HC Deb 19 July 1875 vol 225 cc1656-7
MR. E. POWER (for Major O'GOR-MAN)

, asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, withrespect to the case of the girl Sarah Chandler, convicted before the Reverend Mr. Moore, the Reverend Mr. Dove, and Mr. Green, M.D., magistrates of the county of Lincoln, sitting at petty sessions at Spalding, in the above county, for plucking a flower from a geranium, and by them sentenced to fourteen day's imprisonment and four years in a reformatory, which sentence was reversed by the authority of the Home Secretary himself, he would recommend to the Lord Chancellor of England the dismissal from the Commission of the Peace of the magistrates named?


Sir, I have received a letter from the Rev. Mr. Moore, taking on himself the blame of the judgment in this particular case, and stating that he had persuaded his brother magistrates to take the course they did. I think it is right that this should be stated on behalf of the other magistrates, and also on behalf of Mr. Moore. I have already expressed to the House, and to the magistrates themselves, my sense of dissatisfaction at what has occurred, and I do not think, from the letter which I sent, the offence is likely to be repeated. The hon. Gentleman must know that the dismissal of magistrates rests entirely with the Lord Chancellor, not with me, and the Lord Chancellor certainly would not take any action without the fullest inquiry into the conduct of the magistrates. All I can say is I believe the gentleman in question has been in the Commission of the Peace for a great number of years, and, so far as I can trace, no complaint whatever has reached the Home Office on the subject.