HC Deb 12 October 1916 vol 86 cc175-6
69. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Home Secretary if he has yet considered the advisability of releasing the Irish lady prisoners now interned in Aylesbury without trial?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

Miss Ellen Ryan having given an undertaking in the terms which I stated to the House in answer to a question on Tuesday last, directions have been given for her release. There remain only two Irish lady prisoners, and the circumstances of their cases do not render it advisable to authorise their release at the present time, even if they were willing to give the prescribed undertaking. They therefore remain interned in accordance with the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, who fully considered their cases.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the two remaining interned ladies have to mix with the lowest criminals in the land?


The hon. Member is entirely mistaken. These ladies are confined in an institution at Aylesbury, where there are no other prisoners except those like themselves.

70. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Home Secretary if he has received any complaints into the treatment of the Irish prisoners at Frongoch Camp; and what steps, if any, he will take to see that the prisoners receive proper food and facilities such as would be granted to untried prisoners in any civilised country in the world?


I have received some complaints with reference to the treatment of the prisoners at Frongoch. On my instructions the camp has been inspected three times, and on each occasion I have received a favourable report. I am in constant correspondence with the commandant with a view to redressing any grievances which may be found to have a reasonable foundation.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that thirty of these Irish prisoners are grouped with others and asked to draw shingle up a hill; is he also aware that they complain that the bread they are receiving is both black and sour, and unfit for use?


No, Sir; neither of those complaints has reached me, and I should be surprised if either of them has any foundation.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give facilities for an inquiry into this matter by a Commission?


No, Sir; I do not think any case for a Commission has been made out.