§ Mr. MORRELL
asked whether the Home Secretary can state on what ground criminal proceedings have been taken against the editor and printers of the "Syndicalist" newspaper; whether bail has been refused by the magistrates; whether the houses of the prisoners have been searched by the police and their private papers seized; and whether the Government have authorised these proceedings?
§ Mr. McKENNA
My right hon. Friend informs me that proceedings have been taken against these persons for incitement to mutiny, which is both a statutory and common law offence. He is informed that the magistrates have refused bail, and that the premises have been searched and some papers bearing on the offence charged have been seized in accordance with usual practice on execution of a warrant of arrest. These proceedings have been authorised by the Attorney-General.
§ Mr. MORRELL
May I ask whether it is not the fact that these proceedings are taken under the Act of 1907; whether there as any recent precedent for taking criminal proceedings of this sort against the editor of the newspaper; and, thirdly, whether it is the fact, as stated by the counsel for the prosecution, that these proceedings were taken in consequence of the coal strike?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman will inquire into the position of the two men who were arrested for being the printers of this paper; whether he will inquire into the fact that these are two workmen printers, and that the suddenness of their arrest and the refusal of bail means that their livelihood has been destroyed; and whether he will also inquire as to the kind of treatment meted out to criminals, real criminals in high places in connection with frauds on the public through company promoting, etc.?