HC Deb 19 March 1886 vol 303 cc1366-7
MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

asked the Secretary for Scotland, Whether he has received a memorial from James Martin, lately in the police force in Aberdeen; whether the circumstances of the dismissal of James Martin are correctly set forth in the following statement made by him:— At Whitehall Road, where my beat was situated, early in the morning of the 29th October last, a young man named Corbett was suffering from a severe attack of asthma, and had been under the care of a doctor for a considerable time. When going my rounds I heard several times the shouts of the sufferer. A little after five o'clock in the morning one of his female attendants asked me to procure some brandy for him. As they had no doctor's prescription for it, it was with a considerable amount of hesitation that I said I would endeavour to get it. Mr. Craighead, grocer, lived not far off, so I went to his house, rang the hell, and explained the state of matters. He gave me a bottle of brandy on the condition that I would replace it next day along with a doctor's line, certifying that Mr. Corbett was really in want of it. I duly replaced the brandy, along with a line from Dr. Wyness, who was attending the sufferer. Next night I explained the matter to my sergeant, Daniel Ross, the consequence being that Superintendent Wyness dismissed me from the service without any further investigation; whether it is the practice when a policeman has been dismissed from the force in one place to consider him ineligible for appointment in any other place; and, whether he will consider the propriety of proposing such a change in the law as will give dismissed policemen a right of appeal to the Watch Committees or similar authority?


I have received the memorial in question, and think it right that the superintendent of police should have an opportunity of furnishing me with an explanation of the case, which I have asked for. The practice referred to in the third part of the hon. Member's Question is laid down as a rule of the Police Force by an Order of the Secretary of State under the Scottish Police Act of 1857. The Police Act of 1862 gives the superintendent of police the right of appointing and removing constables at his pleasure; but I will consider the question of providing for appeals in such cases in connection with the Police Bill now before the House of Lords.