HC Deb 14 March 1929 vol 226 cc1253-4
12. Dr. SALTER

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the circumstances of the Hyde Park prosecution conducted by the Commissioner of Police against Edward Harry West at the Marlborough Street Police Court and the Central Criminal Court in August, September, and October, 1928, at the instance of a woman whose name was suppressed by the police from publication, but who was described by the Treasury counsel for the purposes of the prosecution as Mrs. X; whether he is aware that the complainant was put forward by the police under a name which was not that under which she was registered at the Employment Exchange, as following an occupation which she was not in fact following, as living at an address at which she was not in fact residing, and as being the widow of a Frenchman, whereas she was not registered at the aliens registration department; why these facts were not disclosed to the legal advisers of the accused; and whether, in view of Mr. West's reputation and character and the fact that he served in His Majesty's Forces with distinction for the duration of the War, he proposes to grant compensation to Mr. West for the expense to which he was put in defending himself?


I am aware of the facts of this case, which are generally as stated in the question. It was, however, with the approval of the magistrate that the complainant was not referred to by name, but the other facts about her were not known to the police at the time proceedings were taken, and were only brought to notice later by the solicitor for the defence. I am satisfied that the police did not act improperly in connection with the case, and, after full consideration, I can find no ground for paying the expenses incurred by Mr. West in his defence.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say on what grounds he distinguishes this particular case, which is that of a working man, from that of Major Murray, to whom he awarded £500 compensation under precisely the same circumstances?


Each case of this kind has to be judged entirely upon the facts of the ease. These cases were quite different.