HC Deb 18 March 1889 vol 334 cc18-20
MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when, and in the Police Force of which county adjacent to Glamorganshire, Captain Lindsay had been employed; if he would state on what previous occasions the office of Superintendent of Police for Merthyr has been filled by appointment from outside the ranks of the police force of the county; whether Captain Lindsay had any knowledge of Welsh, a language which is very extensively spoken in the district; what is the salary attaching to the office of Superintendent at Merthyr, and what are the salaries of the superintendents of other districts in Glamorganshire; whether he had reason to believe that the Chief Constable was unable to discover among the police of the county a man qualified to discharge the duties of Superintendent of Merthyr efficiently; if he could state what qualifications Captain Lionel Lindsay, the son of the Chief Constable, possessed for the office; whether the satisfaction evinced by the police force of the county in general at Captain Lindsay 's appointment was shared by those who in the ordinary course might have expected promotion upon the retirement of Superintendent Thomas; whether the joint committee of magistrates and county councillors will have any power to revise this appointment; and whether he would exert his influence with Colonel Lindsay with a view to making the latter see the propriety of cancelling the appointment of his son to the remunerative public office in question?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers this question, may I ask him in relation to the same subject whether, the Chief Constable of Glamorganshire has for 22 years continued to discharge the difficult duties of his office with singular ability; whether it is the fact that such appointments have never been questioned, though the officers did not always possess a knowledge of the Welsh language; whether with respect to the force under his command the appointment of officers does not rest absolutely with the Chief Constable; and whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the gentleman who is the subject of the question has so rapidly made himself acquainted with German, French, Italian, and Arabic, as to warrant the belief that he will soon acquire a competent knowledge of the Welsh language?


Captain Lindsay's previous police service has been in Egypt, not in this country. The office in question has hitherto been filled by promotion from the force. Neither Captain Lindsay nor his predecessors in the office had knowledge of the Welsh language. I am not acquainted with Captain Lindsay's linguistic accomplishments, mentioned by my hon. Friend, but no doubt what he says is accurate. The salaries of superintendents in this force are £160, rising to £200 after five years. The Chief Constable considered that Captain Lindsay was better qualified than anyone else. The selection was approved by the Chairman of Quarter Sessions and the Justices of the Petty Sessional division. Captain Lindsay has a good record of police service in Egypt, and has received excellent testimonials from the chief officers of police in that country. I have no reason to doubt that the appointment is popular in the force. I am not aware of any provision in the Statute for the revision of an appointment such as this, which has been properly made in accordance with the law. It is not my intention to make any representation to the Chief Constable on the subject.