HC Deb 21 February 1917 vol 90 c1332
76. Mr. C. DUNCAN

asked the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that there are persons in Scotland convicted of political offences who are being treated like ordinary criminals and are compelled to do routine work usually allocated to prisoners of the most degraded type; and whether he will consider the advisability of introducing legislation to secure that persons convicted in Scotland of political offences may be punished in a manner commensurate with the offence and not be placed in the same category as ordinary criminals, and thus bring Scottish law into conformity with that prevailing in England?


I am not aware how precisely my hon. Friend would define a political offence, but it is the case that no special treatment has in Scotland been accorded to offenders against the Defence of the Realm Regulations. In England a Court may, in the exercise of their discretion, allocate offenders to the first or second division. This system has not been applied to Scotland, and I am not prepared, under existing conditions, to introduce legislation for the special benefit of this class of offenders.