§ MR. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM (Lanark, N.W.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If it be true that Lipski's solicitor, Mr. Hayward, was unable to obtain a sight of the bottle labelled "Camphorated Oil, Ball and Co." until Thursday; whether, on account of this delay, he will give more time to collect the necessary evidence; and, when the Home Office contemplates releasing the unfortunate man from this position of uncertainty?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (MR. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
The phial in question was taken to Mr. Hayward's office on Monday, the 15th, by the Inspector, and shown to Mr. Hayward's clerk (Mr. Hayway being absent). The clerk took a sketch of it, and was informed that the phial was in the custody of the Inspector, who would meet Mr. Hayward at any time by appointment and show him the phial. To prevent mistakes this message was repeated the next morning. Mr. Hayward was informed by me on the 16th that the police could not part with the phial; but that it could be seen at any time by 1103 any person he desired, in the presence of the police. No application has been made by Mr. Hayward to have the bottle shown to anybody for the purpose of identification. On Wednesday, the 17th, Mr. Hayward asked the police for leave to take the bottle away to have it photographed, and the Inspector refused to produce the phial for this purpose, or at all. This is probably the incident to which the hon. Member's Question refers. On the 18th Mr. Hayward complained to me by letter and in person. I sent for the Inspectors; and, in Mr. Hay ward's presence, gave orders that Mr. Hayward should be allowed to have the phial photographed, and repeated the orders as to showing it. Mr. Hayward has not since made any application either to see or to photograph, the phial. I can hold out no expectation that the respite can be further extended.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
As as present advised, I am quite unable to do so. I am giving the most anxious care and consideration to all the materials that have been laid before me; and upon the materials that are before me at present I can hold out no expectation of a further respite.
§ MR. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that a Petition signed by 100 Members of Parliament, is to be presented to him to-morrow in favour of the condemned man Lipski; and, whether, in view of that fact, he will reconsider his decision?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I have understood that such a Petition is in preparation; but I must formally protest against interference with the ordinary course of the administration of justice by Questions in the House.
§ MR. CONYBEARE (Cornwall, Camborne)
I wish to ask the Home Secretary, whether it is true that Mr. Buchner's evidence in connection with the Lipski trial shows that a bottle precisely corresponding to the one found on the scene of the murder was in the possession of a man who was not Lipski; and whether that fact is not sufficient to throw such reasonable doubt upon the 1104 guilt of the convict as to entitle us to insist upon a further respite?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I have received a full report of what has been alleged; and I have given my earnest attention to it, with a perfectly open and impartial mind. More than that I decline to say.