§ MR. O'DOHERTY (Donegal, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the provisions of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, for payment out of moneys provided by Parliament for the defence of persons charged whose trial has been removed, have been at all put into operation, and to what extent; whether any direction under the 14th section of that Act have been given by the Lord Lieutenant with respect to persons charged and their counsel; whether the rules made under the 15th section have been construed by Crown Solicitors as tying them down to the payment of travelling expenses only; and, whether, having regard to the trial of a score of poor Donegal peasants in Queen's County, he will see that proper directions for the payment of the cost of the defence are given at once?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The provisions of the Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, referred to in the first paragraph of the question, have been put into operation. The directions referred to in the second paragraph have been given. Crown Solicitors have not construed the rules made under the 15th section as limiting payments to travelling expenses only. In addition to those payments an allowance, according to a scale approved by the Treasury, 784 is made for maintenance and loss of time to traversers and their witnesses. The necessary directions have already been given for the payment, according to the fixed scale, of such of the expenses in connection with the prosecution mentioned as are authorised under the Act.
§ MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
Are we to understand that in the case of these poor men who were arrested last February, whose families have been impoverished by their long imprisonment, and who are to be kept in prison till next October, the trial has been removed to the centre of Ireland, a long distance away, and the Government are not going to pay the expenses of their solicitors?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I have done my best to answer the question on the Paper. If the right hon. Gentleman will put a question on the Paper, I will do my best to find out what the practice is.