§ MR. PICKARD (York, W. E., Normanton)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been drawn to the following paragraph, which appeared in The Barnsley Independent of 2nd April:—On Monday both excitement and curiosity were caused by the arrival at Hoyland Silk-stone of a staff of police from Barnsley, who proceeded to search about 500 of the men and boys employed at the colliery there. It appears that, about 9 o'clock in the morning, a girl named Wild, who was picking coal from the rubbish heap of the colliery, found a loaded pistol amongst the dirt which had been thrown out of a corve. … The pistol had a screw barrel, and was indifferently loaded with powder and ball, but no wadding or paper had been used for the purpose of ramming the charge home. Nothing of a suspicious character was found, however, and inquiries are still being made in order to find out for what purpose the pistol had been taken down the pit;whether he will state under what legal authority the police acted in searching the persons of these men and boys; and, whether, if they acted without legal authority, he will cause inquiry to be made into the circumstances of the case?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
My attention has not been called to this matter. I have written to the Chief Constable of the West Riding of Yorkshire asking him to favour me with a Report. When I receive it, I shall be happy to give an answer to the hon. Gentleman.