§ MR. BALLANTINE (Coventry)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Walter Smith, who was executed at, Nottingham last week, made any confession?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
I cannot help regretting that my hon. Friend should have thought it his duty to put this question. I think that any public inquiry into statements made by persons under the sentence of death is, as a, rule, to be deprecated. But as there is, I know, a certain uneasiness in the minds of many persons as to this case, I think it right to say that the night but one before his execution the prisoner stated to the officers in charge that he had bought the pistol for the purpose of killing the girl whom he shot.