HC Deb 01 March 1849 vol 103 cc10-1

begged to ask a question of the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, upon a subject which he had brought under his notice upon a previous occasion. It related to six gentlemen who were in confinement in Ireland under the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. He had received a letter from one of those gentlemen, stating that four out of the number had had no hand in communicating with the newspapers; and had never in any way infringed upon the prison regulations, although they were now suffering for the faults of those who had pursued another line of conduct. He wish to hear from the Government whether they had been made aware that such was the state of the case?


replied, that since a similar question had been put to him on a previous evening he had made inquiries, and ascertained the facts of the case. It appeared that those six prisoners had been originally confined on the felons' side of the gaol, but subsequently, as an indulgence, and without any order from the Lord Lieutenant—which, however, was not necessary—they were removed to the debtors' side; and the sheriff stated that, although no distinct pledge was given, a pledge was implied that they should not avail themselves of the facilities which prisoners in that part of the prison had to forward communications for publication to the newspapers. Communications from them, nevertheless, appeared in certain journals; and the matter having been brought to the notice of the superintendent of the gaol, an inquiry was instituted, the result of which was an order to the governor to send them back to the felons' side. Of the six prisoners, two, it was stated, refused absolutely to refrain from availing themselves of any facilities that offered to communicate with newspapers; but the order having been made for the removal of the whole, they were all accordingly removed. It was necessary to add, that the cells allotted to them were the best on that side of the prison, and in a part where the rules were not so strict as in some others; in proof of which, he might observe that he had received communications from two of the prisoners, in which they stated that they had read the discussions upon the subject of their imprisonment which had taken place in the House of Commons.

Back to