71. Mr. NUGENT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the German prisoners in this country and the Irish prisoners at Frongoch are treated as political prisoners, will he state why the Irish prisoners sentenced for political offences arising in Ireland, and at present detained at Dartmoor, Portland, and other prisoners, are treated as common criminals?
The Irish prisoners referred to were convicted of criminal offences and sentenced to penal servitude or imprisonment: they are not entitled to any special treatment on the ground that their offences were of a political character. Special treatment on that ground has never been given to prisoners under sentence of penal servitude. I may say, however, that these prisoners have a liberal allowance of books, and will be allowed to receive technical and educational books, including books in the Irish language.
§ Mr. LUNDON
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some of the German prisoners interned in this country are guilty of the murder of women and children in Belgium, and why are these men, who did not take up arms, treated on different lines from those German prisoners?
These are men who have been convicted of criminal offences and sentenced to terms of penal servitude or imprisonment.