HC Deb 04 January 1894 vol 20 cc824-5
MR. FORWOOD (Lancashire, Ormskirk)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether Mr. Charles Rowley, J.P., whose name appeared on placards on the walls of Manchester as the principal speaker at a public meeting called to protest against the violence and perjury of the police of that city, is one of the 34 Magistrates added to the list of Justices for Manchester between the 10th day October, 1892, and the 9th day of October, 1893; and whether, in view of the judicial authority which Magistrates can by law exercise over the police, he will take any steps to prevent a Magistrate taking part in a public demonstration charging the police force with perjury?


Mr. Rowley, who is referred to in the question, was appointed a Magistrate for the City of Manchester on November 18, 1892, being then a City Councillor, and is a man much respected in Manchester for the philanthropic and other public work which he has done. The terms of the placard advertising the meeting referred to, and which was held as far hack as November 29 last, appear to me to be highly improper; but Mr. Rowley informs me that he had nothing to do with getting up the meeting, and that his speech was an argument for inquiry by the Watch Committee of the Town Council into the correctness of the statements made and circulated by other persons impugning the conduct of the police. I have no power to prevent Magistrates taking part in demonstrations.