§ MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Croydon)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of Miss Mary Pearson, of Croydon, who was recently sentenced at the police court to six weeks imprisonment in the second class; whether he is aware that the other persons committed for the same offence were sentenced to imprisonment in the first class; whether he will state why a distinction has been made in the case of Miss Pearson; and whether he will give instructions that she may be placed in the first class for the remainder of her term of imprisonment.
1361 (Answered by Mr. Secretary Gladstone.) I have made inquiry about this case, but I am informed by the magistrates that the other persons committed for the same offence as this lady were similarly treated. None of them were placed in the first division. A year ago a number of persons committed to prison in respect of similar disturbances were placed in the first division, but the matter is one in the discretion of the magistrates, and I understand their view is that the persistence of such offences renders it undesirable to adopt that course any longer.