HC Deb 23 February 1871 vol 204 c760

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Government intend to take any steps, during the present Session, to carry out the whole of the recommendations of the unanimous Report of the Royal Commission of 1866 on Capital Punishment; and, also if the Government contemplate dealing with the latter portion of that Report not included in their recommendation, and which involves the very important questions of—1. An appeal on matters of fact to a Court of Law in criminal cases; 2. The mode in which the Crown is advised to exercise the prerogative of mercy by the Home Secretary; and 3. The present state of the Law as to the nature and degree of insanity which is held to relieve the accused from penal responsibility in criminal cases?


; Sir, I fully admit the importance of the subject to which the attention of the House has been directed by the hon. Baronet; but, at the same time, I must say—as I have just said with regard to the Salmon Fisheries—that the time of the Government will not permit them to legislate on a question of so much importance and intricacy in the present Parliament.


I beg to give Notice that I will myself introduce a Bill on the subject after Easter.