§ MR. FIELD (Dublin, St. Patrick)
To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether his attention has been directed to the imprisonment of Mr. Webb, London County Councillor, for contempt of Court in connection with certain alterations of premises held in Oxford Street; and, if so, whether he will have the matter inquired into with a view to future legislation dealing with the power of Judges to commit for contempt of Court, and the power of ground landlords to insert penal clauses in terminable leases.
(Answered by Mr. A. J. Balfour.) I understand the hon. Member to refer to the case of Mr. Lewis. I am advised that the facts are that Mr. Lewis deliberately broke the conditions of his lease, and that he defied the order of the Court requiring him to keep those conditions. He was accordingly imprisoned for contempt of Court. This seems hardly to be a case on which to found a proposal for altering the existing law.