HC Deb 23 November 1888 vol 331 cc19-20
MR. PROVAND (Glasgow, Blackfriars, &c.)

asked the Lord Advocate, If Mr. Stipendiary Gemmel, at the Glasgow Central Police Court on Wednesday, the 21st instant, sentenced Mrs. M'Kenzie to 30 days' imprisonment, and ordered her daughter, aged eight years, to be kept in an industrial school for five years for the alleged theft of some articles of clothing from the Clothes Market in Greendyke Street; if it is the case that there was no evidence whatever against Mrs. M'Kenzie, or any evidence that her daughter had stolen the articles, or that both were not respectable persons against whom the police knew nothing; and, if he will take steps to enable Mrs. M'Kenzie to obtain an interim release pending an appeal, and will inquire into the case of her daughter, with the view of liberating her from the industrial school to which she has been sent, if found innocent?


The Secretary for Scotland has asked the stipendiary for information as to this case, of which his Lordship has knowledge only from the newspaper report sent by the hon. Gentleman. The right to grant interim release pending an appeal lies with the High Court of Justiciary, to whom the appeal would lie by way of suspension. The High Court has also jurisdiction to deal in like manner with the order of the magistrate relating to the little girl. But I would remind the hon. Gentleman that, so far as the Executive Government are concerned, industrial schools remain within the Department of the Home Secretary, and are not within the charge of the Secretary for Scotland.

DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

Might I ask whether it is not the fact that the stipendiary did not convict the girl, though he sent her to a reformatory, and that the mother was sent to prison for having been art and part in a theft of which the girl was not convicted?


The position is this. The High Court of Justiciary would certainly have the right to quash the order sending the girl to an industrial school, just as much as the sending of the mother to prison. Therefore, so far as the High Court was concerned, the two courses were one. But the Secretary for Scotland has not within his charge industrial schools, and accordingly any order referring to the matter must come from a Court of Law or from the Home Office.


Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman communicate with the Home Office on the subject?


I gather from the Question of the hon. Member for the Blackfriars Division that there is to be an appeal to a Court of Law. If the sentence should be quashed, there is an end to the matter. Failing that, recourse might be had to the Home Office as regards the child.