1915 court files: Chinese illegal aliens asked to leave town

144919'1915 paper copy 'Picture by Neil Silk'05/12/14
144919'1915 paper copy 'Picture by Neil Silk'05/12/14

Three cases against Chinese for offences arising out of the Registration Act came before Mr J Dippie, in the chair, Alderman Whittaker and Alderman Pirie, at the Borough Police Court on Saturday, and were adjourned owing to apparent inability of the offenders to understand police court proceedings.

Charles Moy (26), laundry proprietor, 23 Gladstone Road, was charged with being an alien resident within the prohibited area, and failing to furnish to the registration officer particulars of the date of the change and the intended place of residence.

Chung Wah (25), laundry man, 18 Victoria Road, was charged without a passport, or some other document satisfactorily establishing his nationality, with a photo of himself attached.

Harry Wong (23), laundry proprietor, 18 Victoria Road, was charged with failing to furnish particulars, as set out in the Order, with regard to an alien living as a member of his household, or give notice of the presence of the said alien in his household. He was further charged with failing to furnish the Registration Officer with scheduled particulars.

The case of Moy was first called. The acting clerk (Mr EJ Birdsall) explained the charge against him, but to his question, “Do you understand?” There was no response on the part of Moy.

Harry Wong, who attempted to interpret the charge to Moy, and who took the oath as a Christian, was unable to ask him if he would be tried summarily, or by a jury, legal terms apparently baffling him.

The Chief Constable said Moy had been in England four years in business. He had been conversing with him, but he did not understand technical terms.

It was suggested from the bench that a Chinese Consul be communicated with, and the case was adjourned until Friday next, the chief constable to enquire if the Consulate could send anyone to look after the interests of the prisoner.

The chief constable said that with regard to Chung Wah, he should not have him in Scarborough at all. He must leave by the next train. He came here without the permission of the Liverpool police, in which city he had registered, and without his (the chief’s) permission.

Proceeding, the chief said they could not go on like that. They could not impose on them by not speaking any English and then think they could do as they pleased. He must try to move the man off at once. If he went he must withdraw that charge.

Alderman Pirie: “That’s all you want.”

The chief constable said that was not so.

The register was being made a farce of.

He found there were six or eight people in the register who were not in Scarborough at all. It had come to this – that he had received an order from the Home Office to prosecute in every case.

With the aid of Harry Wong, Chung Wah was understood to promise to leave the town, and all the cases were remanded until Friday, a clergyman present acting as security for Moy, the sum in each case being £5.