HC Deb 05 June 1934 vol 290 cc750-1

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Nesta Elsie Lewis, who was summoned at Bournemouth, on the 31st May, for professing to tell fortunes, and who was fined £7 and costs; whether he is aware that it was admitted that what she had said was true; and, in view of this and other similar prosecutions, will he take the necessary steps to amend the law, and so prevent many people of high character from being prosecuted for the exercise of powers with which they have been endowed?


I have obtained a report of the circumstances leading to Mrs. Lewis's conviction. It appears that some of the statements made by her were correct, while others were incorrect. I see no occasion for any amendment of the provision under which she was convicted.


Does my right hon. Friend think that an Act of Parliament passed in a more ignorant age should be used 'as the basis of persecution of people of high character, and is he aware that the principal witness for the prosecution was the wife of a police inspector, who admitted that the defendant told her correctly the names of her children and the number of them, and various other details such as that her husband was a man in a uniformed job?


I have gone most carefully into this case. I have no reason to suppose that it was not properly investigated, and I see no reason to take action in the matter.


Would this lady be allowed to use her peculiar powers of vision on a great national occasion such as that which is being Leld to-morrow?