§ MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)
asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to the remarks of Mr. Justice Manisty, in the recent case of "Bayfus v. Savilie," that the mode in which summonses were obtained in the Marlborough Street Police Court was "perfectly shocking," and that by such procedure "no man's character was safe;" whether it is true that summonses are there granted without any information or evidence; whether a summons was so granted in the case referred to by Mr. Justice Manisty, and used for the purpose of extorting money from a respectable solicitor; and, whether such practice is according to law; and, if so, whether he is prepared to take steps to have the law placed on a more satisfactory footing in this respect?
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight)
In reply to the hon. and learned Member, I have made inquiries into the case referred to in his Question. I have not ascertained that Mr. Justice Manisty made use of the observations therein referred to; but he certainly did comment strongly upon the way in which the summonses in this particular case were issued. It is not, I believe, the practice of the Marlborough Street Police Court to grant summonses without any information or evidence; but it is certain that in this case part of the information upon which the summons was granted was not properly verified. Upon the facts before me, it certainly appears that the summons was used to extort money from a respectable solicitor. Upon the information given me, the course pursued was not in accordance with law; but as the case was exceptional, there is, in my opinion, no necessity for any alteration of the law.