HC Deb 28 July 1915 vol 73 cc2259-60

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether the military authorities administering the Defence of the Realm Act are anywhere, except in Ireland, ordering out of their native country men against whom no charge has been made and imprisoning such as refuse to go; whether they are anywhere, except in Ireland, serving such men with copies of the Aliens Restriction Act and rules thereunder; whether this treatment of Irishmen as aliens in their own country has been found to help recruiting there; and can he state any purpose that it is calculated to serve except provocation?


In reply to the first part of the question, I have already on several occasions stated that the Defence of the Realm Regulations are being administered by the military authorities with absolute impartiality throughout the United Kingdom. There is no foundation for the suggestion that Irishmen have been treated as aliens or subjected to the provisions of the Aliens Restriction Order. In the four cases which the hon. Member has in mind the competent military authority directed that the persons named in the Orders and prohibited from residing in Ireland should report their proposed new place of residence to him for approval. It was at the same time intimated to them that certain areas, including those defined as prohibited areas by Order in Council under the Aliens Restriction Act, would not be approved, and in order to assist them in their selection copies of the Order in Council containing a list of the prohibited areas were handed to them. This limitation of the areas in which they might in future reside was, however, imposed on them entirely in pursuance of powers vested in the competent authority by Article 14 of the Defence of the Realm Regulations.


I beg to give notice that on the Motion for the Adjournment I will call attention to this matter.