§ MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to an article by the Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, published in Murray's Magazine of this month, in which the Commissioner discusses the management and discipline of the police under his control, and makes disparaging remarks upon Members of the late Government; and, whether it is in accordance with the usage and discipline of the Civil Service that a salaried official should be permitted to publicly discuss matters relating to his Department, and disparage the conduct of ex-Ministers of the Crown; and, if not, whether he has seen fit to take any action in the matter?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
My attention has been called to the article in question. I am assured by the Commissioner that his statements are made without reference to Party; and he points out that one of the passages referred to by the hon. Member applies, 638 on the face of it, to successive Governments, and not to any one Government in particular. With regard to the usages of the Civil Service as to the public discussion by salaried officials of matters which touch upon politics, I cannot do better than refer the hon. Member to an answer given by the First Lord of the Treasury in this House on the 15th of March of this year, where he will find the subject fully dealt with. In 1879 the then Home Secretary issued a Rule by which officers attached to the Department were precluded from publishing works relating to the Department without permission, and a copy was sent to the then Commissioner of Police. The present Commissioner, however, informs me that he was not aware of the existence of this Rule. I have accordingly drawn his attention to it, and have requested him to comply with it in future.