HC Deb 12 April 1883 vol 278 cc58-9

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether he has observed a paragraph in the "Daily News" and other papers, on the authority of the Press Association, in which the following is stated:— It has been deemed advisable by Her Majesty's Government, after consultation with the police authorities, to add a section to the Criminal Investigation Department, the functions appertaining to which are to be strictly political. … It is understood that strong effort will be made to place our political police system on as firm a basis of efficiency as that which characterises the Parisian and Berlin police; and, whether the above statement is true?


No, Sir; there is no foundation for the statement as made in the passage referred to by the hon. Member. What has been done in the matter was, in my opinion, not only advisable, but most necessary should be done, and I may, happily, say it has been attended with signal success. It is this. We have set apart a certain number of intelligent officers, whoso special business it will be to track out and arrest persons engaged in conspiracies to murder, burn, and destroy. I hope that I may be allowed to say that there can be no more dangerous or mischievous fallacy than to describe such conspiracies as political offences. Whatever may be the motives of those who commit them, these are comes of the most nefarious character, and those who participate in them should be treated as ordinary criminals, both in regard to their detection and punishment.