§ MR. MACDONALD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to a paragraph in the "Daily News" of the 14th instant, headed "Singular Conviction," in which it is stated that on Monday last Ambrose Pentney was brought before the bench of magistrates at Mistley, on a charge of neglecting his work for an hour and a-half, and ordered to pay five shillings; that it was stated the man was attracted to a house near where he was employed by cries of murder, and on entering it found that a madman was struggling with his keeper, and would probably have murdered him, and that was the time he was off from his work; and, whether he will cause the matter to be inquired into, and, if possible, the order for the payment of the money and costs stayed?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
, in reply, said, that according to a letter he had received from the chairman of the magistrates, this was not a conviction, but a civil proceeding, with which, of course, he could not interfere. The facts of the ease had been represented to him as being somewhat different from those set forth in the Question. It appeared that the man was absent from his em- 625 ployment for two days, and his absence was the cause of some loss to the farmer who employed him, in consequence of two horses being kept idle. No doubt, the man was asked by the relieving officer to assist a warder in taking charge of a lunatic; but the relieving officer, on the second day, told the man that he should have obtained the permission of the farmer who employed him. The relieving officer paid him 20s. for his services for the two days, and the magistrate thought the man ought to recoup the farmer for the loss he had sustained to the extent of 5s. out of the 20s. The complainant waived all demands for costs, which were not paid. At the termination of the case, the magistrate congratulated the parties on the matter being satisfactorily settled between employer and employed without any painful feeling being left on either side.