asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has received a Memorial, largely and influentially signed, earnestly praying him to recommend Her Majesty to mitigate the sentence passed on the men convicted in the Strome Ferry case; and, whether, considering the hitherto unquestioned character of these men, and the fact that no destruction of property or serious personal injury was committed by them, and all the circumstances of the case, he is prepared to comply with the petition of the Memorialists? He should like to add to the Question by asking whether the right hon. and learned Gentleman had received a further Memorial from the jury who tried the case, signed by 12 out of the 15 jurymen?
Yes; I have received the Memorial referred to by the hon. Member. In this case sentence was pronounced by the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Moncreiff, a Judge of great humanity and experience, who took a day to consider what judgment should be passed The sentence was passed a very short time ago; and if I were to presume to interfere now I should take upon myself the administration of the law, I should shake altogether the authority of justice, and I should do extreme mischief in regard to encouraging the non-observance of the law.