HC Deb 12 October 1915 vol 74 c1168

asked the Under-Secretary for War if there is any reason for the exceptional administration of the Defence of the Realm Act in Ireland as compared with its administration in the rest of the United Kingdom other than the prevalence of political opinion different from that of the Government, will he say what it is; whether there are in any other part of the United Kingdom persons undergoing imprisonment under that Act who have not been accused of, or tried for, any illegality; and whether he will state the text of the Regulation, and the provisions, of the Act on which it was based, under which persons are now in prison in Ireland with reference to whom the Crown expressly refused to state any charge for answer, defence, or investigation?


With reference to the first and second parts of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply which I gave the hon. Member on the 28th July last. The persons referred to in the third! part were charged with, and convicted of, a definite offence against the Defence of the Realm Regulations in that they had failed to comply with an Order made against them by the Competent Military Authority in pursuance of powers vested in him by Article 14 of the Regulations.


Is it not the fact that these gentlemen are now in prison for no other offence than refusing to leave their native land? Are there any persons in this country in prison for that offence?


I am not aware whether any person in this country has been served with a similar Order, and declined to obey it. If anyone had done so, he would have been in precisely the same position.