HC Deb 04 February 1904 vol 129 c327
MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that in a number of instances benches of magistrates have directed that persons summoned for refusal to pay that portion of the rates which is applied to denominational schools should be placed in the prisoner's dock; and whether he will issue a circular or otherwise represent to magistrates that this course is illegal and should be discontinued.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers Douglas.) My attention has not been drawn to any case such as the hon. Member indicates. It is certainly not a usual practice to put persons summoned for non-payment of rates in the dock, and except in very special circumstances I do not think it would be right to do so. But no question of law is involved, nor have I any authority to issue instructions to magistrates in the matter.