§ 45. Mr. S. MacNEILL
asked the Prime Minister whether any, and, if so, what, steps have been taken under the provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act, 1917, which received the Royal Assent on 8th November, 1917, for the striking out of the Peerage Roll peers who have, during the present War, borne arms against His Majesty or who have adhered to His Majesty's enemies; and, if no steps for this purpose, as provided by Statute, have been taken, will he say what is the reason for the delay, having regard to the construction likely to be placed on the attitude of the Government in this matter?
§ The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Bonar Law)
The Committee of Council appointed to deal with this matter will meet to-morrow. I am informed that no greater delay than was necessary has occurred in the presentation of the material for their Report.
§ 46. Mr. S. MacNEILL
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that an announcement, dated 24th May, appeared in the "London Gazette" that the King, as Sovereign of the Order of the Bath, had been pleased to command and declare that a person therein named, a Commander of the said Order, should from that date be removed from said Order, he being unworthy any longer to remain a member thereof; on what grounds, having regard to the undertaking given on 20th June, 1917, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of the Prime Minister that orders had been given that henceforward all alien enemies shall cease to be members of any British Order of Chivalry to which they belonged before the War, there has been no public announcement of removal of enemy aliens from these Orders; have any enemy aliens been removed in consonance with that undertaking, and, if so, how many and what is the number of alien enemies removed from each order of knighthood, respectively, and the dates of such removals; and, if such removals have taken place, on what ground is the expulsion of an unworthy member who is unconnected with Royal families made a subject of notoriety while the expulsion of enemy princes is effected in secrecy?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, and, as regards the second part, the reply which I gave to the hon. and learned Member on 20th June last year was a public announcement. The information asked for in the last part of the question will take some time to collate, but as soon as the list is compiled it will be published. As regards the last part of the question, the officer referred to was a British subject, a full as distinct from an honorary member of the Order of the Bath and within the jurisdiction. The Sovereign was, therefore, able to remove him in the usual way.
§ Mr. MacNEILL
Why is not some public notification given of the names of the persons in the same way as in the case of British subjects? Why are German names sheltered at the expense of British subjects?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
Apparently the hon. Member did not hear my answer. I am told that it is difficult to find out who they all arc, but as soon as the names are known they will be published.
§ Sir R. COOPER
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the part of the question which asks if any enemy aliens have already been removed?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The hon. Member has evidently not followed this controversy like the hon. Member for Donegal (Mr. MacNeill). The public announcement is that they are automatically removed.