HC Deb 28 April 1881 vol 260 c1311

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the existence of an established traffic in girls under age for immoral purposes between London and the Continent, and if he purposes to take any, and what, steps to put an end to it; whether it is true that the Belgian authorities have vainly applied to the Home Office for the extradition of a man named Marx, alias Fredericks, alias Schultz, a Belgian subject, who is said to be well known to the Police as an active London agent for such traffic; and, whether ho will lay upon the Table of the House any Report from the Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department upon the subject?


Sir, the attention of the Secretary of State has been called to the subject; and a member of the English Bar was recently deputed to Brussels to inquire into the truth of certain alleged cases, and to watch the prosecution recently instituted by the Belgian authorities, which resulted in the sentence to fine and various terms of imprisonment of five persons convicted of participating in the abduction of an English girl. One of the principal delinquents in the affair, having absconded to France, will be tried in that country; and, as this case will form an essential part of the inquiry, the Secretary of State has deemed it expedient that Mr. Snagge, the barrister referred to, should attend this trial as well. No application has been made to the Secretary of State on the part of the Belgian authorities for the extradition of the man Marx. Mr. Snagge will submit a Report on the conclusion of the inquiry. The Secretary of State will then consider whether the Report shall be laid on the Table of the House, and what action may be required.