§ MR. BURT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his 1008 attention has been called to a case tried before the stipendiary magistrates a few days ago at Birkenhead, when Thomas Critchley and William Suxden were fined one shilling each and £5 12s. costs between them, or in default to go to gaol for seven days, for "besetting the approaches to Messrs. Brassey's Engine Works, with a view to compelling two of the workmen to leave their employment;" whether, as the defendants were admitted by the magistrates to have used "no threats or violence" their conviction can be justified; and, whether, in this case, due regard has been had to the definition of "besetting," as given in the latter part of the seventh section of "The Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875?"
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
This, Sir, is an important point; and the parties have very properly appealed. That being so, and as the matter is awaiting the decision of a Court of Law, it would be manifestly improper on my part to express any opinion on the subject.