§ ME. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will inquire into a case which came before the Brentford Bench on the 10th of May, in which George Ball was sentenced to a month's imprisonment with hard labour for leading a horse which was unfit to travel at Southall; whether he is aware that the evidence showed that Ball had nothing to do with the horse, and was not aware that it was in so bad a state, but, being out of work, had been asked by its owner to lead it to Southall Market, and was paid Is. for doing so; whether he is aware that Sir George Measom, the Chairman of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was one of the two Magistrates who convicted and sentenced Ball; whether it is regular for the Chairman of such a Society to adjudicate upon such cases, even although he may give the accused an opportunity of objecting to his sitting; and whether, upon that ground, or upon the ground of the severity of the sentence, he will reduce the term of Ball's imprisonment?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have carefully considered this case, with the result that I at once ordered the man's discharge, and he was released on Saturday afternoon.