§ MR. J. G. HUBBARD
asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, on the adjournment of the House for the Easter Festival, he will consider the position of the Rev. Sidney Faithorn Green, now, and for a year past, incarcerated in Lancaster Gaol, under these circumstances: Mr. Green was prosecuted for an alleged infraction of the legal Ritual of the Church of England, and for this offence was visited with the punishment of imprisonment; and, whether, considering that Lord 674 Penzance, who tried him, a Judge created by the Public Worship Regulation Act, and exercising the function of Official Principal, had never completed his qualifications in the usual way, and, considering also the severity of the penalty inflicted for a Ritual irregularity, he will devise some means of terminating Mr. Green's prolonged detention in Lancaster Gaol?
Sir, this Question relates to the case of the Rev. Mr. Green, who is now, and has been for some time, in prison under, I believe, the Public Worship Regulation Act. My right hon. Friend asks me whether we will consider the position of Mr. Green? We have had occasion to consider this case carefully in consequence of various Memorials and representations made to Her Majesty's Government. But my right hon. Friend asks me whether I will devise some means of terminating Mr. Green's prolonged detention in Lancaster Gaol? Well, Sir, what I am advised is that Her Majesty could not, without going beyond the limit of Constitutional practice, which it would be wrong in us to transgress, apply the Prerogative of mercy or any other power which she may possess for the release of Mr. Green by her own order. With respect to devising some means of terminating the imprisonment of Mr. Green—which must mean legislative means—I think that is rather a business belonging to the consideration of the high authorities who devised and who passed the Public Worship Regulation Act than it is for Her Majesty's Government.