HC Deb 26 July 1915 vol 73 cc1963-4

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War if he is now in a position to say whether the order for the expulsion of Mr. Denis MacCullagh from Ireland for his political opinions, without trial or accusation, has been executed; if the period allowed him for preparation was extended, to what condition was the extension subject; and what part of the Defence of the Realm Act is relied upon to impose this condition?


MacCullagh has been arrested and will be brought up for trial on a charge of failing to comply with the order made against him by the Competent Military Authority. The period within which he was directed so to comply was extended at his request on condition that he refrained in the meantime from attending or addressing any political meeting. The right of the competent authority to grant this conditional extension is vested in him by Article 14 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations.


asked why Mr. Herbert Pim has been arrested and imprisoned in Ireland, instead of being expelled, for his political opinions; why his mother has been refused permission to visit him except in the presence and hearing of officials; whether protests have been made against this treatment of a gentleman neither tried for nor accused of any illegality; and under what law or rule be is subjected to this treatment?


Herbert Pim is charged with an offence against the Defence of the Realm Regulations in that he failed to comply with an order made against him by the Competent Military Authority, and he has been arrested as a preliminary for his trial for that offence, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations. It is a matter of prison regulation that visits to prisoners other than those of persons acting as legal advisers to them or conducting legal proceedings on their behalf are only permitted in the sight and hearing of a prison officer. I am informed that a protest has been received by the Competent Military Authority against the enforcement of this regulation in the case of Pim.


By whose direction have these Irishmen been served in Ireland with copies of the Aliens Restriction Act and of the rules thereunder, and is there any other purpose in serving these orders than provocation?


I shall be obliged if the hon. Gentleman will give me notice of that.


Is it true that the Government is using the extraordinary powers of the Defence of the Realm Act to harry or in any way persecute men on account of their political opinions?


There is absolutely no truth in it.