§ Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Home Secretary whether he can give the number of charges proved against Mr. R. C. Wallhead under the Defence of the Realm Act at Neath, the total fine enforceable, and the total term of imprisonment he will have to undergo; whether Mr. Wallhead denied having made the statement alleged against him; is he aware that no shorthand notes were taken of the speech; and, under these circumstances, will he reconsider the whole facts in connection with this prosecution, with a view 1442W to either his immediate release or a considerable reduction in the sentence imposed?
§ Sir G. CAVE
Mr. Wallhead was charged with making false statements and statements likely to prejudice recruiting in each of two speeches. As regards one speech, Mr. Wallhead was found guilty on both charges, and he then pleaded guilty to the charges in respect of the other speech. He was fined in all £50, or four months' imprisonment. In the case in which he pleaded not guilty, Mr. Wallhead declined to give evidence on oath, but made a statement denying having used the words attributed to him. No shorthand note seas taken, but I am informed that the defendant admitted at the first hearing that the evidence of the police officers was in essentials correct. The false statements complained of were to the effect that boys of eighteen who joined the Army were joining not for the duration of the. War, but to serve in the Regular Army after the War; that a notice to this effect was posted up in the barrack room and had been announced by the commanding officer on parade. All these statements were absolutely false and were clearly calculated to interfere with recruiting. I regret that on the facts before me I can find no ground for advising interference with the sentence in this case, but I am prepared to. consider sonic further representations on his behalf which I understand are to be made to me.