§ MR. JAMES STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has received a statement, signed by 500 ratepayers of Torquay, as follows:—That we have known the Salvation Army to conduct marches with music through the streets of our town on Sundays and week days, ever since the commencement of their services here six years ago; that we did not know that it was proposed to insert in the Torquay Harbour and District Act, 1886, any clause prohibiting such marches, and that such clause only came to our knowledge after the passing of the Act; that it is not our wish that any member of the Salvation Army should be fined or imprisoned for taking part in such processions;and, whether he would be prepared to consider the advisability of a Standing Order relating to Private Bills which should require that any Bill containing Police Clauses should bear the word "Police" in its title?
§ THE SECRETARY or STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
I have received a statement to the effect described in the Question. The hon. Member is, doubtless, aware that by Standing Order 173a Committees of this House are required to bring clauses of this kind to the notice of the House by specially reporting upon them; and by Standing Order 33a, passed last year at the instance of my hon. Friend the Under Secretary (Mr. Stuart-Wortley), Bills proposing to create—Powers relating to Police or Sanitary Regulations which deviate from or are repugnant to the general laws,have to be deposited at the Home Office. In the case of the Torquay Bill, 1886, the Home Office reported against the clause in question, on the ground that it was—A question for general legislation and should be struck out.I do not see that the proposal of the hon. Member would add much to these existing safeguards; but if he will place on the Paper such a Standing Order as he suggests, I shall be glad to consult with the Authorities of the House as to the propriety of its passing.