HC Deb 25 February 1886 vol 302 cc1220-1

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If he will now say in what way he proposes to make the further inquiry into the organisation of the Police Force of the Metropolis, which he stated his intention to undertake; and, whether he will engage that no such steps shall be taken until the House has had opportunity of expressing an opinion on the Report of the Committee now in the hands of Members?


I propose to make my inquiry into the organization of the Police Force by means of a Departmental Com- mittee, over which. I shall myself preside. ["Oh!" and a laugh.] Yes; I am responsible for the organization, and I am not going to throw the responsibility upon others. I have not finally settled the names of the Committee; but, in all probability, whoever may be the new Chief Commissioner will be one. I also hope to have the assistance of Mr. Pemberton, now Assistant Under Secretary at the Home Office, and long a Member of this House, and of Mr. Pennefather, whose financial experience in police matters will be of great service to me. Perhaps I may be allowed to say, when on the point of instituting this inquiry, how much I regret the absence of the late Chief Commissioner, Sir Edmund Henderson, whose lengthened experience and intimate knowledge of the details of police administration would have been invaluable upon such an inquiry. I am afraid I do not quite understand the words "such steps" in the second Question. I shall certainly undertake this inquiry without waiting for any particular debate in this House. To-morrow my hon. Friend the Member for Shoreditch (Mr. James Stuart) has the first place on the Motion for Supply, and proposes to call attention to this subject. If Notice of a serious Motion be placed upon the Table, it will be sufficient time to consider whether any facilities would be required for its discussion.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, on the Motion which he has mentioned as coming on to-morrow, we shall have the opportunity of discussing the Ro-port of the Special Committee, and the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman himself in this matter?


The only answer I can give is that the hon. Gentleman, if he wishes to discuss either the Report or my conduct, will be able to do so on the Motion of the hon. Member for Shoreditch.


Is there any objection to placing Sir Edmund Henderson on the Committee?


It would hardly be right that a gentleman who has just retired or is just retiring from the Public Service should be asked to sit on the Committee; but means will be found, no doubt, of obtaining the advantage of Colonel Henderson's experience.