asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies if he will make renewed representations to the Irish Republican authorities concerning the practice of the Irish Republican judiciary of suspending sentences of imprisonment on Irish Republican citizens provided they leave the Irish Republic and go and live in England.
I am aware that there was recently a report in the Press that a sentence had been suspended by a court in the Irish Republic on condition that the individual concerned—whose nationality was not stated—left the Republic and came to this country. The report is being investigated and in the light of these investigations I shall' certainly consider whether there are grounds for a further approach to the Irish Republican Government.
Would not my hon. Friend agree that this practice, which was prevalent two or three years ago, is certainly creeping in again? If any other action which is contemplated is not satisfactory, will he, perhaps, consider retaliatory action in the form of suggesting to our own judiciary that it should consider suspending sentences of imprisonment on English criminals provided that they go to live in Ireland?
My hon. and gallant Friend says that the practice is creeping in again. I have not heard of other recent cases. If my hon. and gallant Friend knows of examples, perhaps he would care to let me know of them and I would certainly have these cases—and the one which we are now looking into—investigated. In the light of the investigations, we would then, and not before, decide what to do.