§ MR. BELL (Derby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the case of Beatrice and Leikha Thomas, aged eighteen and sixteen years respectively, who were sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour, at Tywardreath Petty Sessions, Cornwall, on 14th April last, for stealing £6 10s. 1459 from their employer, who during the trial said that he did not wish to press the charge, but merely to have the girls corrected; if he is aware that this is their first offence, and whether he has received a petition for a mitigation of their sentence signed by 1,200 out of the 2,000 inhabitants of that district, also testimonials from influential residents, including a late employer; and whether he will intervene in the matter and advise His Majesty to release these girls from the remainder of their sentence.
§ *MR. RITCHIE
I have received the petition referred to. It is now under consideration, and I will inform the hon. Member of the decision arrived at.