HC Deb 04 December 1919 vol 122 cc553-4
43. Major HILLS

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the General Prisons Board of Ireland has issued an Order, dated 22nd November, laying down that any prisoner committed in default of finding sureties to keep the peace shall be treated as if he had been convicted of the offence charged against him; whether, seeing that it is a settled constitutional principle that a requirement to find sureties is a precaution but not a punishment, the Cabinet will direct an inquiry into the legality of this proposed innovation and into the general question of the treatment of prisoners convicted merely of political offences?


The Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914, Section 16, Sub-section (4), which extends to Ireland, applies, to persons sentenced to imprisonment in default of finding sureties to keep the peace, and since the date of that Act they have been treated as ordinary third-class prisoners under Section 6 of the Prisons Act, 1898. The notice issued by the Prisons Board is in accordance with the existing law.