§ 11. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he has brought, or will bring, under the notice of the United States Government the fact that Dr. Patrick M'Cartan, an American citizen, has been, with others, 2010 deported from Ireland and is now interned at Oxford, without trial, and on no charge but an alleged suspicion of having acted, acting, or being about to act in a manner prejudicial to the public safety, and whether the American Government requires a charge to be formulated and tried in a civil Court in this case?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. Balfour)
I have no knowledge of the case to which the hon. Member refers.
§ Mr. BALFOUR
I do not think it is the business of the Foreign Office to interfere in internal matters.
§ 41. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Attorney-General for Ireland under what Statute fifty policemen, fully armed with rifles, bayonets, and revolvers, entered Ballinagh on the 12th instant, and with the assistance of the local police arrested the four youths, Charles Fitzpatrick, John Kinkart, Roland Finnigan, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, for having a week earlier celebrated the Nationalist electoral victory in North Roscommon, brought them handcuffed in pairs and without food to Belfast, and handed them over to the military authorities who discharged them on the 15th instant; and under what Statute the police, after that discharge, again arrested them for the same alleged offence and brought them before two magistrates in Belfast who, after the police had failed to produce any evidence of sedition and had sworn that the youths had been sober and orderly and had gone home early on the night in question, imposed a fine of £10 upon each; for what supposed offence was this fine imposed; what evidence was produced that this offence had been committed; if any but police evidence existed why it was not produced; whether the defendants have refused to pay the fines for an offence not proved; what imprisonment they are now enduring in default; and whether the Lord Chancellor has considered the conduct of the magistrates in this case?
§ Mr. DUKE
The men referred to were arrested in Ballinagh on the morning of the 12th instant and taken by train to Belfast, but not without food. They were tried before two justices on charges under the Defence of the Realm Acts of, inter alia, having attempted to cause 2011 sedition or disaffection by singing disloyal songs and making use of disloyal expressions. There was no denial of this charge, and a fine of £10, or in default, three months' imprisonment was inflicted. The defendants refused to pay the fine, but not on the plea that no offence was committed, and they are undergoing the term of imprisonment.
§ Mr. GINNELL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the county council and the district council of Cavan have condemned these arrests on the ground that they are in conflict with the professed Government policy of increased food production?
§ 43. Mr. GINNELL
asked the Home Secretary whether, since the 19th December, when he refused to release the ten Irish youths under nineteen, now in penal servitude by order of a secret court-martial, he has verified the statement made on the 11th May by the then Prime Minister (OFFICIAL REPORT, page 956) that, as regards the rank and file, many of them very young men, even lads….what in their case is a merely venial and pardonable error; and whether, in the spirit of that view, he will now release those youths?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir G. Cave)
I have read the passage to which the hon. Member refers. The late Prime Minister in the sentence partly quoted in the question referred only to those members of the rank and file who had been duped or misled into the rebellion. I have no reason to believe that the prisoners to whom the hon. Member refers come within that category.