§ MR. RENDALL (Gloucestershire, Thornbury)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact that Mr. Wallace, K.C., at the London County Sessions at Newington, on 15th February, had declined an application under the Poor Prisoners Defence Act because the prisoner had not disclosed a defence before the committing magistrate, and had further said that he thought this was wrong, and not the intention of 835 those who passed the Act, and that this part of the Act should be repealed, as the result was that the Act was rendered practically inoperative; and whether he will bring in a short amending Bill to remedy this defect, or will offer Government assistance to any private Member who may do so.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
No, Sir; Mr. Wallace has not communicated with me, and my attention has not been drawn to any observations such as are mentioned by my hon. friend. I can only refer my hon. friend to the reply which I returned to a similar Question on the 18th instant.†The charge of the Lord Chief Justice, to which I then alluded shows that the powers of the Chairman are very wide. I will communicate with the learned Chairman on the subject.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
asked whether this country was not behind all others in the matter of the defence of poor prisoners.