HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc35-6
73. Professor Savory

asked the Under secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether his attention has been called to the arrest, as deserters, on their return to Eire, on leave or for release, of citizens of Eire who had been serving in the British Armed Forces on the ground that they had at some time or other belonged to the Eireann Armed Forces; and whether he has made a protest through the United Kingdom representative to the Government of Eire against these arrests, in view of the fact that these men are British subjects and Eire is a constituent part of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

The Under-Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (Mr. Parker)

Provision is made under Eire Military Law, as under that of other countries, that men who desert from the Defence Forces are liable to arrest and punishment. Deserters who joined the United Kingdom Forces and subsequently returned to Eire used to be dealt with under this provision, but the Eire Government later made an Emergency Powers order the effect of which is that such men are no longer liable to arrest and punishment on return to Eire.

Professor Savory

Will the hon. Gentleman state the date of that Emergency Powers Order, and how many men serving in the British Forces were prosecuted as deserters before that Emergency Order came into force?

Mr. Parker

I am afraid not without Notice