HC Deb 28 January 1937 vol 319 cc1051-2
26. Mr. Richards

asked the Home Secretary whether he will take an early opportunity to review the sentences passed at the Old Bailey upon the three Welshmen found guilty of setting fire to a bombing school in North Wales, in view of the alleged political nature of the crime which arose out of the Government's refusal to receive a deputation on the matter, and of the other circumstances attending the case?

Sir J. Simon

There is no information before me to suggest that I should be justified in advising interference with the sentences which the court, after hearing all the evidence, thought it right to impose.

Mr. Richards

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that there were political elements in this trial, and naturally those could not be considered by the court, and that the position was aggravated by the action of the Government in refusing to see the deputation?

Sir J. Simon

Everything that it was proper to urge was present to the mind of the learned judge, I have no doubt.

Sir William Davison

Why, when these gentlemen were found guilty of arson, were they sentenced to imprisonment in the second division?

Mr. Richards

Did not the judges in both cases definitely rule out these political considerations, so that they were not actually considered at all?

Mr. Macquisten

How can politics justify crime?