§ MR. FLEMING (York, W.R., Doncaster)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a statement in Truth newspaper of the case of Peter Graham, charged at Liverpool before before Mr. Stewart, stipendiary magistrate, with not accounting for a ring which he had in his possession, when the magistrate sentenced him to 14 days' hard labour; and, on the prisoner asking, "Fourteen days for what, for spending my own money?" added "One month for impertinence as well;" whether the statement in the newspaper is true, and whether there was evidence to justify the conviction; and whether the month for impertinence was in fact inflicted; if so, was it warranted by any law?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I am in communication with the stipendiary, but have not yet received a reply. Perhaps I may be allowed in the meantime to refer my hon. Friend to a letter from Mr. Stewart which appeared in The Liverpool Echo, of February 20th, in which he stated that Peter Graham was sentenced to 14 1834 days only, and for no other offence than that for which he was originally taken into custody.