HC Deb 02 May 1873 vol 215 c1405

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether, considering the difficulty of approaching the House of Commons, on account of the mob which daily congregates to witness the departure of the Claimant in the Tichborne trial from the Court of Queen's Bench, any additional measures can be taken to secure a more easy access to Members of Parliament to and from the House? In putting the Question the hon. Member said, he had been struck that day by the great impediment which had taken place in the approach to the House. He had been talking to one of the Inspectors of police, who had told him that it was found necessary to employ no less than 100 constables in keeping the approach.


Sir, the difficulty of keeping order arises at the moment when the defendant appears at the door of Westminster Hall, up to which time I think it will be found that the ways have been kept tolerably clear. There is then a great rush, and I am bound, in the interests of truth and justice, to say that the police report that their difficulties at that moment are much aggravated by the presence of a considerable number of Members of the House of Commons, whose presence on the scene of action prevents that vigour on the part of the police which they might otherwise display. No doubt, the number of spectators has increased very largely, and to-day there has been an increase in the number of police. It is a matter of very considerable inconvenience that so large a body of police, no fewer than 150 in number, should be taken from the performance of their ordinary duties. An application was made to the Judges of the Court of Queen's Bench to allow the defendant to leave by the Judges' entrance, as he did during the civil trial; but I believe that is contrary to the etiquette of the Court; and, on that account, I am informed, the arrangement has not been permitted, although it would enable a smaller number of policemen to keep order, and prevent inconvenience to the public.