§ SIR GEORGE JENKINSON moved for leave to introduce a Bill to alter and amend the Law in regard to the present system of the revision and commutation of Capital Sentences. In doing so, he took occasion to observe, in reply to what had fallen from the Secretary for the Home Department a few minutes previously, that if the right hon. Gentleman had stated to him that he did not consider it advisable in the interest of the public service to answer a Question of which he had given public notice a few days ago, he would, in conformity with such an intimation, have refrained from putting it. He must protest, in the name of the Members of that House, against having such remarks addressed to him, for doing that which he believed to be his duty, as the right hon. Gentleman had used. The country had a right to know why sentences were commuted, and nothing tended so much to diminish the respect of the lower classes of the people for the administration of justice 424 as not to be informed why one person was hung and another not for the crime of murder. It was on that ground that he asked for leave to bring in the present Bill, and the Government would, he hoped, offer no opposition to its introduction.
said, he should not object to the Motion. Nobody would be more relieved, if the efforts of the hon. Baronet at legislation on the subject with which the Bill proposed to deal should prove successful, than the individual who happened to occupy the position which he had the honour to hold in the Government.
Motion agreed to.
Bill to alter and amend the Law in regard to the present system of the revision and commutation of Capital Sentences, ordered to be brought in by Sir GEORGE JENKINSON, Mr. STAVELEY HILL, and Mr. WREN-HOSKYNS.
§ Bill presented, and read the first time. [Bill 58.]