§ Mr. FITZROY
asked the Home Secretary whether he has received any application for the remittance of a fine of 5s. imposed by a bench of magistrates in North Beds upon a Sharnbrook teacher for trespass and damage, by whom the application was made, and, if so, with what result, and on what grounds; whether life attention has been drawn by the same person or persons to the two cases in East Northants, tried before a bench of magistrates at Welling-borough, on 4th April, 1912, in the first of which a youth aged sixteen was fined 15s. for stealing part of a dead fence value Is., the property of Mr. C. J. K. Woolston, and in the second case two little Welling-borough scholars, aged twelve and ten respectively, were, fined 7s. 6d. each for stealing part of a live and dead fence, value 2s., the property of the same gentleman; and whether he proposes to advise the remittance of the fines in these cases; if not, why not, and, if so, on what grounds?
§ Mr. McKENNA
My attention was called by two Members of this House to the case mentioned in the first paragraph, and, after consulting the magistrates who heard the case, I was satisfied that the fine imposed might properly be remitted. Though the person charged had committed an offence against the law by picking willow-twigs that grew on private property, the offence seemed to me of so trivial a character as not to justify the infliction of a fine. I have not heard of, nor had any application in respect to the case referred to in the second paragraph. With regard to the case mentioned in the third paragraph, I would refer to the answer given in this House on the 29th ult. It was of a different character altogether from the Sharnbrook case, and afforded no ground for intervention on my part.