HC Deb 27 May 1892 vol 5 cc53-4

I beg to address to the First Lord of the Treasury a question of which I have given him private notice. A rather serious statement is made in this morning's papers by the Rev. Dr. Jessop, a well-known writer on agricultural matters, and rector of the parish of Seaming. Three of his parishioners being dissatisfied with the wages paid as agricultural labourers—namely, 12s. a week—obtained employment with the Great Eastern Railway Company. Shortly afterwards they were dismissed, as he asserts, at the instance and under the pressure of the Farmers' Alliance. If the facts are as stated here, that discloses a case of conspiracy similar to that which was taken up by the Public Prosecutor in Scotland, when two working men were last year prosecuted and punished. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he can promise, on behalf of the Government, that an immediate inquiry shall be made into the facts in order to ascertain whether they are as stated by the reverend gentleman, and whether they would come under the Law of Conspiracy?


I received notice of the question a few minutes ago, and I would suggest that the hon. Member should put a question to the Attorney General on the subject, as this is a legal question that I am not competent to deal with. I do not know that any machinery exists by which an inquiry could be made; but the Attorney General or the Public Prosecutor will probably do anything that they may think necessary. The hon. Member should put his question to the Attorney General.