§ MR. J. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that between 30 and 40 more Salvationists are being proceeded against at Eastbourne for marching in procession with music, a right which has been conceded to Salvationists in other parts of the country and confirmed by the Courts 285 of Law; whether he is aware that the clause in the Eastbourne Improvement Act under which these and past prosecutions and imprisonments are taking place is identical with the clause in the Torquay Harbour Act, which was repealed in the Session of 1888; and whether, under these circumstances, he is prepared to remit the penalties which may be imposed?
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS,) Birmingham, E.
Yes, Sir; I am told that informations have been laid against 33 persons for an offence against the Local Act, which forbids processions with music on Sundays. I am aware that a similar enactment was in force at Torquay, but was repealed in 1888. As long as this clause remains on the Statute Book I hold that I should not be justified in setting myself against the will of Parliament, which has sanctioned exceptional legislation for Eastbourne, and in preventing the Magistrates from giving effect to that legislation. It is for the Local Authorities or those who are opposed to the law to take steps for its repeal.
§ MR. J. STUART
Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to take any steps to procure the repeal of this clause?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
No, Sir; I am afraid I could not undertake myself to propose the repeal of the clause.
§ MR. J. STUART
I beg to give notice that on Monday I will ask leave to bring in a Bill to repeal the clause in question of the Eastbourne Improvement Act.