§ MR. E. R. RUSSELL (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
(for Mr. CHANGING) asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the case of John Cox, a signalman in the employ of the Somerset and Dorset Railway Company, who 258 was sentenced on the 29th of May last to six months' imprisonment for the results of an error in signalling; whether the Board of Trade has repeatedly insisted on the necessity of the adoption of the train staff system of working single lines, on the ground that it renders such mistakes impossible; whether, at the time of the mistake made by Cox, the Somerset and Dorset Railway Company had failed to adopt the train staff system; whether John Cox has now served nearly half of the sentence passed upon him; and, whether, under these circumstances, he will take into consideration the justice of advising a remission of the remainder of the term of imprisonment?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I have carefully considered the facts of the case of John Cox, and have to inform the hon. Member that I see no reason to depart from the decision arrived at by my Predecessor in Office—namely, that the case is not one in which he could advise interference. I am informed by the Board of Trade that, although they do not consider the system upon which the line is worked to be satisfactory, yet the accident could never have occurred if the signalman had done his duty. The Judge who tried the case expressed a similar opinion; and, under those circumstances, I must decline to advise any remission of the sentence.