§ Mr. NIELD
asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he received any, and how many, petitions praying for a reconsideration of the case of Emily Morse, convicted and sentenced to three months' imprisonment in the second division by the Brentford Petty Sessions in July, 1913, on a charge preferred by or on behalf of the guardians of the Brentford union; when were such petitions received and what steps were taken to deal with them, and with what result; whether any statement was called for by the Home Office from the guardians and received, and what means, if any, were taken to test the information so furnished; is he aware that material particulars were withheld from the magistrates and also from the statement to the Home Office as to the non-identification by witnesses of Mrs. Morse; and will he cause a fresh and full inquiry to be held into all the circumstances; also (2) whether his attention has been called to the case of Emily Morse, who was in July, 1913, sentenced to and who served three months' imprisonment in the second division at the instance of the guardians of the Brentford union for an alleged offence of deserting two children, which offence it has been now clearly proved she did not commit; and if he is prepared to advise that a free pardon be granted to Mrs. Morse and ample monetary compensation made to her for the wrongful imprisonment and other indignities so suffered?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Two petitions were received from Emily Morse on the 13th 995W August and 20th September, 1913, and representations on behalf of the prisoner were also received from the Salvation Army. All the statements made were carefully investigated, but in view of the evidence given at the trial no circumstances were disclosed which could justify interference with the sentence of the Court. A statement furnished to the Home Office by the clerk to the Brentford guardians was considered at the same time. As a result of the recent proceedings before the Middlesex Quarter Sessions, I have decided to advise His Majesty to grant a free pardon to Mrs. Morse in respect of her conviction at Brentford Petty Sessions in 1913, and I will communicate with the Treasury on the question of granting her a sum in compensation for the imprisonment which she is shown to have unjustly suffered. The matters referred to in the latter part of the first question will be the subject of further investigation, and I cannot at present make any statement with regard to them.