asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the sentences of three months' imprisonment with hard labour imposed upon four unemployed workmen named Murphy, M'Daid, M'Guire, and Ross at Greenock Sheriff Court for taking possession of the Greenock Parish Council offices and preventing the staff for about 20 minutes from proceeding with their duties; whether he is aware that these men were part of a deputation from the unemployed demanding a revision of the amount of relief being granted; that there was no destruction of property, no personal injuries, and although a sum of money was lying in one of the rooms no attempt was made to touch it; and whether, in view of all the circumstances, he will consider the possibility of a remission of the sentences?
Mr. L. MALONE:84.
asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the sentences of three months' imprisonment with hard labour passed by the Greenock Sheriff Court against James Murphy, Patrick M'Daid, Robert M'Guire, and Joseph Ross, members of the Greenock Unemployed Committee; whether the offence with which these men were charged was that they entered the Greenock Parish Council offices on 9th February at the head of a deputation to request a special meeting of the parish council to consider the payments being made to the unemployed; whether the evidence of the inspector of poor and of the clerks to the council was to the effect that previous to that day there had been no complaint against the accused, who had always been quietly disposed, that no violence was done, and that though there was a large sum of money in the office it, was not interfered with; whether the witnesses, with one exception, stated that no threats were made: and whether he will consider the revision of the sentences imposed by the sheriff on these men?
If the right hon. Gentleman finds, on inquiry, that these men have been punished very largely on account of their opinions, will he have the case reconsidered?