HC Deb 01 August 1935 vol 304 cc2863-4
20. Mr. DORAN

asked the Home Secretary whether he has received a full report concerning the case of Arthur Shaw, of Back-of-Aston Road, Birmingham, who was committed to prison for 51 days owing to the failure of his son to attend the Birmingham quarter sessions because he did not know they were being held; whether he is aware that Arthur Shaw is the father of eight children and, owing to extreme poverty, is unable to pay the £10 forfeited surety; and whether, in view of the Bill now before the House, he will consider remitting the remainder of this man's sentence?


This case was reported to the Prison Commissioners by the prison governor on the reception of Mr. Shaw on 23rd July, and I immediately asked the chief constable of Birmingham for a full report. After consideration of this report, I was satisfied that the failure of Mr. Shaw's son to surrender to his bail was due to a misunderstanding as to the date of the sessions, and I accordingly felt justified in recommending the Treasury to remit the estreated recognisance with a view to Mr. Shaw's discharge from prison. Instructions for this purpose were given and acted on on the 26th July. I do not understand the reference in my hon. Friend's question to committal to prison for 51 days as the actual period of Shaw's detention was from Tuesday to the following Friday, but I should not like it to be supposed that I attach less importance to the case because the actual time for which he was deprived of his liberty was short, and I am glad to be able to inform the House that the chief constable tells me that as a result of this incident he has reviewed the police procedure in cases of this kind and has issued fresh instructions to his force with the object of preventing the recurrence of any similar misunderstanding.