HC Deb 24 July 1916 vol 84 cc1326-7

asked the Attorney-General why the simple charge against Labras Uasal Mag Fionngail, of having written his name in Irish at Knutsford on the 25th June, was not dealt with immediately after: why it was not fully dealt with even at Bow Street on the 15th instant; whether the prosecution was instituted, and the long delay to the 28th obtained, at the instance of the Irish party, with a view to removing the defendant's opposition to the proposal for the partition of Ireland; whether he is aware that this is confirmed by the fact that Mr. Martin, of the Passport Office, invited the defendant to Whitehall, ostensibly for information already given to him but really to get the defendant arrested there; and having regard to the simplicity of the charge, whether he will have the case finally dealt with to-morrow instead of the 28th instant?


The charge against the hon. Gentleman is not correctly described in the question. It could not be dealt with before the 15th July, the interval between the 25th June and that date being occupied in making the necessary inquiries previous to launching a criminal charge. It was not fully dealt with on the 15th instant, as it was impossible between the hour of arrest at 10 a.m. and the hour of the hearing, 11 a.m., at Bow Street on that day, to secure the attendance of the witnesses, some of whom reside in the country. As to the next parts of the question, the answer is in the negative. As regards the last part of the question, it is entirely a matter for the magistrate.


Why was not the defendant in this case summoned before the magistrate, instead of being arrested and brought before him in custody?


If the hon. Member will give me notice of the question I will give an answer.