HC Deb 17 July 1916 vol 84 cc663-4
100. Mr. DORIS

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Mr. Joseph M'Bride, an Irish prisoner in Wakefield Prison, is treated with severity and cruelty; that this untried prisoner is kept in solitary confinement, not being allowed to associate with the other untried prisoners; that Mr. M'Bride, an aged man broken in sorrow over the fate of his younger brother, Major John M'Bride, is confined to his cell continuously from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. with no room for exercise, and that his health is being seriously undermined by these hours of confinement; that parcels of clothing and necessaries addressed to him by his friends have not been delivered to him by the prison officials; and whether this treatment will be terminated and Mr. M'Bride brought to trial or released forthwith?


I must correct the hon. Gentleman on one point. Mr. Joseph M'Bride is not in Wakefield Prison, but in Reading Prison, which is under the jurisdiction of the Home Office. I am informed that he is not in solitary confinement, and that he is treated in exactly the same way as the other Irish prisoners. The question of his release is, of course, one for the Advisory Committee, and not for the Army Council.


Could the hon. Gentleman say why M'Bride and other Irish prisoners have been transferred to Reading, and whether it is a fact that Joseph M'Bride, who is a very delicate man, was left for a long period with insufficient clothing, whilst parcels of clothing sent to him by friends from Ireland were not delivered to him?


I am afraid that I must ask for notice of that question.

101. Mr. LYNCH

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can state the names of any persons from county Clare still detained as prisoners on account of the rising in Dublin; and whether, in view of the fact that no disturbances of the peace occurred in Clare, he will consider the advisability of allowing these prisoners to return to their homes?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. It would be contrary to practice to give lists of names; but I may say that most of the cases from county Clare have been considered by the Advisory Committee and that effect will be given in due course to their recommendations.


Can the hon. Gentleman explain why it is the Government meticulously inquire into the alleged offences of these country youths while they pass the sponge over the fact of an unarmed citizen being killed in the streets of Dublin?