HC Deb 22 May 1924 vol 173 cc2388-9

asked the Home Secretary by whose authority Mrs. Helen Crawford was arrested by officers connected with the Special Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department at Manchester on Monday last; why was she released; will he explain why this action was taken without first obtaining a warrant from the magistrate; and why, after arrest, Mrs. Crawford was not taken before the bench of magistrates?

30. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that police officers of the Special Branch in plain clothes arrested Mrs. Helen Crawford at her hotel in Manchester on Monday morning last; why she was arrested and on what charge; and why she was afterwards released without being brought before a magistrate?


The information that I have obtained from the Manchester Police, of whom I have made inquiry, is to the following effect. It is not the case that Mrs. Crawford was arrested. I am informed that the facts are that two officers of the local police wished, in the course of their duties under the Aliens Order, to see the passport of an alien lady staying in the hotel, and on being told that she was one of a group of ladies about to leave the hotel, approached the group and asked for her by name. Mrs. Crawford stated that she was the lady, and when asked to show her passport appeared to search for it in her bag; but while she was doing so the police officers were able to satisfy themselves that she was not the alien lady in question, and they then left the hotel. There was no question of arrest, and any inconvenience Mrs. Crawford may have been occasioned was the direct result of her own incorrect statement to the police. As regards the reference to officers of the Special Branch, I am informed definitely by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that no such officers were on duty in Manchester during the period in question.

Viscount CURZON

Another mare's nest!