HC Deb 07 May 1912 vol 38 cc359-60W

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that Mrs. Evelyn Hudleston, a suffragist, who was sentenced at Newington Sessions, on the 26th March, to six months' imprisonment, and who is at present in Winson Green Gaol, Birmingham, petitioned the Home Office for release on the ground that her child was about to undergo a serious and dangerous operation, and in her petition stated that she was willing to be bound over for a reasonable period; and whether he will explain why the Home Office refused the request, saying that they could only consent to her release if she agreed to be bound over for the rest of her life, seeing that suffragist prisoners released on former occasions, for various reasons, have never been asked to be bound over for more than twelve months?


I have no power to bind over a prisoner such as a Court of Law possesses, and I did not suggest that this prisoner should be bound over either for a year or indefinitely. All I asked for was an assurance that she would not, if liberated, repeat her offence. I should have been glad to recommend an exercise of the prerogative of mercy in her favour if I had received any such assurance, and I much regret that I failed to receive it and was not justified in interfering with the ordinary course of the sentence.