asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to a paragraph in "The Pall Mall Gazette" of Saturday the 4th instant, copied from "The Liverpool Post," in which it is stated that a woman was recently sentenced at Oswestry by the local Justices to twenty-one days' imprisonment for stealing one penny worth of coal; if such statement is correct, and whether it is his intention to take steps for the mitigation of the sentence?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, his attention had been called to the case, and he found from inquiries made of the Clerk of the Justices that information had been given to the magistrates that the person in question was the wife of the gardener of the prosecutor, and supposed to be, therefore, in tolerably good circumstances. It was also stated that she had been seen carrying away the coal, and that in the night time, by some one who had watched expressly for the purpose of finding out what was being done. He had asked to be furnished with further information on the matter.