HC Deb 01 May 1913 vol 52 c1366

asked the Home Secretary, with reference to the case of John Smith, of Tunstall, who was deprived of his old age pension because he escaped from the Chell Workhouse in the workhouse clothes, whether he will communicate to the House the statement made to him respecting this case by the stipendiary who sentenced the man?


Reports to the Secretary of State from magistrates on applications for the exercise of the prerogative of mercy are of a strictly confidential nature, and I cannot make an exception in this case to the general rule against making them public.


Does the right hon. Gentleman still insist that the magistrate did not say that if he had known the man would lose his old age pension he would have given a different decision?


I am informed that he did not make that statement. I believe he did state that he did not know it would affect the man's old age pension, but he did not state that had he known it he would have given a different sentence. I am told he has refrained from making any statement of that kind.