§ 33. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the declaration of Mr. Wynne, paid magistrate, when sentencing a man at Cahirciveen under the Defence of the Realm Act, on the unsupported evidence of the man's assailants, that in future any person in Cahirciveen infringing that Act would be imprisoned for six months with hard labour; will he say by w hose direction that sentence in future cases was pronounced; and whether, in order to prevent the creation of bogus eases, Mr. Wynne will be transferred to some other district and a successor appointed?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
I am informed that the statement made by the resident magistrate in passing sentence in the case referred to was to the effect that the magistrates looked on offences against the Defence of the Realm Acts as very serious, and that, although on this occasion the defendant was only sentenced to fourteen days' imprisonment with hard labour, persons convicted under the Acts were liable to six months with hard labour, which penalty might be expected to be enforced in future cases, if the offences were proved. This statement was made 189 with the full approval of the other magistrates on the Bench with the very proper object of insisting publicly on the gravity of offences of this character, and I see no grounds for taking any action in the matter.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I am always ready to look into anything, but it is rather difficult to see how a thing can be vexatious if it is proved that the Acts committed are offences and liable to cause danger.
§ Mr. T. M. HEALY
Did not every independent witness in this case swear that what the sailors said was untrue, and were they not dismissed from their ship for drunkenness?
§ 34. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland from what extent of Ireland The O'Rahilly is now excluded under the Defence of the Realm Act, and for what offence?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
An order has been served by the competent military authority on Mr. M. J. O'Rahilly prohibiting him from residing in or entering any part of Counties Kerry, Cork, and Limerick. The order is made in pursuance of the discretion vested in the competent authority by Article 14 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations in cases where persons are suspected of acting, or of having acted, or of being about to act, in a manner prejudicial to the public safety or the defence of the Realm.
§ Mr. GINNELL
The right hon. Gentleman has not stated what The O'Rahilly did, or is suspected of having done, or is suspected of being about to do? That is what I want to know.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
That was a matter which came before the competent authority. They were of opinion that this gentleman was acting, or was likely to act, in a manner prejudicial to the welfare of the Realm.