§ Sir GEORGE KEKEWICH
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, on Tuesday last, at the Welshpool Petty Sessions, a labourer, named Buscoe, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labour, and an additional six months' imprisonment in default of finding two sureties in £5 each, for the offence of destroying by night nine rabbits, and that a sentence of two months' imprisonment, with a similar extension in default of finding sureties, was imposed on another labourer in his company for destroying three rabbits; and, if so, whether he proposes to take any steps in the matter as regards reduction of the sentences?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
I will answer with this the question which the hon. Member for North Mayo put to me yesterday about the same case. I have made inquiry and find that the two prisoners were convicted as stated in the question. They were caught poaching with a dog at 3.40 a.m. One of them had a bag containing nine rabbits, the other a bag containing three rabbits and 60 yards of netting. Ruscoe had 28 and the other 12 previous convictions. I am sorry that the case is not one in which I can advise the grant of any remission other than what the prisoners can earn in the ordinary course by good conduct and industry.
§ Mr. LUPTON
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it has been found in some parts of the country that a moderate fine has a better effect than imprisonment in stopping poaching and in getting poachers on better terms with landlords?