HC Deb 10 August 1888 vol 330 cc320-1
MR. KELLY (Camberwell, N.)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Whether there is any truth in the statement that has recently been published in the newspapers to the effect that Sir Lionel West has sent a Note to Mr. Bayard, the American Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, stating that a respite was desired by the British Government for Hugh Brooks, otherwise Maxwell, who was convicted of the murder of Arthur Preller at St. Louis, in the State of Missouri; and, whether it is usual for instructions to be given to British Ministers accredited to Foreign Powers to make similar representations in such cases; and, whether, if not, he will state what are the precise special circumstances in the case of the barbarous murder of Arthur Preller which have been considered a sufficient ground for taking a course of an unusual character?


In consequence of the urgent appeals received from Hugh Brooks' father and from his attorneys at St. Louis, Sir Lionel West was instructed to ask of the United States Secretary of State or the Governor of Missouri, as he might deem best, a respite for further inquiry; but this was to be done only if, in Sir Lionel West's judgment, there was any ground for believing that injustice was being done in the case. He replied that an application for respite had been forwarded to the Governor by Mr. Bayard. We do not know whether that application was made upon Sir Lionel West's representations, or, if so, on what ground Sir Lionel West acted. It is usual for Foreign Representatives to solicit consideration by the Governments to which they are accredited of cases for inquiry into the justice of judicial sentences where primâ facie grounds are apparent.