HC Deb 24 November 1920 vol 135 cc450-1W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether Patrick O'Connor, of Wexford, has been sentenced to 112 days' imprisonment for refusing to give evidence at a court-martial; whether there is any precedent for imprisoning a man for refusing to give evidence that might incriminate himself; whether the sentence will be reconsidered; and whether the opinion of the English Law Officers will be asked as to the legality of the sentence?


The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Inasmuch as O'Connor had already given evidence at the taking of the summary of evidence there is no ground for the suggestion that he refused to give evidence on the ground that he might incriminate himself; in fact, the ground on which he refused was that he was a soldier of the Irish Republic. I see no grounds for reconsidering the sentence or for doubting its legality, and I do not propose to refer the matter to the English Law Officers.