§ MR. CALLAN
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, in view of the facts recently disclosed in the letter of His Grace the Archbishop of Tuam to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and which it appears is to form the subject matter of an Amendment on the Address, the Government will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of the dying decal- 160 rations of two of the men executed for the Maamtrasna murders, admitting their own guilt, but solemnly declaring the innocence of Myles Joyce, executed at the same time, made before Mr. Brady, R.M. in the presence of the Governor of Galway Prison, on the day but one and the day before the executions, which are referred to in the Memorandum of the Under Secretary as having "formed the subject of the most anxious consideration on the part of His Excellency?" He would further say that part of the Question of which he had given Notice had been suppressed; but he proposed, nevertheless, to put it.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The supplementary Question which the hon. Member now proposes to put was, by my direction, expunged, and I cannot allow it to be put.
§ MR. CALLAN
Then I will put the Question to the Prime Minister as it now stands on the Paper, with certain words carefully suppressed.
I will only refer to the Question as I have seen it. As I understand, it is a perfectly well-established practice in the Home Office with regard to England and Scotland, and in the Irish Government with regard to Ireland—and it is a practice which they conceive best in the interests of public justice—to withhold statements and confessions made by persons under sentence of death. That being the established practice, it would not be deemed advisable to depart from it.
§ MR. CALLAN
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman, in the presence of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, was that principle followed in the case of the dying declaration of Peace?
§ MR. HARRINGTON
Arising out of the right hon. Gentleman's reply, may I ask, whether it is not the fact that depositions of this description were given by the Irish Government in the case of Francis Hynes; and, whether the Chief Secretary for Ireland did not state to the House that that was done for the purpose of vindicating the jury?
From the Office which I hold I am not conversant with the actual Departmental practice in these matters. All I can say is that I will carefully inform myself on any inquiry which any hon. Gentleman may be disposed to put to me.