HC Deb 04 August 1848 vol 100 cc1153-4

wished to know whether it was true that certain portions of the police had been armed with swords, having saws at the back; and if they had, whether it was done by the sanction and recommendation of the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State for the Home Department; and whether it was his intention that they should be habitually so armed?


assured the noble Lord that no such intention existed as to arm the police habitually with swords. It had been the practice at different times, and in circumstances of danger, to arm the police. A larger number than usual had been armed in London, Liverpool, and Manchester, in consequence of the threatening language which had been held. The formidable weapons referred to formed part of a store in the Tower belonging to the Ordnance, to whom an application had been made; and they granted a loan of them because they were not the most serviceable. The backs of them were serrated in the manner of a saw, as they were intended formerly for the use of troops in a bivouac, for the felling of trees and the erection of tents. They were not intended for permanent use.