HC Deb 29 August 1895 vol 36 cc1141-2
MR. LEES KNOWLES (Salford, W.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State, for the Home Department whether the certificate of Kelsall's discharge stated that he was discharged from custody in consequence of his having received Her Majesty's pardon; whether the certificate sets forth that, if a pardon is conditional, the condition on which it has been granted must be distinctly stated on the back of the certificate; whether, inasmuch as no condition was stated on the back of the certificate, Kelsall's pardon was free and unconditional; and, whether, or upon what condition, he would be willing to grant an inquiry as to the conduct of the police in connection with the trials of John Kelsall and Elizabeth Curran?


It is true that, owing to an error at the prison whence Kelsall was discharged, it is stated on the certificate handed to him that he was released in consequence of his having received Her Majesty's pardon. This is an error; but it in no way affects Kelsall's legal position, the certificate of discharge not being the instrument under which the convict's release was authorised, but a mere statement by the governor of the prison made for the convenience of the convict and of the police of the districts through which he would pass. In reality the legal document authorising Kelsall's release was a Royal Warrant stating that, in consider ation of some circumstances humbly represented, Her Majesty was pleased to remit such part of the sentence as remained yet to be undergone. With regard to an inquiry as to the conduct of the police, I can only say that I concur in the view enunciated by my predecessor, viz., that, in the absence of any specific allegations by responsible persons against the police, there appears to be no ground for inquiry into their conduct.