§ Mr. REED
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the case of Miss Florence Annie Parkes, who in 1917 was convicted of manslaughter at Exeter Assizes in respect of the death of a baby born in her nursing home and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment; and whether he is in a position to make a statement?
§ Sir J. SIMON
Yes, Sir. My attention has recently been called to certain signed statements bearing upon the question of Miss Parkes' responsibility for the death of the baby, and I have carefully investigated the source and authority of these statements. They were not admitted as 1991W evidence at the trial on the ground of privilege, and I am satisfied that if they had been available from the outset, a wholly different situation would have been created, and Miss Parkes would not have been convicted of the offence for which she was sentenced and punished. In these circumstances I have felt it right to recommend that a free pardon should be granted to her in respect of the conviction, and suitable compensation is being given to her.