21 JUNE 1913, Page 2

On Tuesday six officials of the Women's Social and Political

Union and a Richmond chemist named Clayton, all of whom were charged with conspiracy to commit damage to property and to incite others thereto, were found guilty at the Old Bailey after a six days' trial. Mr. Justice Phillimore sentenced the chemist to twenty-one months, Miss Annie Kenney to eighteen, Mrs. Sanders to fifteen, and Miss Kerr to twelve months. The remaining defendants, who had been strongly recommended to mercy on the score of their age, received sentences of nine and six months. All the defendants will serve their terms in the third division—i.e., they are refused the prison privileges lately granted to suffragists—and they are also to pay the costs of the prosecution and to be bound over to keep the peace for twelve months after serving their sentences. Mr. Justice Phillimore, after passing sentence, told the women that if the Home Secretary consulted him, he should take upon himself the responsibility of saying that, at any rate, the ringleaders should not be let out of prison in any circum- stances. We cannot agree in regard to the female prisoners. Considering the state of frenzied exaltation into which they have worked themselves, they must not be allowed- to commit

suicide. They must be treated as temporarily insane, or at any rate as only partially responsible for their acts. They are not true rebels. The male prisoner has no claim to mercy and indulgence on these grounds.