HC Deb 22 July 1890 vol 347 cc496-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if any Reports have reached him as to alleged prize fights having taken place at the Pelican Club and other places; if the fact of the men wearing a small hand glove places them beyond the restrictions of the law; if he is aware that at a recent exhibition of this nature at the Pelican Club one man was seriously hurt; and if in future the police will be instructed to stop all prize fights, whether with or without gloves?


The Secretary of State has received representations on the subject of glove fights. In the opinion of the Secretary of State the wearing of a small glove does not by itself affect the character of a contest which may, or may not, be illegal by virtue of the attendant circumstances, and irrespectively of the fact whether gloves are worn or not. I have no information as to a man having been recently hurt at the Pelican Club. The Secretary of State is advised that exhibitions of skill in boxing, as distinguished from prize fights, are not in themselves illegal. It would be impossible, therefore, to give any such general instructions to the police as are suggested.


If information reached the police that one of the combatants had been severely punished, would it not be within the province of the police to interfere, or is the fact that gloves are used, although a man may be knocked senseless, to debar the interference of the police?


I have no doubt that every case would be considered on its merits.