HC Deb 20 March 1917 vol 92 cc571-3

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland (1) whether the arrest and deportation of Mr. J. J. O' Kelly, without charge or trial, was-because he is secretary of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language, a purely literary body, which has been publishing an annual volume of Irish literature and has undertaken a scheme for writing the whole history of Ireland in modern Irish based on the baronial division; whether the material for the annual report of this society, taken from Mr. O' Kelly's house by the military last May, will now be returned to him; (2). whether the arrest and deportation of Mr. J. J. O' Kelly, without charge or trial, was because he is vice-president of the Gaelic League, and a member of and constant attendant on its four most active subcommittees, namely, the Oireachtas committee, which holds an annual festival extending over a week, and is devoted to the revival of the language, literature, social customs, songs, stories, music, art, pastimes, and industries of Ireland; the finance committee; the publications committee; the committee charged with education and organisation; and whether all these activities are now held to be illegal; and (3) whether the arrest and deportation of Mr. J. J. O' Kelly, without charge or trial, was due to his criticism in the "Catholic Bulletin" of the proposal to partition Ireland, or to his criticism of the Hardinge Commission on-the insurrection, or to his criticism of the financial provisions in the Government of Ireland Act, or to his criticism of the three Irish Members of Parliament on whose advice Ireland has been ruled in recent years; and whether all or any of such criticisms are now held to be illegal?


I can add nothing to the answers I have made to the numerous questions asked by the hon. Member on this subject.


The right hon. Gentleman has not informed the House whether any of these activities are illegal, and why this gentleman has been deported without charge or trial. May I ask for an answer to the question on the Paper, whether those are the offences? Mr. Speaker, am I not entitled to an answer?


The hon. Member has had his answer.


No; I have had no answer.


It may not suit the hon. Member, but he has had an answer.


Has this gentleman committed any offence whatever?


asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland, seeing that the War Office and the Home Office say that the control and maintenance of those deported from Ireland without charge or trial rest with the Irish Office, will he say what the intentions of the Government are regarding the places in which, the conditions under which, and the time for which the deportees are to be compelled to reside; why Irish newspapers sent to them by friends are not allowed to reach them: and what are the arrangements for their maintenance and the maintenance of their dependent families in Ireland deprived of their breadwinners?


The matters mentioned in the first part of the question are controlled by the military authorities under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, and] cannot find that any suggestion to the contrary has been made. No stoppage of newspapers has been made by any Irish Department; or, so far as I know, by any Department. In any case in which the question of dependants arises inquiry will be made, and any necessary action directed.

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