HC Deb 14 May 1912 vol 38 cc962-3

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the sentence at the Manchester Assizes of Mr. Tom Mann to six months' imprisonment for what Mr. Justice Bankes described as unlawful conduct; whether this conduct consisted of associating himself with advice to refuse obedience to the law; whether, in view of no action being taken against persons who occupy leading positions, and who are advising their political followers to resist legal decrees, and in view of the strong resentment against this and other similar sentences, he can now promise an early opportunity to discuss the responsibility of the Government in the matter?


I understand the Home Secretary has sent for a copy of the shorthand notes in the proceedings against Mr. Tom Mann and has promised to consider the case in consultation with the Attorney-General. With regard to the last part of the question, the hon. Member will have an opportunity of discussing the matter on the Motion for the Adjournment of the House.


Can the right hon. Gentleman make any reference to that part of the question referring to certain political leaders who have advised their followers to resist the decrees of the law?


I have no proposals to make in reference to that until we have full information as to what happened, when we shall be able to compare them.


asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the statement of Mr. Tom Mann in his defence pointing to the fact, that others had written and spoken as he had, but were not identified with the particular movement that he (Mann) had been identified with; and whether steps will be taken to obtain from Mr. Mann the names of those other persons to whom be referred and to indict them under the Act of 1797?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir Rufus Isaacs)

I have not seen the statement to which my hon. Friend refers. In any event I should not inquire from Mr. Mann as to these names.


Has the attention of the Attorney-General been called to the reported statement of the hon. Member for Merthyr—


The hon. Member must give notice.