§ MR. TULLY () Leitrim, S.
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been directed to the result of the Penruddocke case, and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.
*MR. AKERS DOUGLAS
My attention has been called to the case, but it is not one in which I have any jurisdiction, nor can I express any opinion on the course which the Judge thought fit to adopt. The matter was entirely in the Judge's discretion, as the Act prescribing the penalties that can be inflicted in such a case fixes wide limits calculated to allow a suitable penalty for every case. The penalty on indictment may be anything up to £:100, or may be a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding two years, either by way of alternative or in addition to the fine. The only alteration which would appear to be suggested is to the effect of prescribing a fixed or minumum penalty for all cases. This could only be done by legislation; and not only would it be sure to operate most unjustly in 507 certain cases, but the principle of fixing minimum penalties is contrary to the whole tendency and practice of modern legislation.