HC Deb 04 November 1937 vol 328 cc1102-3
39. Mr. C. Wilson

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to a recent case before a Metropolitan police magistrate when a woman was charged with keeping a disorderly house and the inspector of police, in giving his evidence, informed the magistrate that a man of title, who was found on the premises, was allowed to go after he had intimated that he would give £200 to be allowed to go; whether the action of the inspector was correct; whether the case has been considered with a view to proceedings being taken against the titled man under the Bribery and Corruption Act; and whether, in view of the unsatisfactory state of the law disclosed by this case, he proposes to take any steps to remedy the matter.

Sir S. Hoare

I have been fully informed as to the facts of this case, and I take this opportunity to correct certain misapprehensions to which reports in the Press have given rise. These premises had been under observation for some time and when they were entered by the police to execute a warrant against the woman for unlawfully keeping a brothel a man who was on the premises at the time said to the police that it had cost him £2 to come in and that he would give £200 to get out. This statement was made in the presence of the woman who was arrested, and in giving evidence in the subsequent proceedings against her, the officer concerned quite properly informed the magistrate of what had taken place. The suggestion that the man concerned attempted to bribe the officer and was shown special favour is without foundation. He had committed no offence against the law, and there was no question of arresting or taking proceedings against him. The case discloses no reason for any amendment of the law, and there appears to be no ground for further action on my part in the matter.

Mr. Wilson

Was not this a case where, if the officer had accepted the money, there would have been a charge against the man who had offered it; and is it not possible to amend the law so as to deal with a case of this kind?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir, there was no offer of money made to the constable at all.

Mr. Leach

Did the gentleman tip up the £200 as promised?