HC Deb 25 April 1879 vol 245 c1099

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to a report that the proprietors of Philadelphia and New Harrington Collieries, in the county of Durham, have ordered to be made in the colliery workshops fifty police staves or batons, which are four inches longer and much heavier than the ordinary staff used by the police force; and, if he can say whether such report is true; and, if true, whether or not it is legal for such weapons to be thus enlarged?


in reply, said, he had received a Report from the Chief Constable on this matter, in which he said he thought there must be some mistake, because, so far as the officials of the collieries were concerned, he could only find that 12—not 50—staves had been made. They were no longer, but rather thicker, and barely one ounce heavier, than the ordinary staves used by the police. It was a great pity, he thought, that they should have been made larger at all; but they had not been used by the police, and the ordinary staves were issued to special constables when they were sworn in. In answering the Question, he could not refrain from making two remarks. In the first place, he could not sit down without ex-pressing his great regret that there should be any continued dispute upon this question of wages, which he hoped might speedily be settled; and, in the next place, he was bound, not only for the credit of the masters, but also for the credit of the workmen, to say that any appeal to force on either side would be a disastrous and fatal thing.