HC Deb 19 April 1923 vol 162 cc2248-50
Mr. J. MUIR (by Private Notice)

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the charges against John Gallacher of 1, Duncruin Street, Mary-hill, and Denis Breslin of 6, Clarendon Street, Glasgow, who were apprehended and detained on 6th and 9th April respectively, were yesterday withdrawn; that Gallacher and Breslin were not brought to trial; that deportation orders dated 5th March are being put into operation; that the police refuse relatives and solicitors access to the prisoners; and whether he will cause immediate inquiries to be made into these cases?

Captain ELLIOT (Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Scotland)

John Gallacher and Denis Breslin were apprehended on 6th and 9th April respectively in connection with a charge of theft of explosives. That charge was not proceeded with. Orders for internment had previously been made by the Secretary for Scotland in respect of these men, and these orders were accordingly executed.


Has the Secretary for Scotland satisfied himself that these men are Irishmen and are liable for deportation, and were the local police consulted or were they merely instructed in the matter?

Captain ELLIOT

The Secretary for Scotland undoubtedly satisfied himself that these men were of Irish origin. The local police were certainly consulted before the step was taken which has been actually put into operation.


Has the Secretary for Scotland satisfied himself as to their citizenship as distinct from their origin?

Captain ELLIOT

We have been in communication with the Free State Government on this very question of citizenship. If any deportee claim that he, is domiciled in Great Britain, and does not intend to take up Irish citizenship, and desires on that account to be dealt with in this country, and not by the authority of the Free State, such representation will be immediately considered by either the Home Secretary or the Secretary for Scotland, as the case may be.


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that it is claimed that the order for deportation was made by the Secretary for Scotland? Is it not the deportation order which was signed by the Home Secretary on 5th March?

Captain ELLIOT

No. The hon. Member appears to be under some misapprehension on that point. The Home Secretary has no power whatever to sign any order regarding the, deportation of anyone from Scotland. That is a matter which falls entirely under the jurisdiction of the Scottish authorities. The two deportation orders are in both cases signed by the Secretary for Scotland under which these two men were deported.


I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, in order to discuss this matter.


This appears to be part of a matter on which we have had two Motions for the Adjournment. I cannot take another.