§ MR. D. GRANT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, having regard to his published Letter to Mr. Shiel, a magistrate at Hammersmith, and the very recent prosecution of, and sentence of fine and imprisonment on, ten costermongers at Hammersmith, who for more than forty years have had market rights in the main street of the town, he is prepared to protect the costers against continuous fine and imprisonment; or, whether he will introduce a Bill to terminate the market monopoly of the City Corporation seven miles from the City, so that a market may be established to give protection to these humble toilers in their industry against the continuous prosecutions to which they are subjected by the Fulham Board of Works, or at least stay proceedings until the local elections next year, that the inhabitants may express an opinion?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT,
in reply, said, that no doubt a certain amount of inconvenience was caused by the costermongers. He had received a Report from the police stating that the costermongers agreed to abide by whatever regulations they laid down in the matter. The dispute had been a very long and foolish one, and in its present stage he thought the Fulham Board of Works were wholly in the wrong. He had written to the Fulham Board to say that if the costermongers followed the directions of the police he would consider any further proceedings against the costermongers as oppressive and unjust, and he would take whatever measures he should consider necessary under the circumstances.