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"He shall be permitted to see his friends in his apartment on week days (excepting Christmassup-giving day), from the hour of half-past ten in the day, Good Friday, and any public fast or thanksmorning till twelve, and from half-past one till four in the afternoon, in the winter six months, and till six o'clock in the summer; and some officer of the prison shall be present at such visits, unless his presence be dispensed with by the
himself with a small portion of wine, as
"He shall not be required to do any work, to
"He shall be allowed exercise in the open air, either alone, or with other prisoners of this division. In either case he shall be attended by an officer of the prison, if deemed necessary by the gaoler."
This has been done every day in this case. I have been informed by the Governor of the gaol that if the prisoners wished to extend their hours of exercise they will be allowed to do so. Mr. Sullivan, however, has limited his time for taking exercise to one hour. Mr. Pigott, I am informed, takes exercise for two or three hours a day, and could have more time if he wished for it. With regard to association, I cannot conceive anything which would be more repugnant to the feelings of these prisoners than that they should be obliged to associate with the other prisoners in the gaol. As there are no other occupants of the gaol with whom they could associate, it is impossible to give them association of any sort. I am told by the Governor of the gaol that they never expressed any wish to associate with each other. There would be no objection to their doing so; and, in fact, they do associate with each other every morning. I am also informed by the Governor that Messrs. Sullivan and Pigott were not acquainted with each other before the passing of their sentences, but that they had now become intimate. The next English rule is
written order of a visiting justice."
"He shall be permitted to write, send, or receive letters or other papers; but, before they are sent by such prisoner, or received by him from any visitor, or in any other manner, they shall be examined by the gaoler."
I fancy that is precisely the rule at the Richmond Bridewell. I have shown, then, that the fancied difference between the English treatment and that of these prisoners does not exist, and that they are treated precisely in the same way they would be had they been sentenced by an English Judge as first-class misdemeanants. With regard to solitary confinement, I do not see how that can be obviated. Persons are not sent to prison for pleasure; but, in compliance with the law, for punishment. The state of the case with regard to association is this. By an improved state of prison discipline association in gaol is put an end to, I hope for ever; and the separate system is adopted in all wellregulated gaols in Ireland, to the great advantage of prison discipline. The very construction of the prisons forbids association. I have no reason to believe that if association with other prisoners were offered to these gentlemen they would do otherwise than indignantly reject it. It would be no pleasure to them to associate with criminals convicted of pocket-picking or breaking into houses. So far from confinement in the cell being a hardship, I believe it would be thought a much greater hardship to be forced to associate with the other prisoners. I do not think, therefore, it is possible to make any alteration in the re-treatment which these men are receiving. I have taken upon myself as an officer of the Government, on my own authority, to authorize a very large departure from the rules which the Board of Superintendence
"He shall, at his own expense, be permitted the use of books or newspapers which are not of an objectionable kind-to be judged of by one or more of the visiting justices."
I never heard that any application made by either of these prisoners has been fused. On the contrary, I believe they are allowed to have any periodicals or books they wish for. With regard to visi tors, the English rule says
have laid down. In that respect I have, perhaps, assumed an authority which did not altogether belong to me. I felt so strongly that the regulations made by the Board of Superintendence for the Richmond Bridewell were not intended for the treatment of prisoners convicted of this class of offences that I felt it my duty to authorize a departure from the rules. In doing so, I believe I only fulfilled my duty. By doing that I have caused the treatment of the prisoners to be assimilated to the treatment they would have received in England. On the whole, I believe the course taken by the Government to have been one tempered by mercy, and reflecting no discredit on that member of it holding the position I have the honour to
mitted to read the Standard or the Evening Mail.
THE EARL OF MAYO: Have they ever asked for them?
SIR JOHN GRAY said, he had visited the prison only the other day, and therefore he was speaking from his own knowledge on the subject. It was true that for three or four days they were allowed to see The Illustrated News, but it was afterwards excluded simply because it was a newspaper. The rules of the prison, he might point out, were not made by the Board of Superintendence, but by Mr. Marks, the then Governor of the prison, in conjunction with Mr. Corry Connellan, the Inspector of Prisons. They were subsequently submitted to the Board of Superintendence and to the municipal council of Dublin, who referred them to the Lords Justices, by whom they were certified, after certain alterations had been introduced. He confessed, however, that he did not know what alterations had been made. The moment these gentlemen were THE EARL OF MAYO: I said the pri- brought into the prison the Board of Susoners received the same treatment prac-perintendence were called together; and tically that they would have received in this country.
SIR JOHN GRAY said, that as a mem. ber of the Board of Superintendence of the Richmond Bridewell, he was much surprised at the statement of the noble Earl that the prisons in the two countries were governed by the same laws.
SIR JOHN GRAY said, that at all events he understood the noble Earl to say that in Oxford gaol first class misdemeanants could supply themselves with any kind of provisions they pleased.
THE EARL OF MAYO: Yes.
SIR JOHN GRAY: Well, this privilege was denied to Messrs. Pigott and Sullivan, who were merely allowed the prison diet; for which, however, they paid at the end of every week, the object being to avoid the labour which they would otherwise have to perform. They were not permitted any choice in regard to the diet, which was regulated by the medical officer of the prison. It was paid for from prison funds, and they afterwards re-paid the amount. The noble Earl said that in Oxford gaol first class misdemeanants were allowed to have newspapers, but that was not the case with the gentlemen who are in Richmond Bridewell.
THE EARL OF MAYO: What I said was, that these prisoners were allowed to see newspapers which were not considered to be of an objectionable kind.
SIR JOHN GRAY proceeded to say, that they were not allowed to see The Times, or Illustrated London News, both of which were papers that could not be deemed objectionable. Nor were they per
they came to the determination that no relaxations should be granted except such as were in accordance with the rules and the provisions of the Act of Parliament, and an order was at once made under the powers conferred by the 13th section of the Act, that the prisoners might wear their own clothes. The prisoners, he might remark, were only allowed to be together during about a quarter of an hour in the course of the day.
THE EARL OF MAYO said, they had never asked to be together for a longer time.
SIR JOHN GRAY went on to say that, according to the rules, they were to be in separate cells, and the Board found that they could not put them into rooms with fire-places without violating the Act under which the rules were framed. They thought they might confine them in cells in one of the short corridors, and allow them to walk in the corridor, which was properly sccured; but they found that they could not do this. These gentlemen had been convicted, not of treason or treason-felony, but simply of seditious libel. They were taken to a common lavatory by ring of bell at six or seven o'clock in the morning, and after performing their ablutions they were allowed to converse together for ten or fifteen minutes, and then they were locked up in separate cells. What was
required was that the same rules should be | cient for the noble Earl to tell them that applied in Ireland as prevailed in England, and that there should be a proper classification. Under the Oxford rule, the first class misdemeanants were allowed to see their friends for a certain time every day. Now, in this case, one of the prisoners moved to have his trial conducted in the Court of Queen's Bench, but that motion was resisted by the Crown; though if the prisoners had been sentenced to imprisonment by a Superior Court they would have been subject to the Oxford rules. The Government had had them tried in the county, and but for the Judge they would have been placed in a county prison away from their friends. He gave the noble Earl, who stated that he had issued directions to have the rules relaxed, credit for kindness of disposition, and he hoped that the noble Earl would assure the House that the law in Ireland in reference to this matter should be assimilated to that which existed in England.
MR. O'BEIRNE said, he very much regretted that the consideration of this, which seemed to him to be a matter of grave importance, should have been embarrassed by the introduction into the discussion of the names of the two gentlemen who were now unfortunately suffering under the sentence of the Irish criminal law. His hon. Friend the Member for Cork, followed by the hon. Gentleman the Member for Kilkenny, had put the case very plainly before the House, and the official knowledge of the hon. Member for Kilkenny had given a complete answer to the statements made by the noble Earl, on the part of the Irish Government, as to the regulations of the prisons and the punishments inflicted upon those who have fallen within the reach of this Act. The noble Earl indeed was himself obliged to admit that, as he found the case of the gentlemen alluded to was scarcely one which was contemplated by the Prisons Act, he felt called upon to assume a certain amount of responsibility, and to give instructions that the regulations should be to some considerable degree suspended. But, Sir, the real question at issue, and to which the attention-and the earnest attention of the House-should be directed, was this:-Did the laws at present in force in England and in Ireland impose a degree of punishment more severe in the one country than in the other for the same offence? That was the true question, and one of grave moment. It was not suffi
the prison in Oxford was very excellently managed in every respect. Of this he (Mr. O'Beirne) had no doubt; but why did not the noble Earl inform the House of the regulations which were in force in the various Houses of Detention in London and its neighbourhood. However, he would not longer occupy the attention of the House; he would merely remark that, as it was admitted by the noble Earl that the severity of the prison rules had, in the unfortunate instance which had been alluded to, proved to be greater than the nature of the case justified, he (Mr. O'Beirne) considered the case made out by his hon. Friend the Member for Cork had been fully sustained; and he therefore hoped that immediate steps would be taken, not only to equalize the rules of the prisons in both countries, but, for the sake of both countries, to remedy a system which must be productive not only of dissatisfaction, but of much public scandal if permitted to continue.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. WARREN) wished to state in reference to the trial of Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Pigott, that it was conducted before two of the most eminent Judges in Ireland, both of whom were Members of that House when the Act of Parliament, which was the foundation of the prosecution, was passed, and no doubt they were perfectly familiar with that Act, and the prison rules which were in force in Ireland. In sentencing one of the accused to six months', and the other to twelve months' imprisonment without imposing a fine, they had a due regard to the stringency of the prison discipline. It was quite true that they were tried in the county of Dublin; but that step had been taken at the pressing instance of the counsel for the prisoner, and with the concurrence of the Attorney General. He had no hesitation in saying that these men were tried for offences of deeper moral guilt and of a more mischievous character than had been committed by many who had been sentenced and were now under punishment for treason-felony. One of them was convicted of a series of fourteen seditious libels spread over a period of twelve months; and the other of seven seditious libels spread over a considerable time, stirring up the people of Ireland to join the Fenian conspiracy. He therefore thought that the punishment, having regard to all the circumstances, was a light one. He admitted that there was a difference be
tween the law in England and Ireland; but neither Mr. Sullivan, who was a member of the Board of Superintendence, nor the hon. Member for Kilkenny (Sir John Gray), also a member of that Board, had ever called the attention of Parliament to this difference, or asked for any assimilation of the law. The attention of the Government, however, having been called to the point, they had done all they could to bring the administration of the law in Ireland into conformity with that of England. Difficulties, however, having arisen, he would undertake that a Prison Bill should be introduced, assimilating the law in the two countries. In the meantime, he might say that through the operation of the Board of Superintendence, every means had been taken to alleviate their condition. He read the dietary allowed to the prisoners, which was a very liberal one, and even included the supply of tobacco. On the whole he considered that the prisoners were not suffering a greater penalty than their crime deserved. Not a single request made by either of the prisoners to the Governor of the prison had been refused; and he believed the House would feel that Government and its officers were not open to any imputation for the course pursued towards these offenders, or for the manner in which they had been treated after sentence.
MR. BRADY said, it had been clearly shown that the law of Ireland was very different from that of England, and much more harsh and severe as regarded the treatment of this class of misdemeanants. He was glad to hear the Attorney General for Ireland state that it was the intention of the Government to assimilate the law of Ireland in this respect to that of England. That was all the hon. Member for Cork (Mr. Maguire) desired, and he had therefore succeeded in his object. Had it not been for the humane recommendations of the medical men, the prisoners would be subjected to treatment far more severe than the Government intended.
MR. LOCKE said, he only rose to observe, that if there was uncertainty in the law of Ireland, there was similar uncertainty in the law of England. Some years back he had called attention to the case of two gentlemen charged with the offence of fraud. They were sent to Newgate by an alderman, on remand, to be brought up for further examination, and were, therefore, innocent in the eye of the law, but they were, nevertheless, subjected to very severe treatment. The then Home Secretary, the right VOL. CXCI. [THIRD SERIES.],
hon. Member for Morpeth (Sir George Grey), directed an inquiry to take place, and the result corroborated all he had stated; but the answer was that such were the rules and regulations which the law permitted magistrates to make for the regulation of gaols. What, then, was the inference he drew ?-that an alteration should be made in the law, both for England and Ireland, that would not leave magistrates the power of making rules and regulations for the conduct of prisons at their own discretion; but that some regular principle should be laid down for their guidance in all such cases. The two persons of whom he spoke had been convicted of no offence, and were innocent persons, but they were subjected to all sorts of indignities in the prison of Newgate. They had to clean out their room, and were put into a bath in which a number of other persons had been put before. This was a matter which the Government ought to take into their own hands; and the sooner the laws of the two countries were assimilated, and both brought into accordance with the principles of justice, the better.
MR. REARDEN said, that if a like outrage were offered to the editors of any of the London morning papers, not only the House, but the whole country would be roused. He exonerated the noble Earl and the Government of Ireland from any blame in carrying out the Act of Parliament; but the penal code of Ireland was alike cruel and mean. No such prison rules were to be found in the most despotic countries. He said, without fear of contradiction, there was nothing in the history of Poland which exceeded the cruel treatment of those two gentlemen. He strongly urged upon the House to make the laws of Ireland more humane.
OVERLOADING OF PASSENGER
MR. SINCLAIR AYTOUN said, he wished to ask the Vice President of the Board of Trade, Whether the Regulations of that Board with regard to the overloading of Passenger Steamers, and other Regulations intended to secure the safety of Passengers, do not at present remain unenforced; and, whether he would have any objection to bring in a short Act to provide for the enforcement of such Regulations?
SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER said, he also desired information upon this subject.
MR. WALDEGRAVE - LESLIE ohjected to the monopoly which existed with regard to certain ferries.
MR. STEPHEN CAVE said, the question of the hon. Member did not state the case quite accurately. Before a steamer could legally carry passengers she must be provided with certain equipments, which were, however, not required by regulations of the Board of Trade, but by the Merchant Shipping Act of 1854. On a vessel being so provided, a surveyor appointed by the Board of Trade gave a declaration that the provisions of the law were complied with, and that the hull, equipments, and machinery were sufficient for the service and in good condition. As regarded passengers, the law provided that the Board of Trade certificate should contain a statement of the number of passengers the ship was fit to carry. The power of the Board of Trade ended there. The statute required that this certificate should be placed in a conspicuous place on board, and imposed heavy penalties if the number of passengers was exceeded; but no power was given to the Board of Trade to prosecute, and no funds were provided. matter of policy, he did not think that a Department like the Board of Trade should undertake these duties, which more properly belonged to the police; and practically it would be impossible for them to have sufficient officers to count the passengers and to watch every case. Any persons aggrieved by overcrowding, or any local body who might think that the safety of the passengers was neglected, could take steps to proceed for the penalties incurred. This had been done in many instances. Where the law was not enforced in this and many similar cases, it was owing to supineness on the part of those who were most interested in enforcing it. The penalties went to the Crown, and not to the informer, which might account for this supineness. The Government were considering whether any alteration in this respect might be introduced into the Mer. chant Shipping Bill, but he did not think it advisable to introduce such a Bill as the hon. Member recommended.
Motion, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair," by leave, withdrawn. Committee deferred till Monday next. House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock, till Monday next.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Saturday, March 28, 1868.
MINUTES.]-PUBLIC BILL-Third ReadingConsolidated Fund (£362,398 19s. 9d.), and passed.
Their Lordships met; and having gone through the business on the Paper, without debate
House adjourned at Twelve o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.
HOUSE OF LORDS,
Monday, March 30, 1868.
MINUTES.]-SELECT COMMITTEE - On Eccle-
PUBLIC BILLS-First Reading-Consolidated Fund
Second Reading Sea Fisheries (46); Indian
HOSTILITIES IN THE RIVER PLATE.
LORD LYVEDEN rose, according to Notice, to call the Attention of the House to the Papers presented respecting Hostilities in the River Plate. The noble Lord was understood to complain that the official papers on that subject which had been produced were very defective, and failed to give their Lordships the information that was desirable on various points connected with that question. He entertained the greatest confidence in the intentions of the noble Lord the present Foreign Secretary, although during his tenure of office this country had been plunged into one of the most impracticable and useless, as well as costly, little wars-namely, the Abyssinian war-probably because he had thought that public opinion was in its favour. On the present subject Lord