§ MR. BURT
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to the case of alleged conspiracy on the part of several officers of the Westminster detective police force to deprive a man named William Cook of his liberty; to a statement made by a convict named Laurence (alias Briggs) at the Surrey Sessions on the 8th of April 1881, and repeated subsequently to a solicitor employed by the Police Commissioners; to a letter from one of Her Majesty's Colonies purporting to be signed by a late officer of the Westminster detective police; and also to a statement made by the wife of the last-mentioned detective, all making serious charges against the detective police; whether, after investigation, one of the detective officers in question has been dismissed from the force without a pension, and another removed to a different district; and, whether, if the facts be as alleged, he will institute a public inquiry or prosecute the offenders?
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Sir, this matter has been carefully investigated by me, and I have come to the conclusion that there is no evidence to show that this is a case of conspiracy which could properly be the subject of a criminal prosecution. I have also come to the conclusion that there has been carelessness amounting to recklessness in proceeding upon evidence of an unreliable character. The parties have committed a most serious offence, and have been severely punished.