HC Deb 06 March 1882 vol 267 cc187-8

gave Notice that next Thursday he would ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention had been drawn to the remarks of Mr. Justice Hawkins in the late trial for the manslaughter of an unfortunate young man on the Thames Embankment, without any provocation whatever? Mr. Justice Hawkins said that it was to him perfectly astounding that a brutal and sanguinary outrage of this kind—[Cries of "Order!" and cheers]—should have been committed on the Thames Embankment, and should have occupied so long a time in its committal without a single policeman being present. [Renewed cries of "Order! " and cheers.] Mr. Justice Hawkins, in passing sentence on the prisoner Galliers of 10 years' penal servitude, said that he could scarcely have believed that so much ruffianly lawlessness prevailed in the streets of the City, or that it could have been allowed to run its course unchecked. [Cries of "Order!" and "Hear, hear!"]


Sir, as there is a good deal of interest taken in this subject, I may as well answer the Question at once. I do not propose to go into the remarks of Mr. Justice Hawkins, and it would not be proper to make any remarks upon them. As there seems to have been a considerable amount of public alarm created in regard to the matter, and as I think it is always much better to take too much rather than too little precaution on such occasions, I have given instructions that the police shall be strengthened on the Thames Embankment. At the same time, I must be allowed to say that, in my opinion, I certainly ought to do nothing to encourage what I believe to be an unfounded apprehension. I must also be allowed to state, after making the most careful inquiry into the subject, that since this very atrocious outrage on the 18th of December, the Thames Embankment has been singularly free from any disquiet or disorder of the kind.