§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I beg to ask the secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Martin Murray, who, on Thursday last was convicted at the Marlborough Street Police Court of making a false statement when about to be enlisted into the Army, and was sentenced by Mr. De Rutzen to three months' imprisonment; whether this was the maximum punishment which the Magistrate could impose for the offence charged; and whether there are any mitigating circum- 1158 stances in this case; and, if so, whether he will advise that a portion of the sentence should be remitted?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I am informed by the learned Magistrate that there are no mitigating circumstances in this case. Martin Murray made two false statements in attempting to gain admission to the Army, by denying that he was a married man and that he was in the Militia; and he was practically guilty of running away from and deserting his wife and child, which is of itself an offence under the Vagrants Act. I see no ground for remitting any part of the sentence.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
Has the right hon. Gentleman inquired into the truth of the man's statement that he had been for a long time out of work and was tempted to act as he did in order to provide food for his family?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I have been informed that that statement was not true, and that he was guilty of making a false statement without the slightest justification.