HC Deb 19 October 1916 vol 86 cc703-4

asked the Chief Secretary if he can say what has been the result of the Wilson-Byrne Inquiry into the case of Maurice Collins, a member of the Dublin post office staff, who was suspected of having taken part in the recent rebellion; whether he is aware that Mr. Collins was released from Frongoch Internment Camp by the Advisory Committee on their having heard his statement; having regard to this fact, will he say whether there was any evidence against him that "was not before the Advisory Committee; if so, who gave it; whether it was given on oath; and, if no further evidence was given, will he say why he has not since been reinstated in his position?


Maurice Collins was released from Frongoch in July on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee. Subsequently the Commissioners appointed to review the cases of Civil servants alleged to be implicated in the rebellion, after hearing his statements at length, recommended his dismissal from the Civil Service, and he has been dismissed. They kept no formal notes of their evidence, and they inform me that they took no other evidence in this case beyond Collins' own statement, which was not on oath. The Advisory Committee, over which Mr. Justice Sankey presided, were concerned only with the question whether continued internment was or was not necessary in the interest of the public safety, and it by no means follows that because that Committee held that a person need not be kept any longer in detention he is. therefore, suitable to be reinstated and retained in the Civil Service of the Crown.


Will the right hon. Gentleman publish the decisions of the Wilson-Byrne Inquiry and the evidence on which they relied, and is he aware that grave dissatisfaction exists in Ireland, and the impression is created that these Government officers are being penalised in the interests of the ascendancy gang who require offices?


The hon. Gentleman is asking questions which the Home Secretary could not possibly answer.


Will the right hon. Gentleman publish the Report of the Wilson-Byrne Inquiry, and the grounds on which these men were dismissed from their positions?


That question was asked a few days ago of the Chief Secretary and was answered by him.


What answer did he give?