§ MR. J. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that 15 Salvationists, including three women, were on Thursday last fined £5 each, or one month's imprisonment, for offences under the 169th clause of the Eastbourne Improvement Act of 1885, which are not offences under the ordinary law; whether he is aware that three men summoned by the police for assaulting Salvationists on Sunday were convicted on the same day, and were bound over to keep the peace; and whether, having regard to the inequality of these sentences, he will consider the question of remitting the sentences on the Salvationists?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I am informed by the Eastbourne Magistrates that 30 defendants were brought before them on the 11th inst for a breach of the Eastbourne Improvement Act, and at the close of the hearing the Chairman offered to discharge them all on their own recognisances if they would give their personal promise not to continue this breach of the law. This they all declined to do, whereupon the Bench dismissed the cases against all the defendants who were under age, and inflicted the full penalty on the remainder, 14 in number. The three men referred to in the second paragraph were summoned by the police, not by the Salvationists, who made no complaint, under the Municipal Corporations Act, for "disturbing the public peace," and were bound over in £10, which is all that the Magistrates had power to do under the 193rd section of that Act. The alleged inequality is, therefore, a consequence of 401 the different enactments under which proceedings were taken, and forms no ground for a remission of the sentences.