WE observe with surprise that the man Kavanagh who was charged with an attempt to murder, was not only acquitted, but was allowed to have his revolver back again without question. Now, this may be a strictly legal proceeding - although, as Mr. Kavanagh seems to regard the Strand as a kind of dependency of Texas, it was hardly a wise one. But if the police deal in this fashion with Mr. Kavanagh's property, why do they not measure out the same treatment to other kinds of property which come into their possession? Everybody acquainted with London police courts knows that it is the constant habit of the police to refuse to return property which has come into their possession and concerning which it has not been proved that others than those who claim it have a right to it. In some cases, indeed, a flagrant and cruel piece of robbery has been committed on unoffending citizens. The banners and musical instruments of the Radical processionists were impounded last November, and to this day have never been restored. What defence is there for this conduct? What defence can there be in view of the very different treatment of a Times rowdy?
Mr. Joseph Farndale, the Chief Constable of Birmingham, who is making the running for the Chief Commissionership, is an excellent officer. Birmingham got him from Leicester, where from working a beat he had risen to the position of head policeman. There was some talk of Mr. Farndale when Sir Edmund Henderson resigned, and the Birmingham Watch Committee - the Town Council Committee that has control of the police - were in despair. They would have been very glad for his sake if he had obtained promotion, but at the same time they fervently hoped that he would not be taken away from them.
Birmingham ascertained by sad experience the disadvantages of a military despotism. Major Bond, a gentleman who achieved some little distinction in Ireland, was Mr. Farndale's predecessor. He was a provincial Charles Warren, and it was not long before Birmingham rebelled against his iron rule. The police lost touch with the people, and neither the people not the police liked it. He had to go, and from occupying a position of honor and eminence he came to be an Irish resident magistrate. When the Major went the first qualification which the people and the press demanded in his successor was that he should be a civilian. Mr. Farndale had an excellent record, and has thoroughly justified his selection.
The secret of his success is that he carefully avoids any display of force. Shortly after the disturbances and the sacking of the West-end, there was some fear of a similar occurrence in Birmingham. The Chief Constable dealt with the situation in a very admirable manner. He did not attempt to interfere with the demonstration, and carefully refrained from crowding Costa-green with policemen or from irritating the people by any unnecessary display of authority. There was no bludgeoning, no violence, and the consequence was that the crowd, amongst whom were a good many bad characters who would have stuck at nothing in the way of plunder, gradually dispersed.
The Chief Constable himself preserved his good temper throughout, and was cheered by the crowd as he passed. He has the advantage of being a handsome man - a great point with the crowd. He looks remarkably well in his uniform and on horseback, and he is always in evidence whenever there is anything moving.
When the dynamite plot was discovered in Birmingham, the Chief Constable was in his proper place, and directed the investigations so well that not a mistake was made. Night and day he remained at his post until the right moment came, and then the police swooped down and captured the gang. The result was that the dynamite conspiracy, which had its head-quarters in Birmingham, was completely crushed out of existence.
Mr. Farndale looks something over 40. He is tall, broad-shouldered, athletic, has good features and looks like a gentleman. He has the bald head that comes of wearing a constable's helmet.
Islington Paupers Beat Their Master.
At the Islington Guardians yesterday Mr. Furlong reported that last Monday a serious riot occurred at the Board's workhouse in the Shadwell-road, Upper Holloway. Both the labor-master and the assistant labor-master were injured. The master had his ribs broken and received other injuries, and he was now in a serious state. A large party of the able-bodied paupers concerted an attack upon the labor-master, and they fell upon him in a body and illtreated him in a most cowardly manner. Nine of the men were in custody, and he moved that the Board solicitor be instructed to prosecute them. The proposal was adopted.
The new tenant of a farm on the Lelley-road, between Preston and Lelley, in Holderness, was going over a house which had been unoccupied for some time, and she noticed what she took to be a bundle of rags in the corner of one room. Closer inspection showed that the bundle of rags was a woman in a state of exhaustion. She is now recovering at the infirmary. She appears to have suffered great privations. She says her name is Blanche Walter, that she is 28 years of age, was formerly in Hull, and that she had been living in the deserted house for a fortnight. Her only food were turnips she got from the adjoining garden.
The house of a man named Parrott, in the outskirts of Dunstable, was broken into last night. Wearing apparel and food were stolen. A note was found on the table, saying, "I am the man that robbed this house. I am 'Jack the Ripper.' I shall be back in a few days, so look out for me."
Much surprise is expressed among the police at the fact that all orders and information to the various divisions is still signed by "I, Charles Warren." Perhaps Sir Charles is waiting for his friend Henry Matthews to accompany him into retirement!
From Mile-End to America.
The man Benalins, a Swede, who was arrested as a suspect after the Berner-street murder, and last week was taken into custody for going into the parlor of a house in Mile-End, and nearly frightening a woman to death, was discharged at Worship-street. The Charity Organisation Society is going to send him back to America.
James M'Carthy, 19, a hawker, was brought up at Worship-street charged with stabbing Simon Salomon three times in a club-house in Pelham-street, Spitalfields, where both had been drinking. Salomon, being sworn, said he could not say the prisoner did it - he "did not believe" he did. He had told the police, however, that he saw M'Carthy stabbing. As he now said he only went on "what he was told," M'Carthy was discharged.
A lady applied to the Hammersmith magistrate for his advice. She stated that she took a house in King's-road, Fulham, next door to a working men's club. She understood that the club was under the direction of Rev. Mr. Fisher, the vicar. A week after she entered the house she found that the club was conducted in a disorderly manner, and she applied to Mr. Fisher, who stated that he had given it up on account of its disorder. It continued up to three o'clock in the morning, two and three times a week, preventing her household from getting any sleep. He wrote to the secretary, and received no reply. She wrote to the owner, but had no reply. She applied to the Walham-green Police, with no effect. The language was disgraceful. The disturbance was continued, and not a soul in the house could sleep. When the public houses were closed, the club was open, and also on Sundays. She asked the magistrate what she could do to obtain redress. - Mr. Paget said he had no power, and advised her to consult a solicitor.
Mr. Benjamin Tillett came before the Sweating Commission again yesterday. He said he had worked in other docks besides the London docks. The Liverpool dock laborers were the most un-unionist. It was quite true, as witnesses at the last sitting stated, that they would be discharged for giving evidence. The officers of a dock company comprised the secretary, manager, superintendent, deputy superintendent, dockmaster, warehousekeeper, deputy labour master, the quay captain, and foreman. Witness explained at length the duty of each of these officers. Most of the accidents were due to the fact that the man placed at the hatchway was often not strong enough to keep the goods being hauled out from knocking against the sides, and also to the fact that sometimes the goods were not properly slung. The laborers wanted some means of getting redress. They never knew to whom to go. They were sent from one to another, and if they went to the secretary or the director they were
if they wrote, their letters were generally unanswered. He put the number of dock laborers at 100,000. The number employed in London would be 10,000. All contracts were verbal. It would be like a docker's impudence to ask for a written agreement. In reference to what was called "plus money," the object of which was to get the work done as speedily as possible, and was paid to the men at the end of the job beyond the 4d. or 5d. per hour, he thought some dock companies kept back money that ought to go to the men. When a ship was unloaded by the captain for the broker the Dock Company found the laborers and charged 8d. per hour before six o'clock and 10d. per hour after, and 1s. per hour for tally clerks. Of this they paid the men half, and the tally clerks 5d. per hour, the profit going into the company's pocket. His contention was that the dock companies manufactured the casual laborers and "dossers." If the contractors employed were chosen rather for their knowledge and experience than for their bullying qualities, as was now the case, he thought it would be better both for the men and the companies. He suggested that it would be a better arrangement
from among their number to take over the contract, in fact the men to choose the contractor, instead of the contractor choosing the men. The strike at the Tilbury Dock lasted a month, but failed because a large number of farm laborers were out of employment, and were glad to work at any price. The strike was caused by the inability of the men to earn more than about 6s. per week, only being paid 4d. per hour. Another cause of complaint was the employment of boys of from 14 to 18 years, who were not strong enough for the work and so caused accidents. In his opinion no person should be employed who was under 18. He suggested that the State should regulate the rate of pay, the number of hours for work, and the number of men to be employed on a job.
James Gray, a dock laborer, said he had worked principally at the London Dock. Yesterday he earned 2s. 3d., and that was the first since last Friday. It was a common thing for men to be seriously injured in the struggle to get into the dock when men were wanted. They were more like a lot of wild beasts than men.
who were frequently prize-fighters, to hurry the men up, and if the men did not satisfy them, they stood a good chance of getting a thrashing.
Shortly before six o'clock this morning, Mr. McCarthy, the landlord of the house where Kelly was murdered, seized a suspicious man in Dorset-street. A police-constable searched the man, and found a long knife on him. The man said he used it in his business. He was allowed to go.
Several were taken to the stations during the night, but at six this morning no one was in custody.
The Coster's Unpleasant Places.
Complaint is made by the London costermongers of the stringency of a regulation made in the statute of the year 1817 for regulating the streets of the metropolis. If a person places on any part of the carriageways or footways in the streets a costermonger's stall or barrow or any of various other enumerated things, and does not remove it when required by the proper authority, he is liable to a fine. But not only so, the stall or barrow and all the wares may be seized and detained until the penalty and expenses are paid; and all perishable goods may be forfeited. It is to this latter provision that exception is taken. In a Bill that has been introduced by Mr. Atherley-Jones, M.P., it is proposed to abolish this provision as to seizure and forfeiture of barrows and goods.
SIR, - I trust you will allow me, now that public attention is again aroused by another Whitechapel horror, to say I hope something will be done to reach those who are second only in criminality to the murderer himself - namely, the class of infamous scoundrels who are commonly known as "bullies." These are the wretches who live on the earnings of these poor women, and who in the midst of all this terror have driven them out to their awful doom that they may eat the bread of idleness and sink themselves still deeper with drink. Only a little while ago a young girl only 15 years of age came to us for protection from one of these fellows, and after we had placed her in charge of the matron of our home for fallen girls, she informed us that she had been decoyed into a house of ill-fame, and they threatened her (with an uplifted knife over her head) with murder if she dared try to escape. Now, I was only able to get this man and his wife six months' hard labor each on another indictment - namely, for harbouring a girl under 16 years of age for immoral purposes, as they were the keepers of the house. Happily, the law does now reach those who keep the houses, but I do hope before these horrors are forgotten as a nine days' wonder some member of Parliament will be led to press for a short Act of Parliament as an addition to the Criminal Law Amendment Act so that these scoundrels may be reached, as at present the police are utterly powerless, although these fellows are as well known as the public-houses, at the corners of which they are continually loafing and looking out for fresh victims to entrap, and where they may be seen at all hours of the day, and, if questioned, will pretend to be laborers out of work. Hoping that we shall at least have this one reform in our law, though others are also greatly needed. - Yours, &c.,