HC Deb 13 June 1892 vol 5 cc914-5

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can explain how Mr. W. Doveton Smyth, who defended two men named William Norman, alias Lynch, and William Ansburgh, who were charged before London Magistrates on the 6th and 12th April, 1883, with connection with dynamite conspiracies, got access to those prisoners, by whom was he engaged to defend them, and whether the cost of their defence by Mr. Smyth was paid by the Crown; and, if so, out of what fund; whether Mr. Smyth got access to Dr. Gallagher or any of the other prisoners except Norman and Ansburgh; and whether they were afforded opportunities for engaging a solicitor to represent them at the Police Court on the dates when Norman and Ansburgh were represented by Mr. Smyth?


Mr. Doveton Smyth had access to Norman and Ansburgh at their own request. Norman was admitted as Queen's evidence and was not tried, and Ansburgh was acquitted. There is no reason to believe that the cost of the prisoners' defence was paid by the Government of the day. Mr. Smyth in the first instance had access to Gallagher as his solicitor at that prisoner's request, but subsequently Mr. Smyth retired from the defence, as Gallagher applied to be defended by Mr. de Tracy Gould and Mr. Morris. Mr. Smyth had access to the prisoner Wilson, but I am informed, as in the other cases, at the prisoner's request. The prisoners were both afforded every opportunity at the Police Court and while awaiting trial to engage any solicitor whom they pleased to represent them.


How could Norman, who had never been in London before, have known to ask for Mr. Smyth?


I am afraid I cannot give a definite answer to that question.