Mr. T. F. RICHARDS
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to a case at the Marlborough-street police court, on the 27th of October, where several members of the National Amalgamated Furnishing Trades' Association and the French Polishers' Society, who had been peacefully acting as pickets in connection with a dispute with the Orchestrelle Company, Bond-street, London, were fined 2s. 6d. each for obstruction; whether he is aware that the men, at the time of the alleged offence, were simply walking along in single file, and that they were stopped by the police and marched off to the police station; and whether he will favourably consider the remission of the fines inflicted and take steps to secure that the right of peaceful picketting shall be vindicated?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
The learned magistrate, after careful investigation, held 1436 that the defendants, eight in number, had caused actual obstruction by parading backwards and forwards over a space of about 19 yards of narrow and crowded footway. His decision did not, in his opinion, affect any right which the defendants might have under the Trade Disputes Acts, 1906, but upon this point he expressed his willingness to state a case for the High Court if the defendants so desired. I see no reason for any action upon my part.