The Metropolitan police have declared war on the West End
palmists and fortune-tellers. An Order has been issued by the Chief Commissioner warning them that in future they will not be permitted to advertise by notices in the windows or by the employment of sandwich men, and publishers of newspapers and mazagines have been warned that such adver- tisements must no longer be accepted. The attitude of the Home Office authorities, in reply to questions in the House last year, in no way indicated resort to such stringent measures, as it is stated that, if the warnings of the police are disregarded, the authorities will not hesitate to institute proceedings against offenders under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, which renders any fortune-teller or person "using any subtle craft, means or device by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive or impose on any of his Majesty's sub- jects," liable to arrest without warrant as a rogue or vaga- bond, and, if convicted, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for not more than three months, or a fine not exceeding £25. But the most striking part of the new order is that which deals with newspaper and magazine advertise- ments, in view of the revenue derived from this source and the bearing of the prohibition on the parallel case of quack medicines.