HC Deb 17 May 1895 vol 33 c1442

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department—(1) whether his attention has been called to the case tried before the Ashton-under-Lyne borough court, on Saturday, 27th April, in which a number of tailors then on strike were fined 5s. each for unlawfully and wilfully obstructing the free passage of Stamford Street and Market Avenue by loitering thereon; (2) whether he is aware that the men were engaged on picket duty at the time, and were constantly on the move; and (3) whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into all the circumstances of the case?


The answer to the first paragraph of the question is in the affirmative. I have made inquiry, and find that the Justices found that the conduct of the defendants amounted to an obstruction of the highway, within the meaning of Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835. The facts not being in dispute, the question which arises appears to me to be a question of law, which, if the defendants were dissatisfied with the decision, should have been raised by an application for a special case. I am informed by the Justices that they would have been ready, if asked, to grant such a case. Under these circumstances I cannot interfere.