HC Deb 14 March 1822 vol 6 cc1165-6
Mr. Secretary Peel,

in moving for a committee on the police of the metropolis, said, he should abstain from discussing or even, giving an opinion upon the subject. He trusted that the House would not attribute his forbearance to any thing like insensibility to the importance of the question; it was the paramount importance of the subject, and its intimate connexion with the criminal jurisprudence of the country, which induced him, (adverting to short time he had been in office) to doubt his competency to treat it as might be expected. Any opinion which he could at present offer to the House must, in the nature of things, be crude and imperfect. In 1816, 1817, and 1818, committees had sat upon the state of our police: those committees had collected much valuable information, but they had concluded their reports by a recommendation of further inquiry; and, in compliance with that recommendation, and of a promise given by ministers last session, he brought forward his present motion. He had endeavoured to form the proposed committee of gentlemen whose attention had been turned to the subject, and who were likely, from the places they represented, to have no peculiar interest in the subject; and he hoped that the inquiry would be prosecuted with but one view—the obtaining for the metropolis as. perfect a system of police as was consistent with the character of a free country.—The motion was agreed to, and a committee appointed.