HC Deb 17 March 1955 vol 538 c1442
34. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the death of Mrs. Teresa Kate Friend-Smith on 1st March, widow of Ernest Friend-Smith who was murdered on the Brighton Downs in 1928, and in view of the letter sent to him by the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion, he will consider re-examining the evidence in the case with a view to recommending the granting of the Queen's Pardon to James Weaver who was condemned to death for this crime, reprieved, and has now served his sentence.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Major Gwilym Lloyd-George)

This case was considered with the greatest care at the time, and all the representations made by and on behalf of the prisoners, both then and subsequently, were fully examined. I have reviewed the case in the light of the representations brought to my notice by my hon. Friend, but I can find nothing in the information before me to suggest that there are any grounds for further action on my part.

Mr. Teeling

Is my right hon. and gal-Friend aware that there has always been a great deal of uncertainty as to why this reprieve was granted at the last moment, and in view of the fact that one or two people connected with the case have in recent weeks offered to come forward and talk about it again, does he not think that it would be possible to raise the matter again—if not now, later?

Major Lloyd-George

I do not think any useful purpose would be served because, at the time when the decision was made by the Home Secretary of the day, he stated that his recommendation cast no reflection whatever on the decision of the court.

Mr. Teeling

In view of the fact that it is difficult to ask these questions by way of Question and Answer, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.