HC Deb 08 July 1926 vol 197 cc2232-4
6. Mr. HAYES

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the circumstances surrounding the arrest and subsequent conviction of Mr. William Jones, 3, Wagstaffe Buildings, Sumner Street, Southwark; whether he is aware that Police Constable 478, M Division, Charles Hutchings, who declined to give evidence in support of the sergeant who effected the arrest, but who was not called upon to give evidence either for or against the prisoner, has been fined, reprimanded, and transferred as the result of disciplinary proceedings taken against him; that the police constable has resigned rather than submit to the alleged unjust treatment; and whether, in view of the effect of police evidence upon which the prisoner was convicted and sentenced, he will consider the establishment of a tribunal under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, to inquire fully into this matter, on the ground that it is one of definite and urgent public importance?


asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that since the arrest of William Jones in Sumner Street, Southwark, on 8th May, for an alleged offence under the Emergency Powers Regulations, and for which, on police evidence, he was found guilty and sentenced to three months' imprisonment, Police Constable Charles Hutchings has resigned from the Metropolitan Police rather than submit to disciplinary action taken against him for matters arising out of his protest against the manner of the arrest of, and the evidence given against, Jones; and whether, in view of the issues raised in respect of both the constable and the convicted man, and in order that there shall be no question of a miscarriage of justice in either case, he will authorise the whole matter to be inquired into by a tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921?


I am inquiring into the case referred to in this and the following question, and shall be obliged if the hon. Members will put the questions down again next week.


Will the right hon. Gentleman then be in a position to say anything about the necessary legislation for giving this appeal tribunal—which, if it has not been definitely promised, has at all events been many times spoken of—with the object of preventing cases like this arising?


Perhaps my hon. Friend will postpone his supplementary question until I have completed my inquiries.


Will the officer I have referred to have an opportunity of being heard at the court of inquiry, and will the inquiry be without prejudice to his case?


I think the hon. Member had better allow me to make my own inquiries first, because the question involves a great deal of detail, and I want to be satisfied on this question before I give an answer.


On what day shall I repeat my question?


This day week.