§ SIR R. ASSHETON CROSS (Lancashire, S. W., Newton)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he will, in further explanation of the case of Sir Thomas Hesketh, state if he is aware that the Chief Constable, before ordering the arrest of Sir Thomas Hesketh, had been informed that Sir Thomas Hesketh had agreed to repair the bridge in question; whether he will state by virtue of what Statute or Law it was the Chief Constable's duty to arrest Sir Thomas Hesketh; and, whether it is the fact that no warrant had been issued at the time of the arrest?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CHILDERS) (Edinburgh, S.)
The right hon. Gentleman is, of course, well aware that the actions of a Chief Constable of a county are in no way under the control or cognizance of the Home Office; but I have obtained the following particulars from the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire to enable me to answer these Questions. As to the first Question, before ordering the arrest of Sir Thomas Hesketh he had not been informed that Sir Thomas had agreed to repair the bridge. As to the second Question, the Act under which he acted is the Administration of Justice Act, 11 & 12 Vict. c. 42, s. 3. As to the third Question, acting under the section named, an indictment having been found against Sir Thomas Hesketh, and a certificate of such indictment having been supplied to him, he despatched an officer to have the necessary warrant signed by a magistrate of the county, such warrant being "of course," and not "discretionary," and that this warrant was signed on the same day that the arrest was made, but probably a few hours aferwards. If the right hon. Gentleman will move for the letters addressed to 1133 me by the Chief Constable on the 1st and 7th instant I will lay them on the Table.