HC Deb 01 July 1914 vol 64 cc366-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the prelude to the arrest of Mr. Vale Rawlings, the Burton strike leader, was that he was in conversation with twelve or fifteen working women on strike arranging the terms to be put before the employers by a deputation which the employers had agreed to meet; whether, whilst so engaged, Inspector Oulton charged him with obstruction and ordered him to move on; whether any charge of obstruction had been made against the accused by anyone or whether there was any disorder of any kind in connection with the proceedings; and whether, in those circumstances, he will reconsider his decision not to interfere with the duration of the sentence?


It appears from the reports I have received that Rawlings and a company of twelve or fifteen girls were obstructing the street and were asked by the police to move on. The police did not know what the object of their meeting was; but Rawlings had been warned as to obstruction on the previous day. There was no disorder until Rawlings assaulted the inspector, and no charge of obstruction was added to the charge of assault. I am very sorry that the circumstances brought to my knowledge would not justify interference with the sentence. A further sentence of seven days was passed upon Rawlings for assaulting one of the employés. I have now received a petition signed by the prosecutrix in that case. I have decided with the consent of the magistrates that the sentences may properly be treated as concurrent, and I have accordingly advised the remission of the second sentence.


Does the sentence expire to-night?


I think the prisoner will be discharged to-morrow morning.