§ 18. Mr. OLIVER
asked the Home Secretary whether, seeing that the prosecutions against a number of working men's clubs at Scunthorpe are being taken at the instance of the Home Office, he is aware that in order to obtain a conviction a police constable obtained employment in the district as a pipe fitter, and by this means induced an unemployed member of the club to enter into an illegal arrangement whereby the constable obtained a drink before he was 2048 made a member, which resulted in the club being struck off the register; and whether he will give instructions to discontinue the employment of such methods for obtaining evidence on behalf of a Home Office prosecution?
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The hon. Member is under a misapprehension. The enforcement of the law relating to clubs is a matter for the local police, and the prosecutions mentioned were not taken at the instance of my Department. In these circumstances the second part of the question does not arise.
§ Mr. OLIVER
In the report of these prosecutions it is expressly stated that this campaign to strike off a large number of working men's clubs was instituted on the express instruction of the Home Office. Is that statement untrue?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that it is wise to use for this purpose men who are unemployed and deprived of their normal livelihood?
§ Mr. OLIVER
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the second part of the question, as to whether he can use his influence with the provincial police so that this method should not be used for such trivial offences?