HC Deb 03 June 1839 vol 47 cc1290-1
Sir Robert Peel

wished for an explanation from the noble Lord upon a point connected with this bill. It had been publicly stated that he (Sir Robert Peel) had in that House expressed his opinion that it was on the whole better that the City Police should be amalgamated with the general metropolitan police, but that in deference to the very general opinion expressed in the City against the measure he had consented to waive his opinion, whereas the Government were adhering to the principle of amalgamation, and determined to follow it out. A contrast much to his disadvantage had been drawn between his abandonment of his principle, and the supposed adherence of Government to theirs. Now he distinctly understood that the bill was brought in with the consent of the Government, they being pledged to support the principle on which it was based, yet that on the whole they came to the same conclusion as himself, that it was expedient to force on such a body a system of police to which they were opposed. He wished to know from the noble Lord if he had correctly stated what occurred en the occasion.

Lord John Russell

said, that the right hon. Gentleman was quite right, His opinion had been, and still was, that it would be much better to have one police for the whole metropolis, in accordance with the report of the committee. But he also concurred with the right hon. Gentleman the other evening in thinking, that as a very great outcry had been raised in the City against the introduction of this bill, it was probable that if it were forced on the City the commissioners of police would not have that authority or be so well received in the City as was requisite in order to secure to the public the full benefits of the act. This he considered a sufficient reason for waiving what he thought would be a very great improvement.

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