HC Deb 23 July 1918 vol 108 c1620
35. Mr. KING

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that delays occur in letters from interned Irishmen in English prisons reaching their friends; whether it is on his instructions that for three weeks past no news from Irish prisoners in Lincoln prison have reached their friends; why are letters from Holloway so detained that in one case two letters, written at an interval of two weeks, arrived on the same day; and whether, in view of the anxiety, distress, and false notions engendered by such irregular correspondence, he will give orders to ensure that the prisoners' friends have regular news from the prisons?


I am aware that letters written by these interned prisoners to their friends are sometimes delayed. They are allowed to write for the purpose of communicating with their relations and friends on domestic matters and matters of business in which they are personally interested, and unless their letters are confined to such matters they are liable to be delayed or stopped. Such delays as are suggested in the question, if they have occurred, can only be in cases where these limits have not been observed. The prisoners have been specially reminded of this rule, and if it is observed their letters will not be held longer than is necessary for their proper examination by the Censor, which, in ordinary circumstances, does not delay them for more than twenty-four hours.