HC Deb 17 March 1925 vol 181 cc2075-7
Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

(by Private Notice) asked the Home Secretary whether he has now any further information with regard to the alleged kidnapping of Mr. Harry Pollitt, at Edgehill Station, on Saturday last, and his forcible detention until Sunday afternoon, and whether he has inquired from the station authorities as to their non-interference?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

Yes, Sir. I have received a report which confirms the statements in the hon. and gallant Member's question of yesterday. I understand that the railway officials did not interfere, although appealed to, because they thought Mr. Pollitt was a person legally under restraint. The inquiry is being continued.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

Does the right hon. Gentleman not consider it a very curious state of affairs when anyone can go into a railway station and get hold of him or of me or of anyone else and tell the officials that he is, or I am, under restraint, and nothing is done? Ought there not to be some Regulations governing such a ease, so that the station officials must be satisfied as to the bona fides of people who proceed to act in this way? Ts the right hon. Gentleman going to allow the matter to rest where it is with regard to these station officials? [Laughter.]


This is not a question for any hilarity. What does the right hon. Gentleman propose to do about this case of kidnapping? Does he propose to take any steps to inquire by whose authority this kidnapping took place and who is at the bottom of it?


Yes, Sir. The answer to the hon. and gallant Member was that the inquiry was being continued. I need hardly say that I am pursuing my inquiries. The police have already communicated with Mr. Pollitt, and if Mr. Pollitt is prepared to take the necessary proceedings all the assistance that I can give him will be at his disposal.


Is the right hon. Gentleman in receipt of any information as to whether rehearsals of moving pictures were going on in that district?


Have the police inquiries taken them to the temporary headquarters of the National Fascisti movement, at 1S4A, Oxford Street. London, and are the police in possession of a copy of a letter sent to Mr. Pollitt this morning? If not, I shall be very pleased to let the right hon. Gentleman have a copy of it.


Up to the moment I have not had a copy of that letter. I am sure it is desirable on all hands that justice should be done in this matter, and that I should not state more fully now the direction in which the inquiries are going. The hon. Member may rely on it that I shall continue to probe this matter fully.


Does the right hon. Gentleman know that the British Fascisti, or those gentlemen who speak on their behalf, arc saying that, when they cannot get their own way by constitutional methods, they are prepared to fight for it? Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to take any steps to stop this display of force on the part of the Fascisti?


We cannot deal with assumptions of that kind.