HC Deb 27 March 1862 vol 166 cc131-2

said, he wished to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether a Memorial or Petition, signed by thirty gentlemen of Malta, has been addressed to the Governor of that Island, complaining of the conduct of the Police there in not effectually preventing, or conniving at, the riots which took place on the 9th and 10th of February; whether they were desired, in answer, to address any "evidence or explanation they might possess" on the subject to the Superintendent of Police; which they declined to do, on the ground that the inquiry should be made by authority "independent of the Department of the Executive Police;" and, whether it is the opinion of the Secretary of State for the Colonies that the Chief of the Police is the proper authority to be appointed to inquire into the conduct of his own Department, as between the inhabitants and that Establishment, in case of a complaint publicly preferred against it?


said, in reply, that the papers referring to this subject had only been received from the Governor of Malta that day. Such a Petition as that referred to had been presented to the Governor, but the precise terms of the answer were not stated. The Governor had naturally called for a Report from the head of the Police in a case involving the conduct of some of the officers within his own department. But the Governor also himself instituted a rigid inquiry into the circumstances, the result of which was to convince him that the reports which had reached this country were grossly exaggerated, and that the circumstances were really of a very trifling character. With respect to the last question of the hon. Gentleman, he (Mr. Fortescue) had heard nothing of the occurrence.