§ Mr. ALDEN
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he was aware that a man named Reuben Rawlings was sentenced by the Farnham bench to a term, of one month's imprisonment with hard labour because he had allowed his wife and children to sleep underneath a tent during the winter; whether he was aware that, although the children were described as dirty and dishevelled, they were not verminous or ill-nourished, and that the doctor testified that no organic disease was present in any of the children; and whether, seeing that the imprisonment of the father, who was earning on the average not more than 12s. a week and who had been unable to find a cottage, had compelled the mother and children to go to the workhouse, he would consider the advisability of ordering the discharge of Rawlings from prison in order that he would be able to maintain his wife and children?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
On this case being brought to my notice through a newspaper report, the circumstances appeared to me primâ facie to require investigation. I communicated with the justices, and on their report, which I received on 12th February, I considered that, having regard to all the circumstances, there was no sufficient ground for interference. The prisoner's sentence expired, and he was released, on the 17th of this month.