HC Deb 04 December 1890 vol 349 cc524-5
MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the case of intimidation tried under "The Conspiracy and Property Act, 1875," by Mr. Preston, Stipendiary Magistrate, at Birkenhead Police Court, on Friday, October 31st; whether the accused were arrested under warrant; whether it is true that Mr. Preston declined to hear more than two witnesses for the defence, although the case for the prosecution occupied nearly five hours; whether he is aware that the licencee of the hotel where the men were arrested stated in evidence that the men said to have been intimidated came to the hotel by themselves, and could have left the place at any time if they had cared to do so; and whether, under these circumstances, he can see his way to a remission of the sentence?


The answer to the first two paragraphs is in the affirmative. The Magistrate did not decline to hear more witnesses, but intimated that to call more would be superfluous. Counsel complied with the suggestion, and thanked the Magistrate. The words quoted do not appear in the notes of evidence. It was a clear case, and I must decline to interfere.


In consequence of the unsatisfactory nature of the answer I beg to give notice that I will call attention to the question on the Home Office Vote.