§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that, in connection with a strike proceeding at the works of Sir Alfred Dobbin, Cork, peaceful pickets have been molested by the police and have been warned by a detective inspector that they were acting illegally; whether he is aware that several of the workmen concerned have been summoned under the Conspiracy Act, 1875; and whether he will take steps to ensure that these workmen are allowed the benefit of the Trade Disputes Act.
§ MR. BIRRELL
I am informed that it is not correct to say that there is a strike at the works of Sir Alfred Dobbin or at those of the firm of Dobbin, Ogilvie 2147 and Company, of which he is a director. The firm dismissed two men last month for refusing to deliver goods to the Cork Steam Packet Company, whose men were on strike. After the strike was over Sir Alfred Dobbin was asked to take back the two men, but declined to do so. A handbill was then circulated advocating the boycotting of the Palace Theatre of which Sir Alfred Dobbin is also a director, and pickets have since been posted nightly outside the theatre who take down the names of people entering. There is no strike at the theatre. Several persons have been summoned by the police under the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act, 1875, in connection with this picketing, and the cases are now sub judice. Every precaution is being taken to ensure that the workmen of Cork shall have the full benefit of the Trade Disputes Act.