HC Deb 03 November 1884 vol 293 cc785-6

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, In what cases are the Police Department of the Castle dependent for their instructions on volumes of Hansard or newspaper reports; is Hansard supplied to this Department at the public expense; if so, when was the volume containing the Report of the Debate on Mr. Chance's arrest received by Superintendent Harrel; and, have any instructions been given which will obviate the delay caused by this Department having to wait until the annual volumes of Hansard are issued?


The Police Department receive their instructions as regards matters that have passed in the House of Commons, not from Hansard or from newspaper reports, but from the Chief Secretary. Hansard is not supplied to the Police Department. I quoted Hansard in my answer to the hon. Member only as a correct record of what took place in the House as compared with the contemporary reports in the newspapers, to which Mr. Harrel referred to in his letter to Mr. Chance. The explanation why Mr. Harrel relied on the newspaper reports is this. On the 31st of July I promised to consider the question on an inquiry. I set the matter in hand at once, communicated with the Home Office, and had an interview with Colonel Pearson with reference to the English practice in similar cases. Then the matter fell through owing to my ceasing to come to the House of Commons and the Irish Office for a while on account of ill-health. This is one of several other Irish matters which were passed over in consequence. This autumn, as soon as I saw the correspondence between Mr. Harrel and Mr. Chance, I informed the Irish Government how the matter stood, and the inquiry will be granted.