§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmforth)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been directed to the report of a case, heard before Mr. C. Harvey and other Barnsley magistrates on the 27th March, in which the solicitor defending certain miners against a charge of playing pitch and toss, asked a police witness for the prosecution who was with him on the occasion in question, but Superintendent Kene objected to this question being answered by the witness, and the Bench allowed the objection, upon which the solicitor retired from the case; and whether he will make inquiries into the circumstances of the case?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH, Fife, E.)
I have made inquiry 1132 into the case, and am informed that the facts are as stated in the question. Superintendent Kene did object to one of the witnesses, a police constable, answering the question, who accompanied another constable and himself at the time he saw the defendants gaming. The objection was taken on the ground of privilege, and that it would not be public policy to disclose the name of the third person. The Justices upheld the objection. I cannot interfere in what is after all only a question as to improper admission or rejection of evidence, unless I have reason to believe that some substantial injustice has been done, which, so far as I am aware, there is no ground for suggesting in this case.