HC Deb 10 September 1886 vol 309 cc21-2
SIR HENRY TYLER (Great Yarmouth)

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called, to a further letter from Colonel Hope, published in The Times newspaper, and to a communication circulated to Members by Captain Armit; and, whether he now considers that, for the protection of the branches of the War Department alleged to be implicated in the matters referred to in these communications, as well as in the interest of the public service, and for the satisfaction of the Country generally, it is expedient to appoint a Royal Commission with full power to take evidence, to award protection to witnesses, and to report on all such matters so referred to as may be laid before them?

THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

I have already explained to the House that I have invited from Colonel Hope and from any other person a statement of facts, and have undertaken myself to consider, and also to take the opinion of the Law Officers, whether such statement would justify proceedings before any Court. Every document I have received has been submitted to the Law Officers; and they advise that none of the documents contain any allegations which would justify me in taking any legal proceedings, civil or criminal, or would, in their opinion, warrant the appointment of a Royal Commission with the powers suggested in the Question.


said, that, in consequence of the answer of the right hon. Gentleman, he would move at an early date— That it is expedient to appoint a Royal Commission with full powers to examine witnesses and report on all matters that may be referred to them in connection with the charges so constantly and persistently brought against certain branches of the War Department.