HC Deb 30 April 1883 vol 278 cc1411-2

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is the fact that the party selected by the Police Commissioners of Sutherland to act as Chief Constable of that county has been rejected on account of having mis-stated his age; whether he can state who recommended Mr. Fraser; whether the Commissioners were guilty of irregularity in appointing him to the office without first having seen a certificate of his birth; and, whether the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Sheriff M'Konzie, Dornoch, called a meeting for the purpose of cancelling Fraser's appointment; and, if so, whether such a course is competent in the absence of proof that his ago had been intentionally misstated, and what action, if any, ho proposes to take?


I have been requested by my right hon. Friend to answer this Question. Mr. Fraser, the person selected by the Police Commissioners of Sutherland as Chief Constable, has not been rejected; but the fact that he made a mis-statement of his age having been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State, he thought it advisable to withhold his confirmation of the appointment until the county authorities had had an opportunity of reconsidering the appointment. The Secretary of State is not aware upon whose recommendation Mr. Fraser was selected by the Police Commissioners. There is no rule as to the evidence required by county authorities in proof of a candidate's age; but due care is observed in the Home Office to ascertain that the candidate is in all respects within the Secretary of State's regulations before the appointment is confirmed. It is true that the meeting was summoned for the purpose stated in the Question— and the Secretary of State thought that as the appointment was based on a misstatement of fact, the Commissioners should have an opportunity of reconsidering it—but it is open to them to re-appoint Mr. Fraser if they are satisfied on inquiry that the mistake was unintentional, and they have been so informed by the Secretary of State.