§ 17. Mr. FERGUSON
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reply he made to the deputation of the London Roger Casement Club which waited upon him with regard to the release of the Irish prisoners?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Rhys Davies)
My right hon. Friend referred the deputation to the reply given in the House of Commons on the 14th February last to a question by the hon. Member for West Walthamstow (Mr. McEntee), and while expressing his willingness to consider, as regards any particular prisoner convicted by an English Court, representations showing reasons for the exercise of the prerogative of mercy, he said that the question of an amnesty was a matter requiring the consideration of the Government as a whole, and that he had no authority to make any statement on the subject.
§ Mr. FERGUSON
Has there not been reported an interview with the deputa- 2221 tion from the Roger Casement Club, in which it was stated that if the right hon. Gentleman did not stand in for the release of the Irish prisoners, the Irish vote would go against him in Lancashire, and he would lose his seat; and that he undertook to release the prisoners? [HON. MEMBERS: "Answer!"]
§ Mr. DAVIES
There is nothing to answer. [HON. MEMBERS: "There is!" and "It is true!"] If the hon. Gentleman will read the answer that was given, and to which I referred, I think he will find it clear enough. I do not know that I can add anything.
§ 48. Colonel GRETTON
asked the Prime Minister why the Cabinet decided to advise the release from imprisonment of Mr. Art O'Brien and Mr. Sean M'Grath, who were convicted of seditious conspiracy against peace and good order in His Majesty's realms; if these persons have given any undertaking to refrain from the practices for which they were convicted; and, if not, have they been deported from Great Britain?
§ Mr. DAVIES
I have been asked to reply. As regards the first part of the question, I would refer to the answer given to a supplementary question by the hon. and gallant Member on the 24th instant. The answer to the remainder of the question is in the negative.
§ Colonel GRETTON
Can the hon. Gentleman say how the Government ascertained the wishes of the Government of the Free State in this matter?