HC Deb 11 April 1918 vol 104 cc1616-7
16. Mr. LYNCH

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he can give any information as to the seizure of the plant of the "Clare Champion"; whether he can cite any passages in the paper which transgressed the law; and, if not, whether he can state the instructions given to the military authorities in Ireland as to the manner in which they are required to interpret their duties?


The attention of those responsible for the printing and publication of the "Clare Champion" was drawn to the fact that matter was being printed therein which infringed the De-fence of the Realm Regulations. They were warned that if they persisted in publishing matter in breach of the Regulations their paper and plant would be seized. In spite of this warning the paper continued to publish matter of the kind in question, and this after Clare had for en made a special military area. In the result the General Officer Commanding directed the steps, of which warning had been given.


Who is the authority which decides whether a certain article or paragraph comes within the scope of the law?


The power of suspension is vested in the military authority. So far as I know, they never act upon it without regard to questions of law as to whether it is an infringement, and the question as to whether it is accidental or deliberate.


Has the. right hon. Gentleman made any inquiry as to the seizure j of the plant of the "Westmeath Independent?


That is a different matter.


Whose opinion do the military authorities take on a question of law?


There are Law Officers and other legal advisers in Ireland whose advice is available to servants of the Crown in necessary cases.