§ 55. Mr. LUNN
asked the Home Secretary if he has considered the communication sent to him by the hon. Member for Rothwell (Mr. Lunn) regarding the complaint of Mr. John Pattison, an organiser of the National Union of Textile Workers, who, when distributing handbills outside the Manor Mills, Ossett, of Messrs. Windsor and Firth, was assaulted by a member of that firm; and if he will cause inquiry to be made into the facts therein contained with a view to some amendment of the law relating to the right of appeal from decisions of magistrates?
§ Mr. HACKING
: The attention of my right hon. Friend was drawn by the Ossett and District Trade Council to this case, in which proceedings for assault were taken last December by Mr. Pattison against a member of the firm of Messrs. Windsor and Firth. According to the newspaper report which the hon. Member has sent, it appears that the case was fully heard, and the Justices, having found the charge proved, dealt with it in the exercise of their judicial discretion by an order for payment 28 of costs. Such an amendment of the law as the hon. Member appears to contemplate would raise large issues going far beyond the considerations arising in this particular case.
§ Earl WINTERTON
On a point of Order. Is it in order to reflect upon the decision of a court of law in this country in the way in which the hon. Gentleman did? I have always understood that it was out of order.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
All these things are very difficult to deal with. The hon. Member did make what was, I thought, an improper remark.
§ Earl WINTERTON
I am sorry to have to press this matter, but I regard it as an important question. The hon. Member made a distinct charge against a court of law. He said that the magistrates had ignored the facts, and I ask if it is in order in this House so to criticise the decision of a court of law.