HC Deb 04 February 1908 vol 183 cc714-5
MR. BOTTOMLEY (Hackney, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the pending prosecution of Mr. Harry Boulter upon a charge of blasphemy is being conducted at the expense of the Treasury; and, if so, upon whose authority the proceedings were initiated.


The proceedings were initiated by the Commissioner of Police with my approval, and the cost will be borne by the Police Fund. The case is sub judice, but I may, I think, go so far as to say that the prosecution is not undertaken in respect to matters of religious belief and opinion, but solely in respect to the decencies of public speech in a public place, and the preservation of the public peace.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he will also direct his attention to certain writings of the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary of State for India and other fashionable agnostics—[Cries of "Order."]


I am not aware that those writings are likely to lead to any breach of the peace.