§ MR. J. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has received a copy of a Resolution adopted by the Legislative Council of Cape Colony, praying that Her Majesty's Government would see its way clear to advise Her Majesty to exercise her clemency towards certain prisoners undergoing punishment in connection with questions affecting the political condition of Ireland; and whether 16 he has sent any, and, if so what, reply to that Resolution?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I received last year a Resolution adopted by the Legislative Council of the Cape Colony, in which the release of the Reform prisoners by the Government of the South African Republic was referred to, and a hope was expressed that like clemency would be extended by Her Majesty's Government towards prisoners undergoing punishment for similar offences in connection with questions affecting the political condition of Ireland. I replied that I was unable to admit that the offences of which the prisoners in this country referred to were guilty, and which included attempts at assassination and projected outrages endangering the lives of men, women and children in no way responsible for political action, bore any resemblance to the purely political offences charged against the members of the Johannesburg Reform Committee. [Cheers.]