere” had “changed from one of hostility to one of cringing submission” with locals touching their caps to military officers as they passed in the street.[2]


  1. Austen to Hilda Chamberlain, 31 October 1920 quoted in Charles Townsend (2014)”The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence,” Penguin Books, London p164
  2. Macready quoted in Ibid p164.

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