§ 35. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary if he will specify in each of the thirteen cases in Ireland in which persons have been expelled from their homes and business under the Defence of the Realm Act, the nature of the charge and of the evidence; if the accused was summoned before any tribunal, what its constitution was; whether he was allowed to offer any explanation or defence; and what the duration of the sentence is?
§ The CHIEF SECRETARY for IRELAND (Mr. Birrell)
I may say generally that in each of the thirteen cases referred to the order was issued by the competent military authority on the ground that the 1633 person named in it was suspected of acting in a manner prejudicial to the public safety or the defence of the realm, but it would be undesirable to give more precise details of the nature of the charge or of the evidence. The regulation under which action was taken does not provide for the establishment of any tribunal other than the competent authority. Any representations made by or on behalf of any person on whom such an order has been served are duly considered by that authority. In two cases the orders have now been withdrawn, but in the remainder they are still in force.
§ 36. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Chief Secretary if he will specify, in each of the eight cases in Ireland in which persons have been deprived of their employment in the public service for alleged offences relating to politics, the nature of the charge and of the evidence, the time and opportunity afforded for defence or explanation, the constitution of the Court adjudicating, and the Statute, if not the Defence of the Realm Act, under which the proceedings were taken?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The general grounds on which the employment of eight persons in the public service in Ireland has been terminated were given in my reply to the hon. Member of the 23rd instant, and I do not consider it desirable to give details of the charges or of the evidence in individual cases. Where there was any suggestion that the conduct of the persons affected had been misrepresented, full opportunity was afforded them of rebutting the charges brought against them. The termination of service was directed in each case by the head or heads of the Departments concerned in pursuance of the powers vested in them and governing the employment of the persons dealt with.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Can the right hon. Gentleman explain how these vacancies were filled up—whether they were filled by the appointment of those members of the Civil Service who gave the information?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I feel pretty certain it was not so, but I am not in a position to give the hon. Gentleman definite information.