§ CAPTAIN NOLAN
rose to move fora Return of the number of Applications for total or partial Remissions of Criminal Punishment awarded in Ireland during the years 1874, 1875, and 1876; stating in each case by whom the application was made, and whether it was wholly or partially acceded to, or whether it was refused.The hon. and gallant Member said, to his surprise he found that his Motion was to be opposed, but he could not understand upon what grounds the Government were prepared to resist it. The Return in question was wholly unconnected with political offences, for there were none in Ireland during the period specified. When memorials were got up by the friends of prisoners, believing in their innocence or the mitigating circumstances of their case, it was usual to obtain signatures in the neighbourhood, and the matter was then referred to the Chairman of the county. He had himself signed such memorials, and he should not be ashamed if they were all published in The Times with his name attached. An impression prevailed in some parts of the country that punishments were remitted on the recommendation of influential persons gene- 1900 rally connected with the Conservative Party. If that impression were wrong, nothing could dispel it more effectually than the production of the Return for which he had moved.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That there be laid before this House, a Return of the number of Applications for total or partial Remissions of Criminal Punishments awarded in Ireland during the years 1874, 1875, and 1876; stating in each case by whom the application was made, and whether it was wholly or partially acceded to, or whether it was refused."—(Captain Nolan.)
§ Notice taken that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ MR. WHALLEY
asked in what manner the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant was exercised in dealing with applications for the remission of punishment? It had been laid down by the Home Secretary that regard could not be paid to representations from the convict, lest the chance of supporting such applications by new facts should tempt prisoners to withhold them on their trial, and so defeat justice. If that were not the general rule they must come to the conclusion that the Home Secretary adopted it only in reference to certain cases. He supported the Motion for the Return.
§ Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members not being present,
§ House adjourned at Nine o'clock.