§ Mr. DUKE
Mr. Orpen, President of the Incorporated Law Society, Mr. Charles O'Conor, Inspector of the Local Govern-394W ment Board, and Mr. Taylor, of the Finance Division in the Chief Secretary's Office, have been appointed a Committee to investigate these claims. The reference to the Committee requires them to inquire and report with regard to applications for payment out of public funds to
- (a) Persons who have suffered loss by reason of personal injuries sustained by them without misconduct or default on their part in the recent rebellion; and
- (b) dependants of deceased persons who without misconduct or default on their part were killed or injured in the recent rebellion.
The Committee held a preliminary meeting last week. They will proceed with the investigation of claims and make their report with all practicable dispatch.
§ Mr. DILLON
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what has been the decision of the Commission appointed to inquire into the cases of those employé s in the Land Commission service who were suspected with having taken part in the recent rebellion; and whether the Government will lay the Report immediately upon the Table of the House, with the evidence taken in each case?
§ Mr. DUKE
Of the six members of the staff of the Irish Land Commission suspended in connection with the rebellion whose cases were referred for investigation to the Committee appointed by the Home Secretary, the Committee recommended the dismissal of five and the reinstatement of one and this recommendation has been acted on. The Committee heard each officer personally and were guided not only by his past acts but also by his own declarations in arriving at their conclusion as to his fitness to remain in the Civil Service of the Crown. They took no formal notes of evidence. As at present advised, the Government do not propose to lay the Report.
§ Mr. KEATING
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that a boy named Thomas Neville was arrested in Bandon, county Cork, during the rebellion; that the local military authority, Colonel Lindsay, declared, in the presence of a responsible witness, that he should never have been arrested and immediately discharged him; that an old fowling-piece was taken from him, which is the property of his father, Mr. E. Neville, J. P., Bandon, who has a licence for it and used it for the purpose of protecting his crops from birds, that the fowling-piece has been retained by the military authorities and his crops have been considerably injured in consequence; and whether he will make inquiries into the case and give instructions to have the owner's property returned to him?
§ Mr. FORSTER
This case has already been fully inquired into, and my hon. Friend has been made acquainted with the result.
§ Mr. JOHN WALSH
asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he is aware that James Walsh, of Knockea, Clonakilty, is interned without any proof against him that he was of hostile associations beyond being a member of the Irish Volunteers; whether he was ever guilty of any offence whatsover beyond being a member of the Volunteers; if so, what offence; if not, is the fact of being a member of the Irish Volunteers sufficient offence to deprive him of his liberty; when this was declared an offence against the law, and why; and (2) if he is aware that Mr. Peter O'Donovan, of Casheliskey, Clonakilty, is interned on account of the following charges made in evidence against him, namely, that he had a full uniform and equipment; that the Volunteers held meetings in his house; that he went on recruiting platforms and made speeches to get men to join the Volunteers; and that he had been organising; whether he is aware that these charges are entirely false in every detail; and, if not, whether he will have inquiries made and allow this prisoner to be submitted to some tribunal where he will be allowed an opportunity of proving his innocence?
I will answer this and the next question together. James Walsh and Peter O'Donovan were both interned on the recommendation of a competent military authority under Regulation 14B of the Defence of the Realm Regulations. The ground for internment in each case'396W was membership of an organisation which has promoted armed insurrection against His Majesty. Both men had full opportunities of stating their cases to the Advisory Committee, who recommended their continued internment.