HC Deb 22 March 1889 vol 334 cc509-10
MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention had been called to the remarks of Mr. Justice Grantham, at Cardiff, as to the alleged prevalence of perjury and forgery in Wales; whether the number of cases of perjury, forgery, and uttering forged documents (so far as known to the police) in the police districts of Wales and Monmouthshire, compared with those in England, in the year ending 25th September 1887, the last year for which statistics are available, were as 4.1 to 100, and for the five years ending the same date as 5.8 to 100; whether all the crimes committed (not summarily disposed of, and so far as known to the police) in the same districts for the five years ending 25th September 1887 were as 3.8 to 100; whether the population of Wales and Monmouthshire was at the last Census over six per cent of that of England; and, if he can lay upon the Table data upon which the House might form an opinion on the facts of the case?


I have not seen the remarks of the learned Judge. The figures cited by the hon. Member are accurate. These statistical data are accessible to the House and to the public in the judicial and other statistics, and an opinion can be formed upon them. I know of no other or better data which I could usefully lay upon the Table of the House.

MR. T. ELLIS (Merionethshire)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will take steps, by Return or otherwise, to bring to the notice of the Judges that these crimes are not more rife in Wales than in England. Is he aware that the charge of forgery was brought against the Welsh people some time ago, and that it was exactly the same charge as that which has recently been made by Mr. Justice Grantham?


I believe that the two cases are identical.


As this sweeping charge has been brought against the people of the Principality, I wish to ask whether a single case of perjury or forgery was tried in the whole of North Wales in the recent Winter Assize?


I will inquire, and inform the hon. Member.