§ Mr. NIELD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Richard Knight, a lad who was convicted of larceny at the Tottenham Petty Sessions on 13th October last, and ordered to be detained in the county house of detention for a month, but being found to develop epileptic fits, and so certified, was sent to his home on 2nd November; whether his release and the remittance of the sentence was directed by a warrant under the Royal Sign Manual and, bearing a 10s. stamp, was issued on 9th February; whether he will consider the advisability of amending the law so as to avoid the necessity for the Royal Sign Manual in these cases, having regard to the many and important documents, especially at the present time, requiring the Royal perusal and signature; and out of what fund was the amount of the Stamp Duty referred to paid?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The sentence in this case was remitted in the same manner as a sentence of imprisonment. The 10s. stamp on the warrant of remission, which is obligatory by the Stamp Act, 1891, was under a general Treasury authority affixed without charge, the cost being, I believe, paid from the Civil Contingencies Fund. The formality of a Royal Warrant in such a case is at present legally necessary, but under Section 17 (6) of the Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1914, which comes into force on 1st April next, it will be possible to dispense with it in similar cases in future.