§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a letter, 77 dated 30th June, in The Daily Telegraph of 6th July, addressed by Mrs. Bowman to the Police Authorities, in reference to the case of Miss Cass, of Police Constable Endacott, and of Mr. Newton, the police magistrate, as well as the official reply, dated 2nd July, from the Office of the Chief Commissioners, acknowledging Mrs. Bowman's letter; and, whether he will ascertain how it happened that the Chief Commissioner informed him, on the afternoon of the 5th July, that—The document had not reached him, and he is not aware of any complaint having been made?
§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S. W.)
asked the right hon. Gentleman, Whether he is aware that an official letter marked "C. 2457," and signed "W. F. M. Staples," was forwarded on 2nd July to Madam Bowman, stating that a complaint respecting the arrest of Miss Cass had been received, and that it would be laid before the Commissioner of Police?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (MR. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Mrs. Bowman's letter arrived at the Chief Office on July 2, and was acknowledged by a clerk. It was then sent by the clerk direct to Mr. Howard, the Chief Constable of the District, for inquiry, in accordance with the usual practice in such cases introduced after the Report of the Committee of 1886, which decided that the work was too much centralized in Scotland Yard. Mr. Howard did not return to his office on the evening of Saturday, July 2, after the arrival of this letter, and did not see it till Monday, the 4th. On that day he was much engaged on special duty at the Imperial Institute till the afternoon, when he sent the letter to the D Division for inquiry. On the afternoon of July 5 it was sent back to Chief Constable Howard, with other letters in the division bag. From the Chief Constable it was sent to the Chief Commissioner, and did not reach him till after he had seen me. At the time he saw me the Chief Commissioner was ignorant of the purport of Mrs. Bowman's letter. On consideration of that letter, the Chief Commissioner suspended Police Constable Endacott from duty. The House will remember that the strain of the whole of the Police Force was excessive during the days in question; and that the whole time of 78 the Chief Commissioner and his chief officers was taken up by important and abnormal duties.
§ MR. H. GARDNER (Essex, Saffron Walden)
I should like to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether he can give the House any information as to the probable date when the result of the inquiry by the Lord Chancellor will be made public? Is it not a fact that the salary of the police magistrate is not paid out of the Consolidated Fund; and, therefore, the House has no opportunity of expressing its opinion when the Estimates come to be discussed?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
I must ask the hon. Gentleman to give Notice of the Question. I shall have to communicate with the Lord Chancellor before I can reply to it.