CEISTEANNA—QUESTIONS. - PRISONERS IN DERRY GAOL.

To ask the President of the Executive Council, following on his answer to a question dealing with the same matter on the 10th instant, if it be not true that the prisoners McKinstry, Kearney and Laverty, now lying in Derry Jail, although in the charge of the Government of Northern Ireland, were arrested, tried and convicted by British authorities, and are therefore prisoners of the British Government? If it is not a fact that if they had been imprisoned in England as might conceivably have occurred under the circumstances, the General Amnesty for political prisoners would have been extended over them, and that they would have been released? And if, therefore, having regard to these circumstances, he will now, at once, bring their case before the British Government with every emphasis possible, and read its exact reply to this Dáil?

These prisoners are post-truce cases, having been arrested in October, 1921, in Belfast. Some days later they were handed over to the Military Authorities and courtmartialled.

It is true that certain post-truce political prisoners in England have been released by the British Authorities, and that in all probability if the above-mentioned prisoners happened to be arrested in England at the same time they would now be enjoying their liberty.

The cases of all the Ulster prisoners are equally urgent, and it is a bad policy to divide them up piecemeal, making individual applications in the different cases.

May I interpret that to mean that the Minister will take up all the Ulster prisoners with the same urgency as is suggested in the question in regard to those people, and will he communicate the answer to this Dáil?

These matters must be left to the discretion of the Ministry, and if the Dáil is not satisfied well, they can alter the Ministry.