§ MR. RADFORD (Islington, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Homo Department whether his attention has been directed to the remarks of Mr. d'Eyncourt, the stipendiary magistrate at Clerkenwell, in dismissing a charge preferred by the police against Mrs. Helen Hitchcock of behaving in a disorderly manner and using obscene language in Upper Street, Islington, on June 26th, and particularly to the magistrate's comment on the alteration of the charge from one of solicitation to one of disorderly behaviour; and whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into the action of the police constable who arrested Mrs. Hitchcock and of the inspector who took the charge at the police station.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
My attention has been called to the case, but I find that there was no alteration in the charge; what the magistrate pointed out was that from the first the charge 515 was not one of solicitation, but of disorderly conduct. (A charge of solicitation can only be brought against a person known to be a prostitute, which was not the case here.) The magistrate tells me that though he discharged the woman, he believes the officer acted honestly and from no improper motive; and the Commissioner of Police, who has made inquiry into the facts, reports that he is of opinion that the officer was not to blame. I think, however, and in this opinion the Commissioner concurs, that the case is one that should be referred to the Royal Commission.