HC Deb 03 June 1921 vol 142 cc1403-4W

asked the Secretary for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to a statement in the Press that John Maclean and Sandy Ross, convicted of sedition and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and who announced when sentence was passed that they would hunger strike, are receiving special privileges, such as food sent in from outside, newspapers, clothes, beds, etc.; and, if this be so, what are the reasons for treating these prisoners in an exceptional way from ordinary prison rules?


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether John Maclean and Sandy Ross are both serving a term of imprisonment in gaol; if so, upon what charge were they convicted; are they allowed certain privileges while in prison, such as the use of their own clothes, books, newspapers, beds, and other furniture; and, if so, whether it is usual to grant prisoners convicted on similar charges such privileges?


My attention has been drawn to a statement in the Press of the nature indicated by my hon. Friend the Member for Dumbartonshire (Sir W. Raeburn). Maclean and Ross were convicted of a contravention of No. 19 of the Emergency Regulations, 1921, namely, causing sedition or disaffection. Following the practice in previous cases of this nature, they have been accorded the treatment prescribed in the rules which apply in Scotland to prisoners convicted of sedition. These rules, which have Parliamentary authority, and which, so far as the privileges conferred upon such prisoners are concerned, are substantially the same as in England, have been in existence for many years. The privileges allowed under them to prisoners convicted of sedition are substantially those set out in the questions. I may add that the treatment accorded to these prisoners has nothing whatever to do with any statements or threats made by them, or either of them, before their term or imprisonment began.