§ Mr. HODGE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been called to the case of William Jones, who was sentenced on 28th September last to one month's imprisonment by the county magistrates sitting at Middlesbrough for sleeping out in a cabin at Clay Lane Ironworks, South Bank; if he is aware that no evidence was brought to disprove the man's statements that he came from Barrow-in-Furness, where unemployment at the moment was bad, to search for work in the Middlesbrough district, and that the workmen at Clay Lane Ironworks advised him if he stayed there till morning there would be the chance of a shift, and that no evidence was given other than that the man was a genuine unemployed workman; and whether, in view of these facts and seeing that it was his first offence, he will advise the man's immediate release?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
I have made inquiry into the case, but regret that I do not feel justified in advising any reduction of the sentence. The magistrates were satisfied that the man was of the ordinary tramp class, and were unable to accept the excuses he offered. If, however, the hon. Member has any fresh evidence to show that he was a workman bonâ fide in search of work, and will submit it to me, I will, of course, consider it and make every inquiry.
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
There was no evidence to support the man's statement. The question at issue was whether he was a bonâ fide workman, and the magistrates were of opinion that he was not. If I could be shown that he was a bonâ fide workman his case could be considered.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if the man had stolen food he would not have got one month's imprisonment?