HC Deb 14 July 1960 vol 626 cc1589-90
28. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions he has given to the Metropolitan Police with regard to keeping observation on the house at 39, Curzon Street, Mayfair, since August, 1955, when Madame Johans, a known associate of Eugenio Messina, was convicted of keeping a brothel on these premises; whether there have been any further convictions in respect of activities on these premises; if he is aware that the display advertisement for private tuition in French in the windows of the same is presumptive evidence of these premises being in continued use for the purposes of prostitution; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton

It is not for my right hon. Friend to consider evidence or to give instructions to the Metropolitan Police in these matters. The vigilance of the police is being maintained. Two persons have recently been convicted of a total of six offences of soliciting from these premises.

Dr. Johnson

While thanking my hon. and learned Friend for that reply, may I ask him whether he is aware that, according to the copy of a Belgian newspaper which I have in my possession, in 1956 Sergeant Gentle of Scotland Yard gave evidence at the trial of Eugenio Messina at Tournai to the effect that he was running a brothel in London? Is he likewise aware that the matter of this particular house was raised in Parliament in 1956 by the late Mr. Richard Stokes? Further, does my hon. and learned Friend agree that this is evidence that this man is drawing profits from these premises while he is still abroad? Will not my hon. and learned Friend look into the whole problem of men living on the immoral earnings of women?

Mr. Renton

I will always be glad to hand to the Commissioner any evidence on this matter which my hon. Friend cares to produce.

Mr. Edelman

Irrespective of the merits of this case, will the hon. and learned Gentleman make it quite clear that to advertise the teaching of French is not necessarily to advertise the practice of prostitution?

Mr. Renton

I think that it may well be that there are occasions when people who say that they are going to teach French are going to teach only French.