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Criminal Law—Alleged Man And Dog Eight At Hanley

Volume 221: debated on Thursday 23 July 1874

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the recent investigation into the alleged fight between a dwarf and a bull-dog at Hanley has led to any reliable information as to the truth of the circumstances so reported; or whether such a fight did in reality take place?

I have heard, Sir, to-day from the Chief Constable at Hanley, and he assures me that the whole of the Hanley force and the local county force have been busily engaged in investigating the truth of the story in question, and that up to the present time, they have been unable to find any corroboration of the story which appeared in the papers.

In reference to the answer just given by the Home Secretary, I wish to ask him what the "reliable information" was which caused him to inform the House on a previous occasion that he had reason to believe the horrible fight had really taken place—a statement which, being made on the authority of the right hon. Gentleman, and casting a great stigma on the local police and municipal authorities, gave more offence in the neighbourhood than anything which appeared in the papers.

When the story first appeared, I entered into communication with the Editor of the newspaper, and he certainly satisfied me that there were good grounds for believing it had really occurred. It is but right to say that when I answered the previous Question, I added that I had written to the local authorities.