§ MR. DALZIEL
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a statement made by Mr. Charles Cusworth, of Warwick House, Capel Road, New Bushey, who was the foreman of the jury in the case of Mary Ansell, in which he states that had the evidence which has since been published been put before the jury in regard to the prisoner's insanity, his opinion is that they would have been unanimous in recommending a commutation of the death sentence; and whether, in view of all the circumstances of the case, he can see his way to the postponement of the date of execution pending an independent inquiry into the prisoner's sanity.
* THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir M. WHITE RIPLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
My attention has been called to a statement which has appeared in the newspapers. I am satisfied, as the result of very full inquiry and after consultation with the judge, that if the question of insanity had been raised at the trial there is no evidence to that effect which could properly have affected the verdict of the jury. I fear the answer to the last paragraph must be in the negative. It is my duty to protest against the insinuation which appears to be conveyed by the word "independent" in the last paragraph. MR. DALZIEL: As a personal explanation, I wish to be allowed to explain that the word "independent" means officers not retained by the Home Office. There is another question which I wish to ask of the right hon. Gentleman. It is, whether his attention has been called to the fact that the prison chaplain has expressed his difficulty in deciding and has in fact insinuated that in his opinion the girl does not understand the gravity of her crime.
§ SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY
Every single point which has been alluded to by the hon. Member has been fully within my knowledge during the last week, and I have given each of them my best consideration.