§ 77. Mr. NIELD
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that, in consequence of the lawlessness which for some months past has prevailed in the Limehouse Cut and its neighbourhood, the employés of members of the Association of Master Lighter men and Barge Owners have refused to work on barges there; whether he is aware that there exists a system of intimidation and threats of violence on the part of a number of roughs who congregate there, and who, notwithstanding the presence of the lightermen in charge of the craft, board the same and cause damage; and whether in view of this, he will take effective steps to put an end to such a state of things?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
The Commissioner of Police has no information to show that a condition of lawlessness and terrorism exists in the Lime-house Cut, or that there is any system of intimidation there. The towing path of this canal is patrolled by the police of the Lee Conservancy Board, who doubtless experience difficulty in affording complete security to barges and property left unprotected by the owners.
Would the right hon. Gentleman ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take a run down and make his next big speech upon that spot?
§ 78. Mr. NIELD
asked whether on the night of 11th December last the barge "William," belonging to Messrs. Deering and Son, whilst lying opposite a factory in Limehouse Cut for the purpose of discharging her cargo, was forcibly taken possession of by a gang of roughs and damage was done to the barge in spite of the efforts of the watchman in charge; whether he is aware that, owing to the refusal of the police to patrol the Cut, the property being conveyed in barges and also that contained in the warehouses and factories adjoining the Cut is frequently being stolen or destroyed and the premises damaged, and that the owners, though large ratepayers in the district, have been wholly without remedy or security against a repetition of these out rages; and will he say why this state of things has been allowed to arise?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The Commissioner of Police informs me that he is not aware that the facts are as stated. The Metropolitan police have received no information that the barge "William" was interfered with, and the Limehouse Cut is, as I have just said, patrolled by police constables appointed by the Lee Conservancy Board.