§ MR. SEXTON
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether he has observed in the public Press a report of a speech delivered on Monday last, by Mr. W. B. Smith, one of the Vice Presidents of the Birmingham Reform League, in which that gentleman charged the Government with endeavouring to prevent the nomi- 586 nation of Mr. John Dillon for the Parliamentary representation of Birmingham at the next General Election, and in which Mr. Smith stated that he had written to Mr. Dillon, and had received no reply; and, further, that he had written to the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, inquiring if such letters as that which he had addressed to Mr. Dillon were prohibited, and, also, whether he would be permitted to visit Mr. Dillon, and had received no answer to either question; and, whether he has any statement to make in reference to the charges of Mr. Smith?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
, in reply, said, he had not seen any report on the matter in the public Press; but he was informed that there had been one letter, and one only, addressed to Mr. Dillon, and also one addressed to Mr. Parnell; that the letters referred to a proposed demonstration at Birmingham on their release; and that the Governor of the Prison did stop the delivery of those letters. Mr. Smith wrote to the Governor requesting to be informed if the letter had been received. The Governor did not reply, as he considered he was not bound to do more than inform the prisoners that letters addressed to them had been detained. With regard to Mr. Smith visiting either Mr. Dillon or Mr. Parnell, of course he could do so in accordance with the rules of the prison. He must say, in explanation of the course taken by the Governor, that a rule had to be laid down that there should be no political correspondence and no political conversation with the prisoners at Kilmainham.