§ 55. Mr. KING
asked who is the present Press Censor in Ireland; how long has he held the position; what are his qualifications for the work; how many persons are included in his staff; what is the estimated amount of the public charges to be incurred in this financial year for censorship in Ireland; is this sum to be found in the Estimates; if so, under what head; and whether the Press censorship extends to political criticism of the Government or only to such information of a military nature as if disclosed would assist the enemy?
§ Mr. SHORTT
Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Decies has held the position of Chief Press Censor for Ireland since June, 1916. I am not aware of the particular qualifications the hon. Member refers to, but Lord Decies possesses in marked degree the tact, temperament, and character necessary to discharge the duties of this responsible office. The Irish Press Censor is at present assisted by a staff of eleven persons, of whom three hold military rank, and are paid, like the Press Censor, from Army funds. The remuneration of the remainder of the staff is borne by funds provided out of the Vote of Credit, and the total expenditure so incurred in the financial year amounted to £850. The Press censorship extends to statements 1408 and information calculated to assist the enemy or to lead to a breach of the peace, but not to legitimate criticism.