THE SECRETAEY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. CHILDERS)
I promised on Thursday last to lay on the Table—which I now do—the Report of the Committee appointed to inquire into the conduct of the police on the 8th of this month, and into other circumstances. I am not able now to lay them in the form in which they can be circulated; but I hope they will be circulated either to-morrow or on Wednesday with my Memorandum, and, of course, with the evidence. The evidence is long, and has been taken at sittings held every day during last week—sittings which generally lasted four or five hours—and, of course, it could not be printed and corrected with that rapidity which would have otherwise been possible. I will not now read any considerable part of the Report—which is a long one—but I will road the last paragraph, which says—We conclude our Report by the strong expression of our opinion that the administration and organization of the Metropolitan Police Force require to be thoroughly investigated; and we hope that this investigation will take place without delay.I think I should also tell the House that I have communicated the substance of the Report to the Chief Commissioner of Police. I have told him what the recommendations of the Committee are, with my Memorandum upon the subject; and this afternoon I received a letter from Sir Edmund Henderson placing his resignation in my hands for the purpose of facilitating the re-organization of the Department, and that resignation I have accepted. I shall now lose no time whatever in instituting inquiries with a view of remedying the defects to which the last paragraph of the Report refers. Perhaps the House, in conclusion, will allow me to thank—as I very sincerely do—the four Gentlemen who assisted mo in this most difficult inquiry—an inquiry which, without their assistance, it would have been almost impossible for me, only a day or two after entering Office, to undertake satisfactorily, but which I believe the House will find has been most 910 satisfactorily undertaken. I trust the Report will receive the approval of the House. I will lay it on the Table, and I hope the whole Papers will be distributed to-morrow or on Wednesday.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, considering the very great importance of the question, an early opportunity will be given for the discussion of the Report?
I think the House should have the Report before it before any Question of that sort is asked. If, after reading the Report, the right hon. Gentleman thinks it necessary to put the Question, no doubt it will be answered.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I beg to give Notice that on Thursday I will ask the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary what course the Government propose to take with regard to the Report, and especially to that portion of it referring to the re-organization of the police.
I have stated that I intend to propose a complete inquiry into the organization and administration of the police. I propose to undertake that inquiry as rapidly as possible. As to the means and machinery by which that inquiry is to be conducted, that is a Question which I will ask the right hon. Gentleman to put on Friday.
§ SIR JAMES FERGUSSON
asked, whether there had not been three exhaustive inquiries into the organization of the Metropolitan Force during the last 18 years?
said, he could speak as to two of those inquiries; but he was not quite sure whether there had been a third.