I have got an amendment to Clause 5 as follows:—
"To add after the word ‘law' in Section (a) ‘except as regards any prisoner or prisoners of English nationality convicted of a political offence by Irish Courts who may be confined in Irish gaols at the date of the passing of this Act.'"
It will be seen from this Bill that anybody who has been actually convicted, and has no appeal against a conviction, is not amnestied at all by this Bill. I know we here have not got any person in our possession, but we are passing a Bill now which will, perhaps, be copied on the other side, which we hope will be copied on the other side, and I think it is necessary, therefore, to put this in. For instance, if we had here in Ireland a certain man called Smith, who was in the same position as Dowling is over there, who had been convicted by an Irish Court, this Amnesty Bill would not release him at all; he would remain here. I propose this addition in order that any prisoner, whether he has been convicted or not, may be released. The object is to extend very much the principle of the Bill, to extend it to men who are in the position of Dowling or of the Connaught Rangers, or other men, if they were English prisoners in Irish gaols, so that they would thereby be released, and that when the English Government propose a similar Act that they would put in a clause which would in the same way cover Dowling and such men.