HC Deb 11 April 1893 vol 11 cc6-7
MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N. E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Public Prosecutor is taking any active steps to secure the execution of the warrant issued by the Bow Street Magistrate against Jabez Spencer Balfour upon charges of fraud in connection with the failure of the Liberator Permanent Building and Investment Society and certain of its allied institutions; and whether he can inform the House what steps were taken by the Public Prosecutor, after his attention had been called to the matter by shareholders and depositors, to secure that the said Jabez Spencer Balfour should not leave this country before he had been publicly examined in bankruptcy?


All possible steps are being taken to secure the execution of the warrant against J. S. Balfour, and have been taken ever since the Director of Public Prosecutions obtained sufficient evidence to apply for process on a criminal charge, but I do not think it would be in the interests of justice to say what these steps are. The Director of Public Prosecutions has no power to act, except whom a foundation has been laid for a criminal charge, and could not act in aid of the bankruptcy proceedings in the manner suggested in the question.


I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any information has been received at the Foreign Office that Jabez Spencer Balfour, against whom a warrant has been issued in connection with the Liberator Building Society frauds, is now in the Argentine Republic, or in some other country with which Great Britain has not yet concluded an Extradition Treaty; and whether, if this be so, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will consider the propriety and desirability of at once taking steps to secure by the comity of nations the surrender of the said Jabez Spencer Balfour to the British Authorities, in order that he may be placed under magisterial investigation upon the charges alleged against him in the warrant issued for his apprehension?


All proper steps in the matter are being taken; but it is not expedient in the interests of justice that I should at present make any fuller statement of the facts.

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