HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1280-1

asked the Home Secretary why, notwithstanding his promise, Irish literary matter having no political bearing, given to the Irish prisoners of war in the various prisons in this country, but taken from them at Frongoch, has never been restored to them, and parcels of similar matter sent subsequently have never been delivered to them; will he explain the fact that some of the undelivered works, including "The Four Gospels," in Irish, with the names of the prisoners for whom they were intended written in them, have been offered for sale in London; by whose direction does the Censor at Frongoch withhold from their owners, the prisoners, and sell educational works, including the four Gospels; and whether such property, if bought again and sent to Frongoch again, will be delivered to the owners?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on the 19th to the hon. Member for the Harbour Division of Dublin. I am informed that all Irish literary matter having no political bearing is issued to the prisoners for whom it is intended. As regards the latter part, I am unable to find any foundation whatever for the suggestion that any book addressed to an Irish prisoner has been disposed of by the authorities, but if the hon. Member will give me particulars of the incident which he believes to have taken place, I will make further inquiry.


The right hon. Gentleman is accustomed to cast doubt upon my question—


If the hon. Member has any question to ask he is entitled to ask it if it is relevant, but he is not entitled to make observations on an answer.


Is the Home Secretary aware that the book, "The Four Gospels," mentioned in this question, was sent to and used by Mr. Cole in Wandsworth Prison, was taken from him when he went to Frongoch, and was bought afterwards in Farringdon Street, in the City of London, off a second-hand book barrow with many other books of the same character, with Mr. Cole's name written in it. Will the right hon. Gentleman explain who sold the book to the second-hand bookseller?