HC Deb 29 October 1918 vol 110 cc1276-7

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the prosecution, under the Defence of the Realm Act Regulation 27, of Robert Slater, newsagent, Preston, for placing outside his shop a chalked board stating that the Germans confessed defeat and accepted President Wilson's terms, and that the War was as good as over; whether he is aware that the Chief Constable of Preston stated at this trial that if people wanted to disseminate any information they should go to him for it, that he was responsible for the government of the town, and did not ask for the assistance of newspaper agents or theatres: whether this prosecution was authorised by the Home Office; and, if so, whether he proposes taking any action in respect of it?


I understand that this prosecution was commenced on the authority of the Chief Constable, but was withdrawn upon the facts being explained. The Chief Constable informs me that the statements attributed to him in the question do not correctly represent what he said. The authority of the Home Office for the prosecution was not asked nor was it required, and I do not propose to take any action in the matter.