HC Deb 01 November 1920 vol 134 cc157-8

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th October, proposed the Question, 'That this House do now adjourn."

8.0 P.M.


At Question time to-day I put a question by Private Notice to the Chief Secretary, in which I asked for details of the arrest of Mrs. J. Annan Bryce, the wife of a recent Member of this House and sister-in-law of a previous Irish Chief Secretary. She was arrested at Holyhead on Friday by agents of the Government, deported to Dublin, and imprisoned in the Bridewell, at Dublin, though, as far as one can gather from newspaper accounts, the only offence of which she was guilty was that she was on her way to address a meeting in Wales, at Tonypandy, on the subject of reprisals. As a matter of fact, the policy of the Government so far with regard to reprisals has been, if not to conceal, at least not to publish any evidence. The Chief Secretary was asked to-day whether he would publish evidence taken at inquiries into alleged reprisals, and he replied that he was of opinion that no good purpose would be served by the publication of this evidence; so I think it is reasonable to say that so far the Government have not sought the opportunity of giving to this country any evidence upon which the reprisals that have been taken in Ireland have been based. We passed the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, and that Act gave the Government certain powers to deal with a situation which they could not apparently deal with without those powers, and I would like to know whether an Act of Parliament passed for the specific purpose of dealing with a trouble in Ireland runs in this country. It may be that the reasons for the arrest of Mrs. Annan Bryce are other than those that are stated publicly. If I remember right, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary said she was suspected of carrying to this country seditious documents. It may well be that my right hon. Friend's defence of her deportation to Dublin may be on the ground entirely that she was supposed to be in possession of these seditious documents and that therefore the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act would apply in that particular case.

Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,

The House was adjourned at Seven minutes after Eight of the clock till To-morrow.

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