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MONDAY, JANUARY 25TH. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. Curzon, replying to Sir H. Vincent, said the commercial secretary to the British Em- bassy at Paris had been for some time discharg- ing his duties there, and the commercial secre- taries to the Embassies at Berlin and Madrid were about to take up their new posts. Ar- rangements had been for some time in force both at the Foreign Office and the Board of Trade for giving publicity to any news of interests to the mercantile community. In answer to Sir John Leng, the Home Secre- tary said it was intended to require the pro- vision of shuttle guards wherever there was found to be serious danger to the workpeople that might be removed by their use. Asked by Mr. M'Kenna whether special rules had been issued lor any of the trades recently reported upon as dangerous by the Committee appointed to inquire into the conditions of certain trades, the Home Secretary said that out of seven processes named in the report of the Committee he had already seen his way to certify two as dangerous under the Act of 1891. j Special rules had been issued with regard to those two trades, and a similar course would probably be necessary with regard to the re- maining five. Questioned by Mr. Carvel Williams as to the condition of the elementary schools at Hey- wood, Sir J. Gorst said that at the request of the Town Council of that Town he had asked the Department's Inspector to prepare a report. In consequence of the closing of the Hopwood United Methodists Free Church School, some of the scholars were playing about the streets, as their parents refused to send them either to the Episcopalian or the Roman Catholic schools. The Town Council had again passed a resolution asking for a school board, but by a diminished majority, and that request was now being considered by the Committee of Council. In answer to Mr. Field, Mr. Balfour said there was no probability of the Government taking the initative in a movement for holding an international monetary conference, and it would therefore be premature to discuss the constitution of a body which had not, so far as he knew, been proposed. The debate on Sir H. H. Howorth's amend ment to the Address, expressing the opinion that the explanation given by the Government to justify the release of the dynamite prisoners was inadequate, and was calculated to encour- age a recrudescence of that form of crime, was resumed by Mr. Davitt. In the course of his speech, Mr. Davitt asked the late Home Secre- tary (Mr. Asquith) whether he was ever ap- proached by the Irish members while in office with a view to carrying out a 'deal' for the release of the dynamite prisoners. Mr. Asquith replied in the negative. Mr. Davitt added that if the Irish members never approached the Liberal Government, which they kept in power, on the matter, how much more unlikely was it that they should ap. proach a Conservative Government? Sir M. White Ridley, in replying to the speech of Sir H. Howorth, said the hon. mem ber had given him an opportunity of repeating that in ad vising the exercise of the prerogative of mercy in the case of these four men last August, he acted solely and entirely on medical grounds. He had no other thought whatever 1. in the matter, and he felt himself absolutely forced to come to the conclusion to which he then gave effect. Sir H. Howorth had quoted certain figures, from which he drew an infer- ence which was scarcely fair. The total num- ber of men released from prison on medical grounds during the last four or five years was sixteen in 1893, nine in 1894, thirteen in 1895, and thirteen in 1896, including the four men whose, case was under the consideration of the Honse. When a long sentence of penal servi- tude was passed, it was not intended to be a sentence of death or a sentence of insanity. If that proposition were accepted, then he held that the action which he took in regard to these four men was amply justified, and indeed was most urgently required by the general practice of the Home Office. Mr. Asquith, speaking of the rules which ought to govern the action of the Home Secre. tary in the dispensation of the prerogative of meucy, said that as regards these particular prisoners, there had been an absolute continuity of treatment in the Home Office from the time of their first imprisonment up to the present. After a few words from Mr. Dillon, Sir H. Howorth asked to be allowed to withdraw his amendment, but the Irish members objected. Mr. Kearly next proposed an amendment ex- pressing regret that no legislation had been mentioned on the subject of the adulteration of food products. Mr. Jeffreys seconded the amendment, which, after Mr. T. W. Russell had stated that a bill had been prepared dealing with the matter, was negatived without a division. Mr. Strachy's amendment on the subject of the simplification of the registration laws was rulled out of order, and the House then pro- ceeded to discuss an amendment by Mr. J. H. Wilson regretting that no promise was made to pass into law a bill dealing with the ques- tion of the manning of British merchant vessels. Mr. Provand seconded the motion. After a statement by Mr. Ritchie, the amendment was withdrawn, and the House ad- journed. 1