HC Deb 20 June 1890 vol 345 cc1510-92

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £37,586, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1891, for the Salaries of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, and of the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District, the Pay and Expenses of Officers of Metropolitan Police employed on special duties, and the Salaries and Expenses of the Inspectors of Constabulary.

(5.0.) SIR W. HARCOURT (Derby)

I do not think that, during the 60 years which have elapsed since the Metropolitan Police Force was established, the House of Commons has ever come to the consideration of this Vote in circumstances more grave, and, I may say, more dangerous. Nobody can deny that the condition of things in reference to the Metropolitan Police at this moment is most profoundly unsatisfactory. We had occasion more than a year ago to discuss this matter, when, unfortunately, differences of opinion had arisen between the Secretary of State and the then Chief Commissioner of Police, Sir C. Warren, which led to Sir Charles Warren's retirement. The Home Secretary has now parted with, a second Chief Commissioner of Police, Mr. Monro, and an open breach, which, in my opinion, is most mischievous and dangerous to the discipline of the Metropolitan Police, has taken place between the authorities at the Home Office and the authorities at Scotland Yard. This is not a matter to be considered in a Party spirit, or from a Party point of view. I think I have some claim to say that, because in the difficulties that arose between the Home Secretary and Sir C. Warren I did my best, not to support the Government or the right hon. Gentleman, but to support the authority of the office that he held. I am sorry to say that with precisely the same object and with every desire to support the Secretary of State, and the authority and dignity of Iris office, I have come to a totally different conclusion, and I also regret to have to state that what I have to say must be in entire condemnation of the course which the right hon. Gentleman has taken on this occasion. On the previous occasion—and I recall the fact with pleasure—I had the gratification of being thanked by the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury for the course I then took. I do not know whether he will thank me now, but I intend now to act on precisely the same principle that I acted upon then. It is natural for anyone who has discharged the duties of the responsible office of Home Secretary to have a certain sympathy with those who hold that office, and to desire to maintain the authority and the traditions of that office; and certainly it always has been and always shall be my wish to do so. But I cannot help asking how the Secretary of State has acted in this matter. If I condemn the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman, it is because, in my opinion, he has strained the authority of his office and has lowered its credit by the course which he has pursued. The situation which arose a year and a half ago in connection with the case of Sir Charles Warren filled me with surprise as we had had no former experience of such a state of things existing between the Home Office and Scotland Yard. During the time of my predecessors in office, Sir Ft. Cross, Mr. Gathorne-Hardy, and Sir G. Gray, there was complete confidence between the two Departments, and there was a complete absence of con- flict and of friction between the Secretary of State and those who, as his subordinates and his assistants, were at the head of the police; and therefore I view the new spectacle of conflict and friction between the Home Office and Scotland Yard with surprise and regret. For my own part, I had the advantage of acting at the Home Office with the most eminent public servants who were at the head of the Metropolitan Police. I have always borne testimony and I always shall bear it to the signal qualities which were possessed by Sir Edmund Henderson, whose judgment and good sense were beyond all praise, and I have always regarded what I may call the accidental misfortune which led to his retirement from his office as a grievous loss both to the public and to the police. I had also the advantage of acting with the late Colonel Pearson, whose death all who knew him will regret. I was also very sorry when the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield left the Police Force, not because of any difference which had arisen between himself and the Home Office, but because he was seeking another and a larger career. I am sure that the hon. and learned Member will bear testimony to the fact that in his days the relations between the Home Office and Scotland Yard were of the most friendly description. There was in those days no question as to the supremacy of the Secretary of State—he undoubtedly was supreme, and he must be supreme, because he is responsible to this House; and in the future, as in the past, the head of the police must be responsible to somebody, either to the Secretary of State or to the County Council. But in those days no question arose about the supreme authority of the Secretary of State. There was no occasion for it to arise; that authority was never questioned; it was never disputed; it was never, I hope, assorted offensively or tyrannically. The Secretary of State and the Chief Commissioner of Police were upon the footing with regard to each other of confidential colleagues, who were acting together in discharging a very responsible public duty. In my opinion, the first principle of good administration is that the chief of any Department should seek to acquire and to command the sympathies and the goodwill of the men with whom and through whom he has to work. In the present case what do we see? There is a constant conflict between the Secretary of State and the Chief Commissioner of Police, and certainly there are indications of a great deal more conflict than has actually come to our knowledge. There have been retirements of one Chief Commissioner of Police after another, and beyond that there is a discontented and dissatisfied Police Force as the result of the administration of the right hon. Gentleman at the Home Office during the past four years. In my opinion, it is impossible that such a state of things should be allowed to go on. The retirement of Sir Charles Warren, necessary as it was, was to my mind a great blow to the discipline of the Police Force. The spectacle of the Home Secretary divided from the Chief Commissioner of Police was one which the Police Force had never seen before, and it had a most injurious effect upon that force. But the resignation of Mr. Monro, and the circumstances by which it was accompanied, are of a much more serious nature, because it is no secret that at this moment the Police Force have rallied round the Chief Commissioner and against the Home Secretary. That is a very grave situation, and one of which we have had no previous experience. In my opinion, that is not a safe state of things for the Metropolis, and it is one which constitutes tin extremely evil condition of things for the police. What has brought about this extraordinary and deplorable result? We do not know. We have had a, statement from the Secretary of State. The right hon. Gentleman the other day read a letter from Mr. Monro, and made a statement with reference to it which Mr. Monro has declared to be an incomplete and ex parte statement. I have asked over and over again for further Papers on the subject, but they are not forthcoming. This is the statement of Mr. Monro in a letter of his which has been published— My views as to police administration, unfortunately, differ in many important respects from those held by the Secretary of State, and I have received clear indications that the duties of the successor of Colonel Pearson are to be intrusted to a gentleman who, however estimable personally, has no police, military, or legal training. We, therefore, know that the Secretary of State was at issue with the Chief Commissioner of Police in many important respects on matters of police administration. This is a very unfortunate state of things. The two particulars which have been given, in reference to which there has been a difference of opinion between the Home Secretary and the Chief Commissioner, are, first, the appointment of Colonel Pearson's successor; and, secondly, the question of police superannuation. In Mr. Ruggles-Brise, whose name has been imported into this discussion, I take a very strong personal interest. I had the pleasure, and I consider it an honour, to have introduced Mr. Ruggles-Brise into the Public Service. He was the son of a respected Member who formerly-sat on the other side of the House, but that was a fact that I did not take into consideration when I appointed him, because I think that, in making appointments in the Public Service, we ought not to be influenced by political considerations. Mr. Ruggles-Brise entered the Public Service with the highest character to recommend him—he had distinguished himself at the University, and he more than fulfilled the expectations that had been formed with regard to him, and in a remarkably short space of time he reached a very distinguished position, and he has filled the office of private secretary, not only to myself, but to all my successors. Certainly there is no man more deserving of public preferment than Mr. Ruggles-Brise. But, in appointing a successor to Colonel Pearson, one of the first conditions was that the appointment should be made with the cordial co-operation and sympathy of the gentleman who was to be the chief and the colleague of the person appointed. I wish to illustrate my meaning by referring' to the case of Mr. Monro. I also had the high honour of introducing Mr. Monro into the Police Force when the hon. and learned Member for Sheffield retired. Mr. Monro was recommended to me. I did not know him personally. I suggested his name to Sir Edmund Henderson; and I confess that Sir Edmund had at the time some doubts whether Mr. Monro's Indian experience was sufficient to render his appointment desirable. However, upon consideration, Colonel Henderson said, "If your judgment is so, I shall be delighted to receive Mr. Monro and to have experience of his services." A fortnight afterwards Colonel Henderson called upon me, and he said, "I have to come to thank you for having placed in Scotland Yard one of the best and ablest men we have ever had there." In my opinion, there ought to be between the Secretary of State and the Chief Commissioner that sort of good feeling which leads to cordial concurrence in the making of appointments of that description. What does Mr. Monro say? He says that the duties of the successor to Colonel Pearson are to be intrusted to a gentleman who, however estimable, he does not think fit for the place. The right hon. Gentleman left Mr. Monro to retire under the conviction that he was to have as a colleague a gentleman he objected to, and that the Secretary of State was refusing to appoint a gentleman who had his entire confidence, and who he thought ought to be appointed. While accepting the resignation of Mr. Monro, tendered under that belief, the right hon. Gentleman said that all the time he was intending to appoint the gentleman named by Mr. Monro. I call that bad administration. If Mr. Monro was a valuable public servant, why was he to be allowed to resign under a misapprehension of this character? What led Mr. Monro to believe that Mr. Ruggles-Brise was to be appointed and that Mr. Howard was not to be appointed? Why was Mr. Monro not told that Mr. 'Howard was to be appointed until after his own resignation had been accepted? With reference to this office, of course the Minister who is responsible must be the best judge of an appointment; but still it is a grave responsibility for a Secretary of State to refuse to listen to the advice of the Chief Commissioner when he recommends that an office shall be given, by way of promotion, to a gentleman who is already in the force. I do not say that the force have any right to claim promotion; I do not say that there is any limit upon the discretion or upon the responsibility of the Secretary of State; but when it is placed before him that it may lead to discontent in the force if promotion is not given to one already in the force, it is a heavy responsibility he incurs in refusing the advice of the Chief Commissioner, or leading him to believe it is refused. What do the police think.—what can they think—when they find Mr. Monro resigning and see it stated that he has resigned because a promotion was not made from the force, and the next day they see that, under the stress of his resignation, the appointment he desired to make has been made? In these circumstances, what becomes of the authority of the Secretary of State? How can it be sustained and respected I In my opinion, the whole proceeding, so far as we are permitted to know anything about it, was a most injudicious proceeding. The popular impression is that the Home Secretary did not intend to appoint Mr. Howard, or he did not let Mr. Monro know he intended to appoint him until he had allowed Mr. Monro to resign under the belief that Mr. Howard was not to be appointed. If that is not so, no doubt the facts as we know them will be altered by the right hon. Gentleman's statement. If he did not agree to the appointment of Mr. Howard before the resignation of Mr. Monro, and if he agreed to the appointment after the resignation, I say that is bad administration; and I cannot conceive that anything could be more injurious to the discipline of the police, seeing that the light hon. Gentleman is made by Act of Parliament the highest authority over the police. So much for the personal matter with reference to the appointment of a successor to Colonel Pearson. I now come to the greater matter of superannuation; and here, again, we do not know all that has happened with reference to the Superannuation Bill. We have the statement that the Chief Commissioner had come to arm's-length with the Secretary of State on the subject of superannuation: and a more unfortunate condition of things, with reference to administration, it is impossible to conceive. The other day the First Lord of the Treasury said that the Superannuation Bill of the Government was founded upon, the lines of those Bills which were introduced by myself and my right hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, as well as by a Gentleman whose absence from this House we all regret; I mean Mr. Hibbert. We introduced those Bills with the friendly concurrence and support of the Chief Commissioner of Police; the provisions of those Bills were received with content- ment and satisfaction "by the Police Force, and the terms and conditions were fair and reasonable at that time; but whether you can have those terms again I greatly doubt. The mis-management and misconduct of the right hon. Gentleman, in my opinion, have made it very difficult, if not impossible, to recur to those terms. What has he done? He has allowed the Chief Commissioner of Police to resign upon a Superannuation Bill, and to gather the Police Force around him as their champion. Here is the Secretary of State at issue with the man who, up to five minutes ago, has been acting as Chief Commissioner of Police, and at issue upon this very question. That is the position into which the administration of the right hon. Gentleman has brought us. That being so, if you cannot now settle the matter upon the terms of former Superannuation Bills, the consequence must J be that the ratepayers will have to pay a heavy price for your mis-management. Whatever rule you are going to apply to the Metropolitan Police you must apply to the police all over the country; they demand, and they have a right to demand, that they shall be dealt with on the same terms. Therefore, if yon are obliged to alter those terms, you will have to alter your unfortunate Local Taxation Bill, because you will have to deal with the question of superannuation upon a different footing. What, then, is the situation in which we are placed? When the Metropolitan Police was instituted it was placed under the immediate authority of the Secretary of State. What authority has the Secretary of State had over the London Police during the last fortnight? Absolutely none. It has not been to him they have looked as the head of it; it has not been to him they have looked for instructions; they have looked to a different quarter. The position of the Metropolis is different from that of all other Municipalities. In all other Municipalities the police is under the control of a popular body, which has behind it the force of the public opinion of the community it represents. For reasons which were thought good at the time, and which I myself have thought good since, a different rule has been established in the Metropolis, and the police are put under the Executive Government and under the authority of the Secretary of State. He does not carry with him that authority which belongs to the Watch Committee of a Town Council. His authority must depend entirely upon the exercise of judgment and discretion. When that authority is subverted, what is your position? You have nothing to-replace it. In the Metropolis you have something like a Praetorian guard, subject to no Local Authority, electing its own Emperor, and doing what it pleases. That is a situation which our Constitution does not recognise. You must choose between two thin:, s—you must either have ministerial responsibility to this House, or you must have a Municipality having authority over its own police. I am bound to say, holding the opinions I have held and being aware of the risks which might befal the popular administration of the police in the Metropolis, I think the evils existing at this moment in the Police Force in relation to the Secretary of State are greater than any risk which could arise under municipal control. In my opinion, the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman has inflicted a fatal and incurable blow upon the authority of the Secretary of State over the Metropolitan Police. I doubt whether it is possible to retrieve the position after what has gone on in London, with the police despising the Secretary of State, and holding meetings under the auspices of the Chief Commissioner, and with the Secretary of State and the Chief Commissioner at arm's length. If the Secretary of State could not agree with Mr. Monro, why was not his successor appointed at once, so that the Secretary of State might have had the co-operation of a Chief Commissioner with whom he was in accord, and the authority of his office might have been-maintained? I can only conjecture it took some time to find anybody with courage to assume the office under the-circum stances. I do not blame Mr. Monro; I do not blame the police; I. blame the Secretary of State for a condition of things absolutely Inconsistent with the discipline of the force. Just consider what was happening the other, day. We begin with the Chief Inspectors and Superintendents holding meetings to discuss and condemn the legislative policy of the Secretary of State Is that a thing which, in the midst of a population of 5,000,000, can be permitted? Let me give a parallel. Suppose that under the auspices of the Commander-in-Chief the Army at Aldershot were collected to discuss the Estimates and to condemn the conduct of the Secretary of State for War. That is just parallel to what has been happening in London during the last fortnight, and the Secretary of State sits down calmly under it. One of two things ought to have happened. Either Mr. Monro was wrong, and should have been removed from authority by the Secretary of State, or, as I am much inclined to think, Mr. Monro was in the right, and the Secretary of State should have removed himself. To go on in this state of things is to exhibit to the police an example of indiscipline, between the Chief Commissioner and his chief, which is certain to demoralise and have a most injurious effect upon the police. What authority can the Secretary of State be expected to exercise? The whole Force have no regard for him at all, but look to the Chief Commissioner as the man to settle their grievances, to direct their policy, and positively to appoint the Assistant Commissioner. That is the position they have taken up. They took up that position in reference to the appointment of Mr. Howard, and, to their view, the Secretary of State has succumbed. They have taken up that position in reference to pay and pensions, and what will be the issue of that it would be a bold man who would predict. That is the position into which the Metropolitan Police have been brought by the administration of the right hon. Gentleman. As to the successor of Mr. Monro, paragraphs have appeared in the papers saying that Mr. Monro is to return. I never believed in that report, much as I should desire it to be true. How could Mr. Monro return—excellent Chief Commissioner as he is? Why, Sir, if he had come back, lie must have come back as the master of the Secretary of State. Why has the Secretary of State put himself in a position in which so valuable an officer cannot return? I have known Mr. Monro, and I am sure there could not be the smallest difficulty in two persons of whom he was one coming to such, an understanding as should exist between such officials. Mr. Monro cannot return. I would ask the right hon. Gentleman: Have the Government considered what may be the consequences of Mr. Monro's not returning? Have they considered the position in which Mr. Monro stands at this moment in reference to the Metropolitan Police? I do not want to aggravate the difficulty of the position, but, in my opinion, it is so grave that I cannot pass over it. I will say nothing with reference to the distinguished gentleman who has accepted the position of Chief Commissioner of Police. I know how difficult such a position must be for anyone coming fresh to it with things in their present condition. But, with reference to Mr. Monro, I think that one of the great merits and advantages of his position was that he was a civilian. I do not lay that down as an absolute rule. I have known distinguished men in the control of the Police Force who were military men; but depend upon it, in the Control of a Police Force, let it be a large force or a small one, the only chance of success for a military man is to divest himself of the military spirit as Sir E. Henderson so admirably did. If you attempt to introduce a military administration it will be a great disaster. I hope the distinguished officer who has been newly appointed will enter upon the position with a sense of that fact. I should not be doing my duty if I did not express my opinion that the introduction of a military spirit into the discipline of the Metropolitan Police is one of the worst things that can happen to that force, or to the population committed to their charge. I have said that I regard the existing system as only a temporary system. I have arrived with regret at the conclusion that what has happened during the last four years has so shaken and undermined the authority of the Secretary of State that it will be impossible permanently to retain the authority over the police in the present hands. I believe the record of the right hon. Gentleman's administration will be that it has put an end to the present system. We have to think of the present and the immediate future. No change in the existing system can now be made, but it is impossible that in the present hands the system can go on. I do not believe that the right hon. Gentleman, in the present state of the feeling of the police—in presence of the fact that he has caused and maintained the resignation of Mr. Monro—can with advantage restore the police to that condition of discipline which is absolutely essential to the well-being of the Metropolis; and, therefore, in speaking of the right hon. Gentleman's position, and the course which he has taken, I regard in him the great obstacle to the restoration of a sound and proper feeling on the part of the police of London. I regret to have to make this statement, but nobody can doubt that the position of the police is getting worse from day to day. Yesterday it was a question of the Superintendents and their ultimatum; to-day, I see by the newspapers, it is a question of the Force itself, who desire to go further, and in a different direction to the ultimatum of the Superintendents. What is the situation of the Police Force on the dismissal of the justly-popular Chief Commissioner? They are, and have been, gathering under the auspices of that Chief Commissioner to remonstrate with, and to discuss and practically to destroy the authority of, the Secretary of State. That is a condition not creditable, not safe, and absolutely un-Constitutional. This is a state of things which ought not to be allowed to continue. It is a state of things which has never existed before, and I think the Government will make a great mistake if they do not recognise the fact that the police must be dealt with in a different manner and in different hands.


I have, of course, no complaint to make, Sir, of the attack made by the right hon. Gentleman as far as it applies to me personally. But I should have been better pleased if he had based that attack upon a statement of facts somewhat more definite, in order that I could more readily grapple with it. The right hon. Gentleman has made me personally responsible for everything that has happened untowardly, and very much to my regret, for some weeks past; and he has done it without making that statement of fact which would justify him in bringing such charges, against even a political opponent, in a matter which, as the right hon. Gentleman himself justly observed, is not a Party matter. Most assuredly I cannot take to myself the blame of the slightest difference with Mr. Monro which is due to my own conduct. I have had, and have now, every feeling of sympathy for Mr. Monro. I selected him to be Chief Commissioner, knowing him to be a fit and able man for the post, and in many particulars he has discharged the duties of the office highly to my satisfaction. I deny in the most absolute way that there has been any personal difference between Mr. Monro and myself as to the discharge of his duties, which has led to his resignation. Nobody more regretted or was more surprised at that resignation than I was. The right hon. Gentleman has inquired into the causes of that resignation, and there, I think, he was not quite fair, because he put in the front rank the question about the appointment of an Assistant Commissioner. I say again—and I have good reason for the statement—that that question had nothing to do with Mr. Monro's resignation. If Mr. Ruggles-Brise had been appointed, Mr. Monro would not have thought it necessary to resign, and I have stated to the House, as I also stated to Mr. Monro, that I would not have accepted that as the ground of his ultimatum. As I said when the resignation was tendered to me, I had formed no decision on the question of whom I should appoint, and I had expressed no decision to Mr. Monro. I did in this matter what the right hon. Gentle-man said every Secretary of State ought to do in distributing patronage in the police. The appointment, of course, is mine, and I am responsible for it; but I desired, above all things, to make no appointment against the opinion and feeling of the Chief Commissioner, and accordingly I took the opportunity, Mr. Monro having submitted to me a recommendation, of opening the subject. I need have no delicacy in mentioning names now, as they have already been made so public. Mr. Monro recommended Mr. Howard. I had, of course, numerous other applicants for the post, and, among others, was Mr. Ruggles-Brise. I am happy to join most emphatically in the praise which the right hon. Gentleman has awarded to Mr. Ruggles-Brise, but the right hon. Gentleman was incorrect in one particular. It was not due to the right hon. Gentleman that Mr. Ruggles-Brise entered the Public Service. He obtained a distinguished place in it by competitive examination, and he came with a first-class from Oxford.


I appointed him to the Home Office.


No; he came in by competitive examination. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that I am right. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman appointed him as his private secretary, but he entered the Civil Service by competitive examination, having shown his ability by taking a first-class at Oxford. In my experience of him—now lasting four years—I found that his ability, character, and capacity for business were such that I considered him a perfectly fit candidate for the position of Assistant Commissioner. He has served not only as private secretary to myself, but also to the right hon. Gentleman (Sir W. Harcourt), the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Childers), and Viscount Cross when he was at the Home Office. He has, therefore, for five years had—it is true, not an experience of the actual administration of the Police Fores—but has had knowledge of all the principles of policy which have guided successive Secretaries of State in dealing with the Police Force; and that, in my judgment, eminently fitted him for the office of Assistant Commissioner. I discussed the merits of the candidates frankly and confidentially with Mr. Monro. I desired to hold that kind of confidential communication which I agree with the right hon. Gentleman ought to take place between the Minister in whom the patronage is vested and the chief of the Department in which that patronage is to take place. It was in order to ascertain the feelings of Mr. Monro on the subject that I had this conversation with him. This conversation took place on June 9, and the interview closed without my having formed or expressed any determination as to the person whom I should appoint as Assistant Commissioner. The right hon. Gentleman has found fault with me for appointing Mr. Howard. My reasons are these, and I will be perfectly frank with the House: I felt the moment Mr. Monro's resignation was in my hands on June 10 that the want of experience in Mr. Ruggles-Brise, which, under Mr. Monro's own guidance, would have been of compara- tively small importance, now assumed, on the contrary, the gravest importance. While the scale might have been very evenly balanced between the two candidates up to that time, yet, after Mr. Monro's resignation, the claims of the candidate who had had daily experience of the police decidedly preponderated. That is the whole story of this matter of patronage. I regret that it was ever introduced at all to public notice. It must be disagreeable to both the gentlemen whose names have been mentioned. I think I am entitled to say, from communication I have had with him, that it was not, and could not have been, the cause of the resignation of Mr. Monro even if Mr. Ruggles-Brise had been appointed, and it certainly ought not to be suggested as the cause of my appointing Mr. Howard that Mr. Monro resigned because I at first proposed to appoint Mr. Ruggles-Brise. Now, I cannot disguise from the House the fact that this question of police superannuation is one of extraordinary gravity. The right hon. Gentleman has charitably said that the ratepayers will have to thank me for increased burdens. I can only soy that for more than 12 months my best attention and endeavours have been given to devising some means of diminishing the burden, already too heavy, which weighs on the Metropolitan ratepayers in that respect. The rapid growth of the deficiency in the superannuation income has been the cause of grave anxiety to me for nearly two years. In 1870 this deficiency was £63,000, whereas in 1889–90 it was close upon £150,000. So heavily did the subject weigh upon my mind that, in the Autumn of 1889, I appointed a Departmental Committee for the purpose of considering the whole question of the superannuation of the Metropolitan Police and what changes in the system could best be effected so as to diminish the burden upon the ratepayers. That Committee was constituted in a way which must command the confidence of the House. The Commissioner and Receiver of the Metropolitan Police were upon it, as were also the Under Secretary for the Home Department, Sir Arthur Haliburton, Assistant Under Secretary at the War Office, and Mr. Mowatt of the Treasury. What I had in my own mind was to bring about, as far as possible, a reduction of the charge of superannuation. Before that Committee there was disclosed a fact unknown before, namely, that in the Metropolitan Police Force itself, which had always been considered to be favoured beyond every other force in the country with regard to superannuation, there was discontent—I will not put it higher than that—with the terms of superannuation allowed. When the Committee began to deliberate on the details of the superannuation scheme generally the attitude of the Commissioner was this: He alleged that a promise had been made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir W. Har-court) that the pensions of the Metropolitan Police should be improved, and that a similar promise was to be gathered from Bills presented to the House by successive Liberal Governments. Accordingly, he stated to his fellow-Committeemen that he regarded it as a vital principle underlying the whole matter, that a promise had been made to improve the pensions, and he declined even to discuss any detail in connection with the system that was inconsistent with that promise. The alleged promise of the right hon. Gentleman was contained in a speech delivered at a dinner or a luncheon or some festive occasion in favour of the Police Orphanage. I must say I do not gather from that language any promise, nor do I think that any promise can be fairly inferred from the Bills, but Mr. Monro held a different opinion, and this shows that the idea of his resignation was not hastily adopted. When the Commissioner expressed these views I suspended the deliberations of the Departmental Committee, for obviously a Report without the concurrence of the Commissioner would have been satisfactory neither to me nor to any one else. I then turned my mind to the framing of a Bill upon just principles which might meet the exigencies of the case, and I took for my guide the Bill which the two right hon. Gentlemen opposite introduced, but failed to carry. My desire in framing the Bill was most certainly to act as liberally to the police as my financial conscience would allow me. I had not the slightest intention or desire not to treat the police in the future, as I believe they have been treated in the past, with the utmost con- sideration and fairness, and although I could not share the view enunciated by the Commissioner that any promise had been made to the police by the right hon. Gentleman, or by anybody in this House, yet I could not shut my eyes to the fact that the introduction of Bills by successive Governments was a fact upon which just expectations might be founded. It went no further than that. I took these Bills as the basis of the scheme I have endeavoured to frame, and I feel sure that in my drafts I have not given less than was given in them. Indeed, I rather think that, on the whole, the terms I have given are somewhat more advantageous than those of the previous Bills. It was in the discussion of my draft that a cloud arose in a summer sky. I sent the Bill to the Commissioner for his perusal and opinion—a course which I do not think derogatory to the dignity of the Secretary of State, or more than was due to the Commissioner himself. Well, the Commissioner commented with considerable severity on that draft. I spent several hours with him in discussing the question, and I made alterations to meet certain of his views. Many of the points he raised were sound, and I adopted a vast majority of his suggestions. But the point upon which the Commissioner insisted, and without which he stated that, in his view, no Bill would be acceptable to, or would be accepted by, the police, was a pension of not less than two-thirds of the pay for 25 years' service, without condition either of age or medical certificate, and without liability to deduction in the event of service in another police force or in employment of the State. That the Commissioner considered a sine quà non. Now, I believe, and I shall be prepared to argue it when the proper time comes, that with regard to the amount insisted upon by the Commissioner for ultimate pension the demand was not what fairness or even liberality required. I informed the Commissioner that the amounts and the details of the scheme in my draft must be regarded as provisional; that I had not had an opportunity of submitting the draft to my colleagues, and that I should have to get their approval and assent before the Bill was presented to the House, and before the scheme could be regarded as final. I had a difficulty in understanding that the head of the Police Force should, in the circumstances, treat the Bill, though in some points it might not have been in accordance with his views, as aground of resignation. But on June 10, the day after we had discussed the Bill for hours, I received the resignation of the Commissioner, in the terms which have been published. The Commissioner said— The views which I entertain as to the justice and reasonableness of the claims of the Metropolitan Police, in connection with superannuation, being unfortunately on vital points diametrically opposed to those of the Secretary of State, I cannot, for reasons given in my Memorandum of the 5th inst., accept the Bill as adequately meeting such just and reasonable claims. In many respects I agree with what fell from the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir W. Harcourt) as to the relations that should exist between the Secretary of State and the Commissioner of Police. I agree that the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of State alone, must be responsible for the policy of the police. [Mr. GRAHAM: The London County Council.] I think that when there is a large force of policemen in the heart of this Metropolis it is not a matter for the County Council. I say that the police must be governed in the last resort by the Secretary of State, who is amenable and responsible to Parliament. Of course, I admit that executive details and the discipline of the Force should rest almost entirely with the Commissioner, and I should certainly abstain from interfering in matters of that kind; but on all questions of policy, involving the finance of the Force, the general rules of the Force, or the relation of the Force to the public—on all questions of this kind—the decision of the Secretary of State must be final. I quite agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the Commissioner should be consulted, and that every attention should be paid to his opinions, and I readily admit the high capability of Mr. Monro to consult with and advise the Secretary of State. But I also think that on questions of policy it is expedient that the Commissioner of Police should be ready to accept the decisions of the Government, through the Secretary of State, and to cordially carry them out. After giving the most careful consideration I could to this letter of resignation, coming as it did, not merely as an act of hasty feeling, such as may occur to the best of men under given circumstancos, but as the-result of an attitude that had been persistently maintained for months, I came to the conclusion that it was my duty to accept the resignation. In view of the attitude of the Commissioner in assuming to treat, as if he were an independent power, as to the terms of superannuation of his Force, as to demanding from the Government greater pecuniary advantages for the men, and as to tendering his resignation upon the terms-of a Bill which had not been placed before the House, and which no one could settle but the House, and that being not a momentary or hasty act, but the outcome and result of a continued line of action, and a continued expression of opinion, I came to the conclusion it was my duty to accept the resignation. The right hon. Gentleman says that is-all my fault. He has not condescended, to explain how or why. I can only say I exhausted my ingenuity in trying to-frame the terms of the Superannuation Bill in such a way that they might meet with the assent of the Commissioner of Police. I desired, and I shall desire, to have the concurrence of that officer in the proposals which we feel it our duty to submit to Parliament on this subject. I am sure the Commissioner himself will say I was never wanting in consideration or in courtesy to him. Although in what may be compared to a Committee discussion which we held, we both expressed our views decidedly and positively, there was not the least heat, temper, or ill-will displayed. I have said I was surprised at the resignation of Mr. Monro. I have said I accepted it, not on the miserable ground of patronage, which never ought to have been introduced, but on the greater point. I felt I had no alternative but to accept the resignation. I accepted it with very great regret. I take leave to say Mr. Monro has displayed many admirable qualities. He rendered great service to the State as Assistant Commissioner. His organisation of the Department was efficient and successful, and his undertaking the management of the Police Force at the moment of the unfortunate resignation of Sir Charles Warren, to which I do not think it is necessary to refer further; was of itself a service to the public and the Government. In many respects his administration of the police has been extremely efficient and able. No one regrets more than myself the attitude Mr. Monro thought it necessary to adopt upon this question of legislation—an attitude which seemed to me totally inconsistent with the relative position of the Secretary of State and the Government, and of this House, and of Parliament, I and the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman says it is all my fault. I listened with some interest and curiosity to know why. He did not enlighten me. I know not how or in what way I could have done more to studiously avoid anything which might lead to friction. The right hon. Gentleman went on to charge upon me, in language certainly of extraordinary vehemence, the state of things that has arisen since the resignation of Mr. Monro. There, again, I regret that the right hon. Gentleman has not taken more pains to ascertain the facts. I have most carefully watched, and most accurately ascertained what has been happening from day to day, and here I must defend Mr. Monro against the accusation that was rather suggested than definitely made by the right hon. Gentleman, namely, that he had, in some sense, encouraged or promoted something very much resembling disaffection in the Force.


What I did say was that, under the authority of the Commissioner of Police, meetings have been constantly taking place of various members of the Police Force to discuss the measures of the Secretary of State. That I gather from the newspapers. Of course, I assume the meetings were under the authority and permission of the Commissioner of Police, or they could not have taken place.


I repeat it is difficult to grapple with allegations that ended in nothing. The right hon. Gentleman must mean, I suppose, that in consequence of what has happened between the 11th of June and the present day, I ought to have dismissed Mr. Monro from Scotland yard. He is mistaken in his facts. He has accepted statements put forward by interested persons, without any warrant orauthority. These alleged meetings, as reported in the Press, have not taken place; they are the inventions of certain persons—[Sir W. HARCOBRT: The newspapers]—not only the newspapers—who have been attempting to get up an agitation. I have seen letters, and indeed, speeches, by members of what is called the Social Democratic Federation, in which they encourage the police to insubordination.


I was speaking of meetings of Superintendents; and I have seen documents signed by these Superintendents, and there have been sent to me documents purporting to be conclusions and the representations made by these Superintendents.


What actually occurred was this. Mr. Monro called before him the Superintendents, the-Assistant Commissioners, and the Chief Constables, and informed them and directed them to inform the Force, that no meeting of the Force, no irregular agitation, and no combined action would be allowed, and I must, of course, strenuously defend Mr. Monro from the suggestion that, even at the period the right hon. Gentleman has alluded to, he did anything so disloyal, and so contrary to his duty, as to encourage, or foment, or allow anything resembling agitation. The only meeting which took place was a meeting of the chief officers of the police, summoned by the Commissioner himself, and summoned for the purpose of warning them that nothing of the kind now suggested by the right hon. Gentleman must take place. It was quite true, Mr. Monro went on to say, that the Superintendents, each of them in their own divisions, were at liberty to ascertain the best way they could, by private conference and otherwise, the feeling's and opinions of the men stationed under them, and that they might then report to him. This I say, on the best authority, is what occurred. I was, of course, anxious to terminate the existing state of things at Scotland Yard, as rapidly as I could, but the right hon. Gentleman himself must know that the filling of such an office as that of Chief Commissioner of Police is a matter which requires grave consideration. He must also know that various steps are often necessary. I had, above all, to consider, which I did consider, the question of order in the Force, and I conceived that order in the Force would be in greater peril if I left it without a head, and, above all, if I withdrew, in any way resembling discredit, a chief to whom they were attached. Therefore, although I might not absolutely approve of every thing' that has taken place at Whitehall Place, since the 11th of June—


{Lanark, N.W.): I rise to a point of order. I wish to know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in order in imputing dereliction of duty to Mr. Monro?


I was imputing no dereliction of duty to Mr. Monro. Mr. Monro being at Whitehall Place was a security for the order and peace in the Metropolis, and a security for the good conduct and subordination of the Police Force, and, therefore, I do not admit I am open to the reproaches of the right hon. Gentleman for having allowed that state of things. I should have been glad if I could have terminated it earlier, but various matters had to be considered. Now, Sir, I am not aware that it would be seemly or right that I should discuss the personal qualities of the gentleman whom I have chosen to succeed Mr. Monro. His career speaks for him. So far as I have been able to judge that career has been distinguished and remarkable for every quality of ability and character. I share the feeling of the right hon. Gentleman that the military spirit is one to be deprecated. I do not agree with Mr. Monro when in his letter of resignation he treats police, military, and legal training upon an almost equal footing. I think the military training is of subordinate use, although I cannot deny that it is some use. Legal training I consider to be positively mischievous. I take the liberty to say that Sir E. Bradford will not bring the military spirit to the command of the police, He is a man whose civil services and whose civilian achievements far and away exceed and outweigh the military portion of his career. He did in India wield, control, and manage the whole civil as well as military administration of the State entrusted to him, and as Political Secretary at the Indian Office for some years he has acquired a more thorough and complete knowledge of civilian matters and pursuits than he even had before. I am quite sure he will not bring to the ad- ministration of the police any of those features the right hon. Gentleman and others desire to see absent. I think I have now travelled over the ground covered by the right hon. Gentleman. I cannot, of course, expect to have his approval. I should be glad if he had given me something more tangible to meet. It is a convenient course to say that everything has gone wrong since I was at the Home Office—to attribute it all to my misconduct.


The right hon. Gentleman forgets that I defended him on the resignation of Sir Charles Warren.


I have by no means forgotten his speech on that occasion. I think it worthy of him and of his best days; but the right hon. Gentleman will pardon me for reminding him that he has imputed to me the blame for the resignation of Sir Charles Warren as a sort of makeweight, or as though the second resignation coming on the top of that was only a proof of how much I was to blame. I have laid the reasons for the resignation before the Committee. I believe I have stated them fully, but I am quite ready to answer any question any hon. Member may put to me on the subject. I am unable to take to myself, or to impute to Mr. Monro, anything resembling blame. Mr. Monro is a man of strong will and energetic judgment, and men of that calibre and temper do find it difficult to recognise the Parliamentary exigencies of such a situation as this, and the way in which both they and the Secretary of State must obey the behests and the will of Parliament. Mr. Monro is a man whose opinions and convictions are so strong that he cannot reconcile himself to see anything but the adoption of those opinions. One must take these strong and adamantine characters as they are. Therefore, I beg to exonerate Mr. Monro from blame and censure, beyond that which is a necessary consequence of what I have said. Just as emphatically do I beg to repudiate the charges which in his extremely energetic way the right hon. Gentleman has sought to make against me.

(6.30.) MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S. W.)

Whatever view may be taken of the action of the Home Secretary, we must all regret a state of things which has given rise to grave apprehension. Up to this evening, it was possible to hope that the Chief Commissionership would have been resumed by Mr. Monro, a gentleman who, whatever may be said for and against him, is certainly regarded as the advocate of the just and legitimate claims of the men, and as having, at all events, this one essential qualification for such an office as this in question, that beyond all doubt and controversy, although he was a strict and rigid disciplinarian, he enjoyed to the fullest extent the confidence of all ranks in the Metropolitan Force. Now, the Home Secretary has laid down a general principle which, in his judgment, should govern the relations between the Home Secretary and the Chief Commissioner; and, if I may venture to say so, I think he has laid down a sound doctrine. If I understand him correctly, that doctrine is that, so far as policy is concerned, the Home Secretary is and must be supreme; but, so far as administration is concerned, as contra-distinguished from policy, the Chief Commissioner should have, not perhaps an absolutely free hand, but, at all events, that he should have considerable latitude. I regard that as a very sound doctrine, but the mischief of the case is, that there is very little correspondence, so far as the case has been disclosed to us, between the principles and the practice of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman has referred at length to the question of superannuation; but as we shall have another opportunity of dealing with that I had better pass it by for the present. But I am very much surprised that the right hon. Gentleman did not refer to another point of difference mentioned by Mr. Monro in his letter, which was read to us a few nights ago. The passage I have particularly in view, and which the Home Secretary seems to have entirely ignored, is as follows:— For many months I have found myself surrounded with difficulties in attempting to procure recognition of what seemed to me to be the very urgent demands of the Police Service in connection with other important matters. that is to say, matters apart from the question of superannuation. On this aspect of the case the right hon. Gentleman has said positively nothing, although it seems to me we cannot really appreciate the merits of the quarrel, if quarrel it may fairly be called, between the right hon. Gen- tleman and the Chief Commissioner until we know what the points are to which reference is made m the passage I have quoted. If I am correctly informed, one of the demands Mr. Monro has been pressing on the attention of the Home Secretary is an improvement in the pay of the Metropolitan Police. For my own part, having devoted some attention to the subject, I think that the question of pay is more important to the rank and file of the Force than the question of superannuation. I find that in the Metropolitan Force, as compared with other Forces, there are very few men over 50, and also very few men who have served over 25 years. Out of a Force consisting of over 14,000 men, only 300 odd have completed 25 years' service. I find also that existing pensioners are comparatively young, the average age being only 45, the average of service having been 21 years. In these circumstances, I think it will be obvious that the question of Superannuation, however important, must be considered also in reference to the question of pay. No doubt, so far as Superintendents and other officers in responsible positions are concerned, the question of superannuation is important, because it takes many years to become Superintendent, and the period when they can claim these pensions must be rapidly approaching. But among the rank and file, pay is even more important than pensions, and, unless I am misinformed, the men consider it so themselves. Now, a word or two on this question of pay, because I think the present scale of pay for constables in the Metropolitan Police is not adequate—first of all, it is not reasonably adequate for the class of men you desire to introduce into the Force, and, I may add, keep there; secondly, it is inadequate, having regard to the duty they have to perform. The peculiar circumstances of London enable us to make a comparison which certainly ought to have great weight; I mean a comparison between the Metropolitan Force and the Police Force of the City of London. An hon. Member the other day asked what was the rate of pay of the City Police, and the right hon. Gentleman, not unnaturally, was unable at the moment to give the information. Now, I propose to place side by side the wages of three classes of constables in the Metropolitan and City Forces. In the lowest class the pay in the Metropolitan Force is 24s. a week, in the City 25s. In the second class 27s. in the Metropolitan Force, and 28s. 8d. in the City Force. And in the first class, which, I understand, can be attained after eight years' service, 30s. and 32s. 3d. respectively. The Committee will see that the rate of pay in the City contrasts very favourably in the interests of the men with the rate in the Metropolitan Force, and I certainly think no reason whatever can be alleged why the Metropolis generally should pay its police at a lower rate than is paid by the London Corporation. We have to consider this question of wages in regard to all classes of public servants, with reference to recent events, which in many cases have raised the rates of wages in trades and occupations outside the Public Service. Take the case of the docker, with 6d. an hour; he works the same number of hours as the police ordinarily do—and I emphasise the word ordinarily, because there is an enormous amount of overtime. The ordinary docker making the ordinary number of hours of police duty receives 26s. a week, or 2s. a week more than the lowest rate of Metropolitan policeman. And I remember after the gas stokers strike seeing an advertisement announcing that, in consequence of the hours of labour in that occupation, stokers were required at 8s. a day. I mention this case particularly; it is not an occupation that requires any training or skill, but simply physical endurance, in this instance no doubt to a considerable degree. But then in the Metropolitan police physical strength is quite as much required as in the work of gas stokers. Now, workmen have recently, by means of combination, and I may say agitation, been able to raise their rate of wages. I am quite aware that combination and agitation are inconvenient, and particularly so in the Public Service, but if you dislike combination and agitation among public; servants, surely the best and most reasonable mode of proceeding is to remove the ground and reason for such by a timely concession of the reasonable demands which policemen or postmen or any body of persons might, by means of combination, be able to enforce. There is another matter not immediately con- cerned with this discussion so far as it has proceeded, upon which I hope we may have some information which has not yet been provided. I refer to the increase of the Metropolitan Police Force by 1,000 men. It is certainly a matter of soreness, a legitimate grievance, as I think, to the ratepayers of London that the Force is to be increased by 1,000 men, and they are, of course, to provide the necessary cost, without being in any way consulted in the matter. I do think that, having regard to the exceptional circumstances of the Metropolitan Police, before such an important addition as this was made there ought to have been an inquiry—not a Departmental inquiry, though I do not understand there was even that—but I think there ought to have been an inquiry something in the nature of an inquiry by Select Committee before so important a step, necessitating so considerable an increase on the burdens of the Metropolis, was taken. I want the right hon. Gentleman to-night to give us a direct answer how the cost of these additional 1,000 men is to be provided. We are somewhat at a loss to know from what source it is to be taken. It has been suggested—I do not know whether the suggestion is well founded or not—that the £150,000 which this House, under the Local Taxation Bill, will pay over to the Receiver of Metropolitan Police, or a considerable part of that money, is to be applied to the pay and cost of these 1,000 additional men. If that is so, I do think a course has been taken which, I am afraid, I must call a rather surreptitious course. It ought to have been brought before the attention of the Committee in a more direct manner before being sanctioned. Is this increase really necessary? During the last year or two, I have noticed that members of the Force are being used in a way to which I have not been before accustomed; what I must call a political use is being made of these men. Sometimes, when attending meetings—very small meetings sometimes—I have seen from two to six constables waiting at the door or patrolling near. I have no complaint to make of the conduct of the men; they have always conducted themselves in a proper and civil manner; but in the interest of the ratepayers, in the interest of persons whose property has to be protected, I do com- plain of the presence of these men on such occasions, the waste of the Force, and I think they would be very much better and more usefully employed on their ordinary beats, or their ordinary proper duty of preventing and detecting crime. Upon the question whether or not the increase is necessary, let me compare the position of the London Police and the position of the police in other large towns. In London I find the proportion of police to inhabitants is one to 435. Manchester is the only town that comes near this high proportion; the proportion in provincial towns, and in the largest of them, is generally little over half that of London. Then, again, when I take the test of the number of inhabited houses, I find that in London there are 16 policemen to every 1,000 inhabited houses. No town in the country comes near this proportion, Manchester again coming next with 12 men to every 1,000 inhabited houses. Now, only having regard to this comparison, should it be necessary to increase the number of Metropolitan Police? I hope we shall have some definite and distinct reply from the right hon. Gentleman, and I press this question upon him for this reason: that I find the relation of the population to the criminal classes in London according to Police Returns is as 2,000 to one. In what the public call "pleasure" towns, such as Bath, Brighton, Scarborough, and so on, the estimate is 1,500 to one, and in large centres of industry, such as Birmingham, Sheffield, and Wolverhampton, the criminal class is estimated as one to every 500 of population. Having regard to this ratio, again, I ask why is a still further increase of the Police Force necessary? It is true that last year there was an increase of crime in London of nearly 10 per cent., but I suggest whether the reason of such increase was not that under the régime of the right hon. Gentleman the police were being withdrawn from their legitimate duties for purposes which partake more or less of a political complexion? The moral to be drawn from the whole of the unfortunate controversies between the Secretary of State and successive Chief Commissioners is very plain: it is that the control of the Metropolitan Police should be transferred to the London County Council. It is obvious that mischief results from what I may call this dual control, for it appears tome to be almost a dual control, of the Home Office and Scotland Yard. On the other hand, nothing but good can result from the transfer. Whatever Government may be in power will be relieved from the obstruction to business which Parliamentary discussion of Metropolitan Police matter brings about; but over and above that, I put it mainly on the right of the ratepayers of London to have control similar to that which is exercised by the ratepayers of other large towns—theright to control the civil force they are called upon to pay for.

(6.53.) MR. H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

The hon. Gentleman has raised a great many questions of importance which, no doubt, will occupy attention, but we must not for the moment pass from the question raised by my right hon. Friend (Sir W. Harcourt) to which the Home Secretary has made a reply, the condition of the Metropolitan Force as it is to-day. We have just listened to the defence, if I may so call it, of the Secretary of State of his present administration, and the right hon. Gentleman, I am sure, will pardon me for saying I regard that defence as both incomplete and inconclusive. We are in a somewhat unfortunate position in this Debate, and I think my right hon. Friend had good ground for complaint. Full notice was given several days ago of the intention of my light hon. Friend to impugn the administration of the police, and why have no Papers been laid before us? The Home Secretary was asked to lay Papers before the House, and he was understood to say he would lay correspondence before the House, but he has not laid one line front that day to this. We have had the letter from Mr. Monro, addressed to the right hon. Gentleman, upon which I shall comment shortly, and we know that a statement has appeared in the Press that Mr. Monro did not accept the statement of the Secretary of State as correct, and Mr. Monro stated that when the House is in possession of documents the House will be in a position to form a correct opinion. The right hon. Gentleman has told the House that on June 5 there was a Memorandum presented to him by Mr. Monro, embodying the whole of Mr. Monro's objections to the right hon. Gentleman's policy. Why has the House not had that Memorandum? In order to know what Mr. Monro's case is, the House ought to know what that gentleman has said, and said in writing. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman can claim that the Memorandum is a confidential document, because the whole relations of the past are altered, and the House of Commons is called upon to express an opinion as to whether the Homo Secretary was justified or not, I will not say in driving things to an issue and to Mr. Monro's resignation, but in accepting Mr. Monro's resignation. So, I say, we ought to have Mr. Monro's statement in writing. The Home Secretary put the resignation of Mr. Monro entirely on the question of superannuation, and if that were the whole question there would be much to say for the right hon. Gentleman's position; but that was not what Mr. Monro said he resigned for. He gave four points in his letter, and the House has a right to know what were the "fair requirements and demands of the police in other important matters"—that is, besides superannuation—to which the Home Secretary would not lend an ear, and in consequence of which the Chief Commissioner resigned. The House is entitled to know what were the points of police administration on which Mr.Monro and the Home Secretary differed, and also the grounds on which Mr. Monro got the impression that Mr.Ruggles-Brise,and not Mr. Howard, was going to be appointed as Assistant Commissioner. There was a conversation in which the right hon. Gentleman says the claims and qualifications of candidates were fully discussed, and I give the right hon. Gentleman the fullest credit for desiring to do the best for the interest of the force, but Mr. Monro says the impression left upon his mind was that Mr. Ruggles-Brise was to be appointed. That is what Mr. Monro said. I do not say he is right; but I do say we are entitled to know all that pissed from first to last, and then we shall know how these differences have arisen. Now, I will say a word or two about the position of the police, and I would suggest to the Home Secretary and the other Members of Her Majesty's Government that this is quite as important a mutter as are many of the questions which the House is now discussing. In fact, I do not know any question of more importance to this House or the Metropolis than the condition of the police, and it is that question which the House has now to consider. My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby has criticised the administration of the Metropolitan Police by the Home Secretary, and has said that the Police Force now, for the first time, is in an unsatisfied, discontented, and unsatisfactory state, and the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary did not deny one syllable of this assertion. All the right hon. Gentleman did was to justify himself as far as he could. But what is it that the Home Secretary tells us on this head I He simply says he has heard nothing of any dissatisfaction, nor of any meetings; that he believes the police to be perfectly loyal and contented, and he uses some cheering words with regard to the Metropolitan Force. I do not suppose the Home Secretary ever reads so wicked a paper as the Daily News; but I may say that if the right hon. Gentleman has only looked at this morning's copy of that paper he would have seen a statement, which I will bring to the attention of the Committee. It is that— A crowded meeting of Metropolitan Police constables took place last night in order to discuss the grievances of the force. The meeting was in continuation of one that took place and was adjourned a week before, and the proceedings were of a particularly enthusiastic character. All direct references to Mr. Matthews and the Government were greeted with a chorus of groans and cheers. I am not going to road the full account of that meeting. I have no doubt there was a discussion of the right hon. Gentleman's proposals; and, when the time comes, we shall be able to see whether or not a good deal may be said for them. But the real point is, that this meeting affords evidence that the police are dissatisfied and discontented, and that they have been holding meetings of which the right hon. Gentleman says he has heard nothing. With regard to superannuation, the right hon. Gentleman laid great stress on the promises of my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby. But I must point out that the promises made by my right hon. Friend were embodied in his Bill; and on this point there can be no mistake, for I was at the Home Office up to the time my right hon. Friend left, and I know that, in the Bill he had prepared and brought in in 1885, he gave full expression to his opinion as to what were the just claims of the Metropolitan Police to superannuation. But if, as we are told, Mr. Monro raised objections to the present scheme of the Home Secretary before the Departmental Committee which has investigated the matter, and relied on the Bill of my right hon. Friend, there must have been something in the new proposals very different from those of my right hon. Friend. I have gone over the matter carefully, and I may say that the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary is practically our Bill; indeed, I may say that I think it is a little better in some important point, probably because the right hon. Gentleman has found the Treasury a little more pliant than we did; but, subject to that remark, the criticism would be merely verbal as between the two schemes, the present superannuation scheme being virtually that of my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby. This being the case, we want to know why it is that Mr. Monro was satisfied with the promises of my right hon. Friend, and yet, when before the Departmental Committee, raised objections to the present scheme, thereby bringing the Departmental Committee to a deadlock. We can see, if we read between the lines, that the Home Secretary wanted to reduce the rates. The point is, however, that the Home Secretary evidently had in contemplation some modification of terms in the public interest. All these things are part of the history of the controversy between Mr. Monro and the Home Secretary, and are no doubt fully set forth in the Memorandum of the 5th June, which, I say, we ought to have laid on the Table of the House. The Home Secretary has told us that nothing could have surprised him more than the resignation of Mr. Monro; but only five minutes later he stated that Mr. Monro had maintained a hostile attitude persistently for several months. This, therefore, was the outcome of a continued line of action.


I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. I did not use the word "hostile."


Then, Sir, I at once withdraw the word "hostile;" but I made a note at the time of what the right hon. Gentleman did say, and it was "that Mr. Monro's resignation was the-outcome and result of a continued line of action," and, if this were the case, it is difficult to imagine how the resignation should have given so unexpected a shock to the mind of the Home Secretary. But the Home Secretary says there have been difficulties during the last four years as between the Home Office and the police, and when we are dealing with the administration of a force which really amounts to an Army, and with men who are virtually occupying the position of Generals, we may form some idea of the nature of the situation. We must look upon the Home Secretary as the head of that Army, and we find that, under his administration, there have been, during the past four years, strained relations as between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, and the Home Office and the public. The public have been brought into collision with the Metropolitan Police during those four years, but previous to that no such occurrence has been known since the establishment of the Police Force. We all know that Sir Charles Warren was under the necessity of resigning his post not so very long ago, and now his successor, Mr. Monro, feels compelled to take the same step under circumstances which certainly demand the careful attention of the House of Commons. It was the duty of Mr. Monro to represent to the Home Secretary what he believed to be the views and wishes of the force under his command. It was not his duty to dictate, and I cannot understand that ho thought it right for him to settle the basis on which the superannuation, scheme should be arranged. Well, we cannot pass over this question without putting to ourselves the question: why should London differ from Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, and the other great towns of England and in the counties? In those places there is no friction between the Government and the police, and the-police are perfectly satisfied to be con trolled and governed by the Representative Bodies in the large Municipalities and counties. What is there in London which should necessitate the placing of the Police Force under a, different system of administration? I know there is in some quarters a feeling which may be illustrated by what was stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers) when he said he should always support, maintain, and defend the existence of an Imperial Police Force in London under what he called Imperial administration; tout I think there is a general opinion that, had the Metropolitan Police been placed under representative control, our minds would have been set at rest with regard to all the questions that have of late arisen.




The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Whitehaven indignantly denies that assertion, and I ask him for some ground for his denial; I ask him or any other hon. Member opposite to name one of the large provincial towns in which there has been any collision between the police and the authorities by whom they are controlled. I had the honour of sitting on the Watch Committee of the town with which lam connected for a good many years, and I know that there the the police are able to bring legitimate public opinion to bear on the Governing Body, which is a totally different thing from what may happen in a crisis of this sort, where the police may be drawn—it will be a dangerous matter if they should be'—into political action. I know of nothing which we in this House would more regret—whether in the case of the police, or the civil or military servants of the Crown—than that they should use their position as electors to approach this branch of the Legislature with a view of obtaining certain pecuniary advantages for themselves. These are questions which will arise again and again in this Metropolis until the House fairly faces the position and decides that the police of London shall be in no worse position than are the police of any other locality. I think that this Debate has, at any rate, shown—and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will pardon me for saying so, as I say it without any disrespect—that there are departments of public administration for which the Home Office is not exceptionally well-fitted. I feel that the present collision between the Home Office and the police is a very unfortunate incident. It is, of course, difficult to apportion the blame, and I am sure the House will not under take to do so without farther information. We ought to have all the papers before us. I would suggest that the best and wisest course the Home Secretary can pursue would be to take steps to relieve the Home Office, as soon as possible, from its present control of the Metropolitan Police, for which, under the circumstances which have arisen, the Home Office has shown itself to be peculiarly unfitted. As far as the Metropolitan Police are concerned, I cannot but speak of them with the highest respect, and I repeat that no man has been more generous to them than my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby. There is no indisposition on the part of those on this side of the House to do what is fair and just to the police, but we are bound to remember that our public system of pension and superannuation is a very wide system, and that we shall have to deal with other interests than police interests if we grant exceptional privileges to that Department of the Public Service. Undoubtedly the Metropolitan Police ought to be well paid, even better paid than the police elsewhere, because of the special expenditure they are put to, and because of the exceptionally hard duty they have to perform. They are, I think, entitled to a just and fair superannuation allowance. I regard the London police as an exceedingly intelligent Force, and also as a body of men actuated by the highest principles in the performance of the duty devolving upon them in the position in which they are placed. I do not say that in a Force of some 14,000 or 15,000 men there are not a few who will say or do things that are to be regretted, but I believe that, as a whole, they deserve and possess the confidence of the public. When we remember that this great city contains five millions of people, or one million more than the entire population of Scotland, and that it is kept in order by a Force of 15,000 police, I think we I may say that one of the proudest features of our national life is the way in which the peace is preserved in the Metropolis. There is every disposition on this side of the House to deal with the police, not only in the fairest, but also in the most liberal manner, but we do apprehend that there is a public danger in the sustained fric- tion which has been going on between the police and the Home Office. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will not give us papers on the subject, and, as far as we know, at any rate, speaking what is my own opinion, this regrettable resignation on the part of Mr. Monro is not an act which will inflict great loss on the Public Service, for however distinguished may be the gentleman who is to succeed him, I very much doubt whether we shall find anyone better qualified than Mr. Monro to fill his post, while I am quite certain it will be a long time before any new Commissioner will gain the confidence of the Force to the extent that he has done.

(7.18.) SIR L. PELLY (Hackney, N.)

I merely rise for the purpose of saying that, however much we may regret and deplore the loss of the services of Mr. Monro, I cannot refrain from heartily congratulating Her Majesty's Government on the happy selection they have made of a successor to that gentleman in the person of Sir Edward Bradford. I have had the pleasure and the honour of serving with Sir Edward Bradford for many years. We were associated together in the Province of Rajpootana; and I have been more or less directly cognisant of his work under three successive Viceroys, namely, Lord Mayo, Lord Northbrook, and Lord Lytton; and I know that these three Viceroys entertained the highest opinion of Sir Edward Bradford in every respect. I do not desire to draw comparisons, but I may say that I am unable, after 40 years' service, to call to mind any officer of whom I have a higher appreciation in respect of temper, tact, patience, suavity of manner, firmness of mind, experience in the management of the most difficult affairs of the police for the whole of India, and also in regard to the peculiar genius which he has displayed in attracting those with whom he has been associated. He gains the affections of the men who work under him, and carries out his duties in a manner which, as I have already said, is in many of its characteristics unsurpassed. I know how dangerous it is to prophecy, but if I could venture to make a prophecy on this occasion, it would be that Her Majesty's Government will never have cause to regret the appointment of Sir Edward Bradford to the post of Chief Commissioner. I am sure he will endear himself in a short time to his subordinates, that he will thoroughly understand the work he has to do, and that he will bring to bear upon it an experience which will prove of the greatest value to the service of the Metropolis.

(7.20.) MR. JAMES STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)

I am sure we were all glad to hear the satisfactory testimony which has just been given to the ability of the gentleman who has just received the appointment of Chief Commissioner. But the question really is, how long is Sir Edward Bradford likely to retain the post now that he has been appointed? If he is at all like his predecessors he will go through what has come to be a uniform process. He will get into more and more difficulty and friction with the Home Office until some point, trivial or important, will inevitably arise, when the friction will become so great that he will be unable to bear the strain any longer, and his relations with the Home Office will come to an end. That is the history not only of one Chief Commissioner, but of two, namely, Sir Charles Warren and Mr. Monro, the gentleman who has just retired. The Home Secretary has made a most unsatisfactory reply to what was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. He has dwelt in the main on one single point in relation to Mr. Monro, namely, his dealing with the superannuation question, but I would remind the Committee that Mr. Monro has drawn attention to a long series of difficulties respecting the administration of the police and the proposed legislation, and we on this side have a right to know what these difficulties are, because that is in reality the gravamen of the whole matter. The question is, What have been the continued relations between the Home Office and the Commissioners of Police? To all appearance they have been such as to render it practically impossible that the Home Secretary and the Chief Commissioner could work together in peace, and where that is the case, there is, of course, an end to all good government. That would seem to be the state of things at present. Well, then, Mr. Courtney, we want to know whose fault is this. There have been two very different individuals occupying the post of Chief Commissioner, and only one man who, at the same time, has occupied the position of Home Secretary, and yet in the case of each Commissioner the same sort of difficulty has occurred. Perhaps after we have lived through another series of troubles between the Home Office and the gentleman who has just been appointed, we may then be able to come to the root of the difficulty. Very little sympathy was expressed by the Home Secretary for the difficulties connected with the Metropolitan Police. There can be little doubt that they have grievances to complain of at the present moment—distinct grievances from a money point of view. Doubtless a good Superannuation Bill is desired by them, and I think they have a right to it. Why, then, cannot the Home Secretary carry out some satisfactory measure? It is because he has not got the money. But why cannot he get the money? That seems to be his chief difficulty, and in order to get over it he resorts to a "juggle." He has to obtain the means of creating a Superannuation Fund, but he does not wish to do this by a direct increase of taxation, and, therefore, he wants to exclude from that Superannuation Fund a certain amount which has hitherto gone into it, in order that he may be able to provide for the contemplated increase of the Police Force, By obtaining money for what he calls a Superannuation Fund, and not using it for Superannuation purposes, he thinks he will be able to get what ho requires for increasing the Police Force, which is now growing at a greater rate than the rateable value of the Metropolis. This is a state of things which contrasts unfavourably with what is going on in the large towns in the other parts of the Kingdom, where the increase of the police is in a smaller ratio than the increase of rateable value. But, I ask, why cannot the Home Secretary be content to obtain the necessary funds in a direct way? It is because he would have to come to this House for a Bill which would make the Metropolitan Police Bate greater than 9d. in the £1, and he dare not do this, because, in so doing, he would be placing a hindrance in the way of public; business, and because he would be dealing with the £1,500,000 of money obtained from the people of London in a way in which the money raised from the taxpayers in no other part of the country is dealt with. The result is that the Home Secretary, unable to appeal to the-House of Commons, because of the hindrance to public business at a time when there are more important matters to attend to, has had, as I have said, to resort to a "juggle" in order to obtain the means. But if the Government would only consent to the-placing of the Metropolitan Police under the control of the County Council, all this difficulty would disappear. If the County Council had charge of the police they would have plenty of time, by means of Committees, to manage the affairs of that body. I know that the County Council is already full of work; but it is not nearly as heavily worked as the House of Commons, and in the control of the police the County Council would have one of its principal duties. I think it a great pity that we should be under the necessity of discussing this question as we have been doing to-night; but we are obliged to consider the matter, because there is no other body having power to deal with it. I am, however, glad that this discussion has taken place, if for no other reason than that this "kick-up" between the Home Secretary and the Commissioner of Police has called forth the declarations we have-heard from the right hon. Gentlemen the Members for Derby and Wolverhampton. We know now for certain that these right hon. Gentlemen are prepared to place the control of the Metropolitan Police, under proper restrictions, in the-hands of the County Council, as the representatives of the people of London. I certainly think that this is the only arrangement which would put an end not only to the pecuniary difficulty, but also to the friction which arises between the police and the people in this Metropolis, and which does not arise in any other town. We have in London a discontented police and a controlling administration with which they are at variance. If you go to the other large towns of England you have neither the one nor the other. I believe that we in this House, on both sides, have the greatest respect and admiration for the Metropolitan Police. We on this side, at any rate, think that they ought to be better treated; but we complain of the way in which they are managed at the Home Office. We object to the irresponsibility of that management, and we desire to see such a change as will tend in the future to a better state of things.

(7.30.) SIR J. GOLDSMID (St. Pancras, S.)

I have always thought that one of the greatest difficulties any Government has to deal with is the question of wages in the case of the large staff of men employed in the various Departments of the Public Service, and that is one of the reasons why I have been opposed to extension of the trade part of the Government work. A claim has been put forward for the presentation of papers, but I do not see how any papers would throw greater light on this matter than is now possessed by the Committee. I think I can see clearly what the actual position is. Mr. Monro, with whom I have had the advantage of being in contact on various occasions, is a man of strong and determined character, and if he does not always have his own way I believe he is a little mistaken in thinking that the responsibility will fall on him. It strikes me that Mr. Monro has a little misunderstood the situation. He was certainly right in representing to the Home Secretary, as strongly as possible, his views with regard to the payment of the men, and with reference to superannuation and other matters connected with the Police Force; but the decision on these things was a matter resting with the Home Secretary, because he is the person on whom the ultimate responsibility must rest. I cannot but think that Mr. Monro made a mistake in sending: in his resignation as he did, and that, but for his precipitate action, a solution of the difficulties that had arisen might have been found. With regard to what has been said about the Metropolitan Police, I have, during the last few days, endeavoured to inform myself on that subject, and I must say that I do not think they are a discontented body. On the contrary, I believe they have always been loyal and ready to do their duty. What they now desire is that their claims should be laid before Parliament, and, as far as I am concerned (although on one point I do not quite agree with them), I think there is much to be said for the views they hold. At the present moment every metropolitan policeman may enter the service at any age above 18; but the pension which is proposed by the Bill is only to count from the age of 21. The complaint of the police is that they are subject to—


I do not think the hon. Baronet is justified in entering into an examination of the Bill.


I did not moan to refer to the Bill, and the reference I made was accidental. I can, however, explain the complaints of the police without reference to the Bill. What they complain of with regard to the present situation is, that as far as the existing system goes they are only superannuated when they arrive at the age of 60, or previous to that upon a medical certificate. The demand is that they should be superannuated after 25 years' service, irrespective of the fact that they enter the service at the age of 18, 19, 20, or 21. Now, a good deal may be said with regard to this claim, and I would venture to point out that a medical officer who passes a man at 19 considers he is as fully capable of performing the duties of a metropolitan constable as a man of 21. It appears to me that—


I am afraid the hon. Baronet is travelling a little wide of the question.


Then, Mr. Courtney, I will go to another point. In any arrangement with regard to the position of the police, as to which they say they have reasonable ground for complaint, it is quite right that the other side, namely, the metropolitan ratepayers, should be considered. Of course, we all know that the metropolitan rates have been steadily rising, and the ratepayers should not have burdens cast upon them which they cannot fairly be called upon to bear. But I believe Parliament will not have much difficulty in dealing with the matter, and that the police are prepared to discuss in the most generous spirit any claims which they may make upon the liberality of Parliament. But, at the same time, I think the leaders of the police should show, as I believe they will, a sense of moderation in the demands they make. I think most of us are inclined to agree that they should be properly remunerated and fairly superannuated. With regard to another point, which is one of considerable importance, I desire to say a few words. The right hon. Gentleman below me has said the public are frequently brought into collision with the police. Well, I may say that I have often, attended demonstrations of various kinds, and what has struck me has been the very reverse of this. I have constantly had occasion to notice a kindly feeling as between the public and the police, which was really surprising. Living near Hyde Park, I have over and over again taken part in the public demonstrations held there, not as a demonstrator, but as an observer, and I have over and over again seen groups of people talking in a friendly way with the police, and sometimes complimenting them on the good feeling they have shown. Instead of the public being brought into collision with the police they have appeared to be on the most friendly terms with them As far as the police are concerned there is this to be remembered—during the past two years, demonstrations and strikes of all kinds have taken place, and the Metropolitan Police have had to work very hard. A man has had to leave his home at 6 o'clock in the morning, and does not get home until 2 or 3 the following morning. That is very long and very hard labour, and I think the police perform it with the greatest tamper and judgment. Consequently, the metropolitan ratepayers and the public at large owe a great debt to the police, who have taken this large burden upon them selves. At the time of the dock strike, for instance, a very large number of policemen were engaged. There was no ill-feeling between the strikers and the police; only, as a matter of course, when a large number of men congregate, it is the duty of the authorities to see that a sufficient number of police attend to prevent any disturbance. Nothing occurred of a hostile nature between the police and the strikers, and, in my opinion, both' classes did themselves credit. I believe the Home Secretary has no desire but to meet the wishes of the men, as far as he can, with due regard to the interests of the metropolitan ratepayers; and as far as Mr. Monro's resignation is concerned, I must say it was Mr. Monro's own fault, and not that of the right hon. Gentleman.

(6.37.) MR. J. ROWLANDS (Finsbury, E.)

I think the hon. Baronet who has just sat down has put a wrong construction on what was said about friction between the police and the public. Every speaker this afternoon has been particular to say that he had no fault whatever to find with the rank and file of the police. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman the member for Derby was not with regard to the constable or the officer, but with regard to the higher authorities having the direction of the Force. It is owing to the action of the authorities at Scotland Yard and the Home Office that you have had continued friction between the police and the people during the last four years. I shall not put myself forward as so great an authority on demonstrations as the hon. Baronet the Member for South St. Pan-eras, though I have taken part in a few, not as a mere onlooker, but as an active demonstrator. And I have taken part in them over a long period of years, and never has there been friction on account of the conduct of the men; it has always arisen because of the orders of their superiors. I have only to go back to the 7th of this month, when I saw the police so administered, that while they were put to the greatest inconvenience themselves, they were the cause of the greatest inconvenience to the public. With other hon. Members I have taken some trouble to ascertain what are the feelings of the Metropolitan Police, and at the proper time, when the Bill of the Government is brought forward, it will be found that more than one of the Metropolitan Members are prepared to discuss the demands of the Metropolitan Police, and to See that they are justly met. The hon. Baronet has settled the whole question between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, at least to his own satisfaction. The hon. Baronet says he knows the qualities of Mr. Monro, and he knows he is virtually in the wrong. But I must say that the position of the Home Secretary would be very much strengthened if the whole of the Papers were in our hands, so that we might see exactly what has taken place between the Home Secretary and Mr. Monro. If Mr. Monro has acted in this very heated manner, that the hon. Baronet would have us believe, the case of the Home Office would have been very much strengthened if the right hon. Gentleman had put into our hands that memorandum of the 5th of July, and the whole Report of the Departmental Committee to which the Home Secretary referred. We have reached the 20th of June, and we have not yet had circulated the Report of the Chief Commissioner of Police for last year. I may be told that last year we had it, but that was because I. persistently put questions to the First Lord of the Treasury that we should have this Report before the Debate took place on the Police Vote. We did get it, true, but under a new system. It had been added to the year before, but a great deal of valuable information was cut out on this occasion. I think a great number of the Members who have listened to the Debate this evening must be thoroughly dissatisfied with the defence made on behalf of the Home Office. It is very characteristic that not one of the independent Members has spoken in support of the Government excepting in a very general manner. I am not going to set up as a judge of who is right and who is wrong-in the dispute between Mr. Matthews and Mr. Monro I have no evidence in my possession to enable me to do so, and I think the Home Secretary, in withholding Papers and information, has acted in a way which will not commend itself to this House. We are told by the Home Secretary that the relations between himself and Mr. Monro were so happy that his resignation came as a cloud on a summer's day. The only piece of evidence we have had, and on which we are bound to take our stand, is what the Home Secretary has j chosen to give us in the letter which he read. All we can do is to keep referring him to the fact that in this letter Mr. Monro tendered his resignation, and continually refers to other things besides superannuation and the appointment of the Assistant Commissioner. We want a more direct statement from the Home Secretary than we have had as to the real relation between the Home Office and the police. We have had two Chief Commissioners since the right hon. Gentleman assumed office. One was not his appointment, but the other was. There has been friction, and we shall continue to have friction until a reason- able course is pursued with regard to the police of London. I at once traverse the statement of the Home Secretary, that so long as you have a large body of police in London it is necessary that they should be controlled by the Home Office. We have evidence of the failure of the Home Office in the strained relations between the authorities and the police, which would never have grown up in any provincial town, where members of the Watch Committee come into personal contact with the police, and ascertain their wants and wishes. I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that the House of Commons does not want to control the police. It is not supposed that hon. Members coming here for Imperial purposes can be deeply interested in the question of the control of the Metropolitan Police Force. They know that these matters are administered by the Local Authorities in the country, and when they come here to discuss serious and important questions, they do not want to have their time wasted on discussions as-to right of way, or some subject of purely local interest, and that, perhaps, possessing interest to only a few of the 670 Members. Notwithstanding, we have to thank the right hon. Gentleman for having done more than any other Home Secretary to show how bad are the relations between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, and how impossible it is that the present system can continue much longer. My Colleagues have a Bill which in the result may be assisted by the action of the right hon. Gentleman. We contend that if the ratepayers had the control of the police, the Force would be more economically administered than by the central authority. I looked over the Local Government Returns the other day, and I find that the cost of the London police, notwithstanding their inadequate pay and unsatisfactory superannuation, is in excess of the cost incurred by the large provincial towns. The Metropolitan Police serve an area in which there are two Corporations, the whole of one county, and parts of four other counties. The two Municipalities at present policed by the Metropolitan Force, lose control over £13,352 out of the total expended on the police in respect of their own district. West Ham loses control of £11,924; Hertford of £4,144; Kent £10,419; London £457,765; Middlesex £53,519; Surrey £22,000; Croydon £10,000. These figures are exceedingly interesting, as snowing, because of their excess over the expenditure in provincial places, that the people of London are placed in a very invidious position compared with the inhabitants of large provincial towns. The argument is used that large buildings, like the Houses of Parliament and other national structures, must be protected. That is a concession which has been made in every Bill brought before the House. Everyone knows, and no one wishes it to be otherwise, that the Home Secretary or some Member of the Government should have under his control a body of men to watch Imperial buildings and national places, and co do the work of the dockyards, at present done by members of the Metropolitan Police. You would have then a much smaller body under one authority than you have at present. You have 15,000 policemen under one central authority. Why not adopt the principle of popular control of the police? But there is another point I wish to enforce this evening. We want a clear answer from the Home Secretary to the question I put the other day as to the addition of 1,000 police to the Force. I believe 700 have already been appointed. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us how he is going to get the money for these 1,000 men? We want him to dispute, if he can, that he is going to put the £150,000 obtained under the Local Taxation Bills into the revenue of the police, though there is at the same time a deficit of £145,000 in the Superannuation Fund. If you do this, and I do not see from what other source you are going to get your money, then you will virtually impose on the people of London an extra rate, while evading the Statute, which would necessitate your appealing to this House for power to increase the present rate of 9d. You are evading by this means a discussion of the whole question of the Metropolitan Police on the Second Reading of a Bill. We are thus debarred from bringing before the people of London the whole question of the cost of administration of the London Police. Many of us think the cost excessive, not because we think the police I are paid too highly, but because the money is frittered away on high salaries on some of the chiefs who are not required. You may tell me that I am simply making an assertion, but it is an assertion you do not give us an opportunity of discussing. I do not know whether it is worth while taking up other questions in connection with the Police Force. There are many other minor questions that we should like to discuss, had it not been for the grave and important crisis which has arisen between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, and which must now engage the attention of the House. I do think, in all seriousness, that the Home Secretary ought to give us a more clear and definite statement than he has made. If we cannot accept his statement our justification is that the Home Secretary has failed to give us the Papers which he promised, and the means whereby we adjudge of the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman. If we cannot give him a verdict of not guilty, the blame is on his side for having kept the House in ignorance of the information at his disposal.

(6.56.) SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE (Kensington, K.)

I am unwilling to give a silent vote on the very important Metropolitan question that has come before us, for two reasons. The first is, that as a Metropolitan Member, I have the honour to represent a very large population very much interested in all that concerns the efficiency of the police of the Metropolis; and, secondly, I have had the pleasure for many years of being the friend and colleague of the distinguished gentleman who has, to my sorrow, recently resigned the position of Chief Commissioner of Police. I may say that I came down to the House this afternoon with a perfectly open mind on the merits of the unfortunate differences of opinion that have taken place between the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the late Chief Commissioner; but I must say this, also, that I came down with the full determination that, if necessary, I would speak or vote against the Government, if I found that any unfair or improper imputations were made against a gentleman of the character of my old friend Mr. Monro. But, Sir, I am bound to say that after I had listened to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, and to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, and to the other speeches from the other side of the House, the general impression left on my mind was that Mr. Monro had been guilty of, it any rate, a certain amount of insubordination to his official Parliamentary superior. I believe that I express the general opinion of the House when I assert that no insubordination of any kind can be tolerated in the Chief Commissioner of Police towards the Home Secretary But I go far beyond that and I say I am certain from my own knowledge of Mr. Monro that there is no one who would sooner repudiate the idea than Mr. Monro himself. The communication from Mr. Monro, which has been read in this House, shows that he was absolutely incapable of the conduct which has been imputed to him—at least by implication—in some of the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite. What did he say in that letter? Why, he spoke of his position when he found himself differing in some important points from his official superior. He said he felt it would not be fair to himself or the Government for him to remain and discuss the merits of this question as a medium between the Government and the Police. He declared that he had no wish whatever to trench on the prerogative of the Secretary of State, and I think that his conduct has shown that that is the case. I greatly regret that lie should have felt bound to resign, but in doing so I maintain that he has shown himself utterly incapable of the insubordinate conduct that has been imputed to him by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on this occasion. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green admitted—and I am glad to bear the admission—that in matters of policy the Chief Commissioner of Police should be entirely subordinate to the Secretary of State, and so. I submit, Mr. Monro showed himself to be when, he found that in his opinion whether rightly or wrongly I am not going to discuss he could not act up to that high standard of official duty, and he felt it to be the right course to resign. With regard to the difference of opinion which has been expressed as to the details of the superannuation scheme, that scheme I take it is to come before the House on another occasion, and a full opportunity will be given for discussion. That will be the time to discuss the proposals of the Secretary of State. I am free to confess that as at present I see this proposal, I should be glad if the right hon. Gentleman could see his way to make some slight further concessions. I think there are some points—especially in regard to the two-thirds pension after 25 years' service—on which further concession might well be made. It does not seem to me that the matter is a very important one, so far as expense to the community is concerned; whilst, on the other hand, it is a matter on which the Force seem to have set their hearts. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton (Mr. H. H. Fowler) told us—and I am bound to admit that there was a great deal of force in what he said—that we have to consider the ratepayers on this question as much as, or more even, than the Police Force. He implied that there are more ratepayers than policemen, and that is very true. The point is one well worthy of being discussed in the House when the time comes; but it seems to me that if the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary will take the advice tendered to him to-night and will submit the financial question to a Select Committee, chosen impartially from all sides of the House, both the right hon. Gentleman and the Government on the one hand, and financial reformers like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton on the other, will loyally accept the decision arrived at. I cordially concur in what fell from the hon. Baronet opposite in regard to the friendly feeling which exists, and which is shown on the occasion of every great demonstration, between the Police Force and the great masses of the population of London. I was present at the recent demonstration as an observer, and I have attended in the same way many great demonstrations, and I must say I have always seen the kindliest and friendliest relations prevailing between the people and the police. There is a common catch say ring in use at this time: "If you want to know the time, ask a policeman." That phrase exactly expresses the feeling which exists when our poorest citizens want to know the time or anything else, they go and ask a policeman. I would endorse in the strongest terms I can command the opinion expressed by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hackney, as to the pre-eminent qualifications of the gentleman whom the Home Secretary has chosen-to fill the place of Mr. Monro. I had the pleasure and honour of serving for years in association with Sir Edward Bradford. He was at the head of the Department for the suppression of Thuggee and dacoity—a Department which takes the place of the secret police and the Force for putting down highway robbery and robbery with violence in England—and in that capacity, and indeed in every other capacity in which he has served, he has earned the most entire respect, confidence and admiration of every one with whom lie has been associated.

(8.10.) MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N. W.)

The case which has been presented to the House is one as to which it may appear presumptuous in one who is not a Metropolitan Member to say a few words, but I do so because I have given a great deal of attention to this question. We have heard the case against the Home Secretary put by the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for Wolverhampton in a very forcible and moderate manner; but I am bound to say from all that I have read and heard on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that the Home Secretary was absolutely and completely justified in the course he took with reference to Mr Monro. No doubt Mr. Monro was an able officer with a high sense of responsibility; but his position by Act of Parliament was one of absolute and complete subordination to the Home Secretary. And no one can doubt that Mr. Monro—to put it in the least offensive manner possible—was not very agreeable to the control of the Home Office. I do not say this from any personal knowledge of the relations between him and the Home Office, but from the circumstances reported in the newspapers which are common to all of us. The Home Secretary thought he was going as far as Parliamentary usage and a due regard to the public purse justified him in the proposals he intended to make with regard to the superannuation of the police, and having regard to the various Superannuation Acts, I think the Home Secretary has gone to the extreme of liberality. Some of us who are not Metropolitan Members will have something to say as to that when the time comes, and, perhaps, I may suggest, somewhat cynically, that it does not sound very well for Radical Members to come forward with such profuse expressions of benevolence to the police, and pointing to the public funds as the means of giving effect to that benevolence. We know that what the police require is, first, that the scale of pensions should be more liberal; secondly, that their wages-should be increased; and, thirdly, that they should have better allowances for extra work, and so forth. It seems to me that the Committee can come to no other conclusion than that the Home Secretary only acted consistently with his duty to the House in refusing to be dictated to by a subordinate officer. If he had adopted any other attitude, and Parliament had assented, you would have had all Chiefs of Departments at the disposal and dictation of their permanent officials. As to Mr. Ruggles-Brise, it seems to me very curious that the Chief Commissioner should attempt to dictate-to his Parliamentary Chief as to who should be appointed Assistant Commissioner. Besides, Mr. Monro's objection was not a valid one. He objected to the-appointment of Mr. Ruggles-Brise because he had had no previous police experience, but the same argument might have been used in the case of Mr. Bruce, who has-made a most efficient Assistant Commissioner. I think it would be wise to-avoid making Party capital out of what are, after all, Constitutional questions; for it is a Constitutional question of some-importance that the House should maintain the authority of the Home Secretary. I do not think that the Home Secretary has enforced, since the rupture with Mr. Monro, that discipline which ought to be maintained in the-Police Force. It is not in accordance with the practice of Public Departments that the officia's of a Department should be allowed to meet, in the circumstances, attending the police meetings, for the purpose of bringing pressure to bear upon their chief. In the Times I have seen, the remarkable statement that if it had not been for Mr. Monro the sergeants inspectors, and superintendents would have continued as heretofore to keep aloof from the agitation of the ranks. I hold it to be the duty of the right hon. Gentleman to see not only that pressure is not brought to bear on him or on the public generally, but that it is not brought to bear on Members of Parliament in the discharge of their functions.

(8.18.) MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)

I rise to support the contention that the control of the police should be handed over to the local County Councils, and of the Metropolitan Police to the London County Council, and I would support that by referring to my experience in the City of Manchester. The control of the police there is in the hands of the Local Council and their able Chief Constable, Mr. Malcolm Wood. There is not the slightest fear there of any procession or public demonstration taking an objectionable form. I am afraid we cannot say the same thing of London, having regard to the questions which have been raised in the matter of using Trafalgar Square for meetings, and the breaking up by the police of various demonstrations; and we all know that the period of office of a Chief Commissioner for the past few years has not been longer than two years. It is singular to note what a different state of things prevails in oar large provincial towns. In Manchester, on the occasion of the meetings of the unemployed recently, many of the people came from a distance outside the town, and they desired to assemble in the principal square of the city. That, however, would have been inconvenient, seeing that the square was traversed by tram lines, so the police opened their own large yard to the people who held their meetings there, and there made their protests and demanded their rights. At these meetings reporters of the local papers were present, which gave publicity to their complaints. The result was that after a couple of meetings they satisfied their minds, they cleared their breasts from "perilous stuff," and became content to let matters take their ordinary course. I think it is advisable that the police should be under the direction of the London Municipal Bodies. We know that the London County Council has shown marked ability in the administration of affairs for the last two years, and I think it most advisable that the control of the Metropolitan Police should be confided to them.

(8.21.) MR. G. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N. E.)

I should like the Committee to bear in mind that very recently a Bill was carried through this Houser mostly by the pressure of hon. Gentleman opposite, for the enfranchisement of the police. Yet, in the face of that, we are told they are not to meet to discuss their grievances. To my mind, it is an absolute farce to give men the right of voting and to deny them the right of free discussion. It seems to me they had a right to meet and discuss the provisions of a Bill that will affect their future prospects, and to-make known through their officers their objections to it. In saying this I am not at all supporting the idea of the police officers of the Metropolis binding themselves together at public meetings under leaders who may lead them to destruction. That is, however, a very different thing from being permitted to discuss-the provisions of the Bill. I think no provision that may be made for superannuation will make up for the smallness-of the pay given to the Metropolitan Police. Hon. Members on both sides have been very profuse in their acknowledgments of the services rendered by the police officers of the Metropolis to the public. I would also bear testimony to the same effect if there was any need for my doing so. It seems to me, however, to be an absolute farce to talk about the way in which these men perform their duty, and, at the same time, to give them a miserable pittance which is scarcely up to the level of what a day labourer would have. I would make superannuation something contingent upon good behaviour, length of service, and things of that kind. I think a man should have sufficient pay, and; that it should be his duty to save out of his earnings sufficient to keep him in old? age. There might be exceptions to this; but, speaking as a general rule, I do not believe in superannuation allowances. I believe in paying a man a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, and I think that will prove, in the long run, to be better-than the superannuation system. I do not wish to say anything with regard to the gentleman who I presume has been appointed to the post of Chief Commissioner, but I am afraid we are going to make the same mistake as we have been making over and over again by appointing a military man Governor of a civil force. That has been the cause of the collisions in this Metropolis between the police and the people, and the people and the Home Office, for many years past. We do not want our Police Force to be under military regulation. It is not by any means a military force, and it will be a bad day for England, and for this Metropolis particularly, when, if ever, it is made into anything like a military force. If the Home Office wants a military command in the Metropolis, it should hand over the command of the police to the Horse Guards or the War Office. I want to see collisions between the police and the people avoided; and I think they can only be avoided in two ways, first of all, by getting rid absolutely of the military element, and, secondly, by handing over the control of the police to the proper local authority, namely the County Council. (8.29.)

(9.0.) CAPTAIN VERNEY, (Bucks, N.)


(9.0.) Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,


I cannot join in the general chorus in praise of the police, and indeed I venture to think that the police have very decidedly deteriorated of late years. Since I was elected a member of the County Council, I have taken some (trouble in going about to different parts of London, to specially note the attitude 'of the police, and I will venture to say that, during the last 10 years or more, since I have known the police, their conduct in remote parts of London has not been civil and courteous to the public at large. Many instances of this have come under my personal observation. I know nothing is to be gained by quoting individual cases, but I give the Committee my distinct impression which may be accepted for what it is worth. As to myself, wherever I am known, I am treated with the greatest respect and attention by the police; but the police should not discharge their duties as the servants of the few who are known in public life, but they should remember they are the servants of the public at large, and in that sense I do not think that the conduct of the police is satisfactory. I had the grief and sorrow of seeing from a very safe place the conduct of the police on the day of the Trafalgar Square riots, and it was sad to witness. I am not going to apportion the blame to the processionists or to the police, but I do not think such a thing had been seen in London before, or in any of our large towns, within living memory. I do not think there is a parallel case of the police, who are the servants of the public, attacking the people, not merely in pursuance of orders preventing the people from passing, but breaking away from their position to attack members of the procession, smashing band instruments, and destroying-flags. These proceedings I saw with my own eyes, and I do not think the people of London, after such proceedings, can ever regard the police as they did before, a feeling was then excited, which is to be lamented as a misfortune. It is my opinion, then, that the police of London have of late years not improved, but deteriorated in general attitude and tone towards the general population of London, and I wish to add a word or two as to the control of the Metropolitan Police. I am quite sure that the noble Marquess (Lord Carmarthen), the Member for Brixton, has not a chance of being returned as Member for that constituency again unless he is in favour of police control being placed in the hands of the County Council. This is only my opinion, but it is founded upon my knowledge of what the feeling in that constituency is as its representative in the London County Council. I know that there is the strongest feeling there in this direction among Liberals and Conservatives alike. Something has been said about the police not being in a proper state of discipline, and I think the Committee will see that while there is a doubt in the minds of the police as to who their masters are, and are likely to be, this in itself tends much to shake the discipline of the force; but now that Members on the Front Opposition Bench have declared in favor of County Council control, no doubt this must have an effect on the minds of the police. I can speak from experience as to the change in two counties where I happen to be a Magistrate. In Anglesey there has been a very marked change in the attitude of the police since control has been transferred to the Joint Committee, since the County Council have had a voice in the government. I have no doubt the Government know perfectly well that they cannot, that they dare not, employ the police in Wales to enforce the collection of tithes. The County Councils would not allow it and it cannot possibly be done. You may pass what Bills you like, you may make what arrangements you please, you may send troops, but you cannot employ the police to collect tithes, because the County Councils will not have it done. The attitude of the police in Anglesey is the attitude of servants of the public, and that is the difference between provincial police and the London Police. Anybody who has anything to do with the police in Anglesey will find them acting as the respected and trusted servants of the public; but that is not, I am sorry to say the attitude of the police in London. There is a feeling among the population of London that the police are trying to be their masters, and undoubtedly there is a sort of affectation of superiority of position about the police that is to be deplored. I regret the change in the police uniform, which abolished the old form of the civilian hat they used to wear, which was a symbol of the civilian character of the Force, that though charged with special duties they are not our masters, but our servants and assistants. I sometimes sit on the Magisterial Bench in Buckingham. We have there a very Tory County Council and Joint Committee, and more than once in public from the Bench I have had to complain of the attitude of the police towards witnesses and prisoners in Court, an arrogant and overbearing demeanour, inconsistent with their official position, and which ought not to be tolerated. I have no doubt at all that the London County Council will before long have the control of the police. I do not think there can be any doubt of that after the expression of opinion from the Front Bench on this side, and when that change comes I anticipate there will be no difficulties with the police, but perfectly harmonious action. From no county in England and Wales have there been complaints of the efficacy of the police since control passed to the Joint Committees, and I do not think there is any reason to complain of the Watch Committee in any borough. I look forward, then, to the perfect efficiency of the police, harmony of action, and absence of friction under the control of the London County Council in preserving peace and order in the streets of the Metropolis.


I wish I had had the opportunity of speaking more immediately after the statement of the Home Secretary. I listened very attentively to what the right hon. Gentleman said, and, if he will allow me to say so, I admired his fine forensic effort, while I congratulated myself to some extent that I was not one of a jury to be influenced by what he will excuse me for calling the special pleading with which he favoured us. This question we are now discussing, and which I, for one, regret, should occupy the attention of an Imperial Parliament holding the view which has generally been expressed on this side that it is a matter for the London Local Authority. This matter we are now discussing is not merely one of the quarrels and dissensions between the Home Secretary and his various Chief Commissioners. I am not greatly concerned, however many of the latter resign, nor should I be very much concerned if the right hon. Gentleman himself resigned. I frankly add that I should not entertain greater anxiety or cherish greater hope in regard to any right hon. Gentleman from this side of the House who might succeed the right hon. Gentleman in the office if all went well. These are matters of little importance beside the grave importance of the fact that discontent exists among the force responsible for the peace and safety of the Metropolis. Now, the Home Secretary—and I am bound to say he did it admirably well-tried to minimise this feeling among the police, and, to some extent, he succeeded in diverting the attention of some Members of the Committee-not of all, I am glad to say, who have taken part in this discussion. The right hon. Gentleman has deprecated and denied statements founded upon reports in the newspapers, and wishes us to believe, in fact, that the agitation we hear about is manufactured by newspapers. Now, we know that newspapers—or some of them—when short of "copy" especially, are apt to insert matter that does not stand the test of close examination; but I can hardly believe it possible, when we read reports in all sorts of newspapers of every political complexion, newspapers differing in tone, such as the Standard, Daily News, Telegraph, and Globe, and when we find everyone of these newspapers, most of which, I presume, are fairly independent, has a full and succinct account of proceedings at meetings which have taken place among members of the Police Force in reference to their grievances, and the dismissal of Mr. Monro, I cannot but think that the Home Secretary "doth protest too much" when he tries to make us believe that these troubles are manufactured by the newspaper. I find in the Globe, which is considered to be a Conservative newspaper, a full report of a meeting which took place last night. Now, no one can accuse the Globe of being an exceedingly revolutionary newspaper; it does not, so far as I am aware, suggest the abolition of the bourgeois in five and twenty minutes, or to nationalise our means of production; it is a newspaper, I suppose, whose reports may fairly be relied upon. I find in the Globe's report of yesterday's meeting that 160 constables drove to the meeting in vans, and that they were addressed by various speakers. I am well aware that some of these speakers are members of the "Social Democratic Federation," a body with which I am in no way connected, but I suppose they have as good a right to address a police meeting as any other persons, though I find the meeting was not only addressed by members of the "Social Democratic Federation," but by other gentlemen of position, and by members of the force; that they discussed questions at some length; and that after the meeting was over 40 or 50 policemen went away cheering for the "Policeman's Union," and expressing great dissatisfaction with the conduct of the Home Office officials. Let me show what it was this meeting of policemen demanded yesterday. A resolution was carried as follows:— That this meeting of constables of Metropolitan Police demand (1) That an increase of pay of 3s. per week be given to each class. 2) That each man be entitled to advancement in class at two and live years' service. (3) What one day's have per week be granted. (4) That police court time and extra duty be allowed in full. (5) That P. C. 's be entitled to 10 days' leave annually. (6) That one-third of pay he the minimum of pension on completion of 15 years' service, increasing proportionately to two-thirds of pay after 24 years' service. (7) That each man be entitled to claim his superannuation on completion of 24 years' service. I will not enter upon details which will be far more properly discussed upon the Police Superannuation Bill; but what I wish to point out, and what I wish to bring before the attention of the Committee, is the fact that the condition of the present relations between the Police Force and the Home Office is such as to create grave danger to the safety of the Metropolis. It is absolutely, I think, a matter that admits of no argument at all, that you have a large body of some 14,000 or 15,000 men upon whom the onerous duty is laid of protecting persons and property in the Metropolis day after day and night after night; it is absolutely impossible they can exercise that duty properly if they are in a state of what I must characterise as semi-revolt against the authorities. I wish the Home Secretary clearly to understand that dissatisfaction in this instance, so far as I am aware, has not been promoted by agitators. I know that the right hon. Gentleman entertains a distrust of agitators, and that, founded or unfounded, that feeling of distrust exists in the country; but, arguing from the existence of this distrust, the case is much stronger when I assert, and the right hon. Gentleman cannot contradict the assertion that there has been no intervention of agitators to account for the strained relations of the police and their superior office to the Home Office control. If, therefore, this dissatisfaction arises from among the Police Force itself, it seems clear to me that either the Home Office has not sufficient time or opportunity to exercise due supervision over such an important body as the Metropolitan Police Force such as should be exercised; or that the just claims of the force have been ignored. I am not going exactly to uphold Mr. Monro against the Home Secretary for the very cogent reason mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Finsbury that we have not the correspondence in our hands which would enable us to take a full view of the case. I am not one of those who think that in all cases the Chief Commissioner should be backed against the Home Secretary. Bad as I think the system is which places the supervision of the London Police Force in the hands of the Home Secretary, I think that a state of things which placed absolute power in the hands of a Chief Commissioner without duo supervision of the Home Secretary, and therefore the influence which debate in Parliament exercises, would be absolutely untenable, and no sensible man can for a moment contemplate it with equanimity. On this occasion, and in reference to police control, I do not entirely take the side with Mr. Monro or against him, but I do lament that in the choice of Mr. Monro's successor a most unfortunate selection should have been made of a gentleman half of whose record is a military one. We have been told by hon. Gentlemen on the other side that he has been most diligent and successful in the detection of Thuggee and dacoity; but these are crimes which, if I am well informed, are not very prevalent in this Metropolis. Further, I understand this gentleman was for a long time Resident in Rajpootana. Now, the Rajpoots are, ethnologically, a highly interesting race of the highest caste in India, though I wish to do others no injustice. But what are the functions of a Resident in Rajpootana? In this State, I believe, there is an admirable art school. There may be found large quantities of elephants, and I believe some very skilful Nautch girls. Upon these and other matters a resident may form his judgment, and has to make representations to the Sultan of the country; and I believe this particular gentleman—whose name for the moment has escaped me, but which I daresay in future I may remember accurately—has had vast experience in matters that appertain to Court life in Rajpootana; but I utterly fail to see how such experience gives him qualifications for such different and delicate duties as are involved in the position of Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police. It has been urged by hon. Members on this side, and notably by one who holds the position of County Councillor, that the only way out of these difficulties—difficulties that appear to be arising perpetually, if we may judge by the short tenures of office by Chief Commissioners—can be obviated by transferring control to a popularly-elected body, the County Council; and various Members have referred to the good effect that has accrued in provincial towns where recourse has been had to such a system. But hon. Members have forgotten one especial fact in this connection, that when there was an election of County Councils, some 18 months ago, it was made a test question in many cases, invariably, I believe, in the case of Progressive members, that they should pledge themselves to the principle of control of the police by County Councils. ["No."] I am not sure whether the test was not applied by electors who voted for Conservative members—["No."]—but I think upon County Councils Conservative members are in as decided a minority as they are in a majority in this House. But let that pass. If the ratepayers of London are really averse to the control of the police being placed in the hands of the County Council, as an hon. Gentleman opposite says they are, how does it come about that in so many instances elections were determined upon this question? Surely, it will not be urged for a moment by any hon. Member that the electors and ratepayers of London are so foolish, so blind to their own interest, that they would absolutely vote for power being placed in the hands of a body they look on with feelings of distrust? It is because they see these strained relations, the existence of which the Home Secretary cannot deny, between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, that the vast majority of London ratepayers are so set upon having the control of the Police Force, which costs £1,700,000 annually. A word upon what has been said as to the altered relations between police and people in London. I know that to the great majority of Members of this House it is not of very much importance whether the Police Force arrogates to itself more power or remains in the position it has hitherto occupied. Most of us, fortunately—I am myself an exception—do not habitually come into collision with the police. I do not mean to say I do so habitually—but most of us do not often come into contact with the police, their functions, so far as we are concerned, being limited to opening cab doors and attentions of that kind. But with the vast bulk of the poorer population of London the case is different. Police supervision and police interference can make their lives intolerable to them. I appeal to any hon. Member who has knowledge of the labouring classes in London whether there is not grievous complaint of the interference in the daily life of the poorer population which is gradually being arrogated to itself by the Police Force. For these reasons I view with exceeding regret the appointment of another military gentleman to the office. From a Constitutional point of view do sincerely regret the introduction of the military system into what has always been a civil force. I foresee that if military discipline and system is introduced into the Police Force, the scenes of riot and disorder, and the strained relations between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, which have existed for three or four years, will become intensified, and the time of Parliament, which should be devoted to subjects vastly more important, will be taken up more and more every Session with the discussion of questions which should be dealt with by the London County Council.

(9.32.) MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

I shall not express any opinion as to the newly-appointed Chief Commissioner, as I should prefer first to see how he fills the office. And, with regard to the issue raised between the Home Secretary and Mr. Monro, as I have only read the letter of Mr. Monro and heard the speech of the Home Secretary, I feel I have not got sufficient data on which to pronounce an absolute opinion, but, with such data as I have, I am inclined to believe that the Home Secretary is right in regard to the matter of the resignation of Mr. Monro. A question seems to have arisen with re- gard to police superannuation. But the Home Secretary is the Representative of Parliamentary control with reference to the police, and I hold that it is most essential that the Home Secretary should have this control so long as the police depend upon Parliament, and not upon the County Council. The question which arose was as to the amount to be granted to the police. I never yet heard of value attaching to the opinion of those who are to receive pensions. Of course, the Commissioner and the police, being themselves interested in the question of superannuation, would naturally take a very favourable view of the matter in discussing it; but what happened? The Home Secretary prepared a Bill and showed it to Mr. Monro, who objected to it, and said that if the Bill was not altered he should resign, and because the right hon. Gentleman did not make the alterations which were demanded Mr. Monro did resign. Now, I do not recognise that sort of thing as the duty or the right of the Chief Superintendent or Commissioner. If the Bill is a bad Bill, it is for this House to criticise and discuss it, when the Bill is brought in. The Home Secretary in the discussion would have stated whether the police approved of the Bill or not, but for the Commissioner to menace, I may say, the Home Secretary with his resignation is contrary entirely to my idea of the subordination that the Commissioner ought to observe to the Representative of Parliamentary control. This Police Force is a positive army. What, I should like to know, would be the state of things in the Army itself were the House to set up the Commander-in-Chief against the Secretary of State for War? Of course, we should support the Secretary for War. I put aside politics altogether, and I say that so far as I know the details of the dispute, the Home Secretary is in the right, and his power should be upheld so long as Parliamentary control remains. Until the police are placed under the control of the County Council, I shall always act upon that principle. I think that Chief Commissioners are very much inclined to take too much upon themselves. Were they in the House it would be different, but now, in police matters, the House has to complain not to the Chief Commissioner, but to the Home Secretary, who has to bring in Bills affecting the police. Unless we act on tin's principle there will be an end to all Parliamentary control, and we shall have the police becoming a sort of Praetorian Guard, and the Commisioner a sort of Praetorian Prefect, completely dominating this House and the whole Legislature. I think it the duty of all who share these opinions to back up the Home Secretary in his action; otherwise there will be an end of all Parliamentary control. I now come to another point. I find that the Commissioner's salary is £1,500 a year, and I doubt whether it would not be wise, seeing the position that official holds, the duties he has to discharge, and the large force of men he has to command, to grant a larger salary. But I have heard that Mr. Monro received £1,000 a year from the Secret Service Fund. Does the right hon. Gentleman who shakes his head positively say that Mr. Monro received no money from that fund? As I understand, Mr. Anderson did receive a considerable sum from that source for looking after detective business in America in regard to Irishmen, but this has been discontinued since he became Assistant Commissioner, and the duties have since been undertaken and the money received by Mr. Monro. This is most objectionable, if correct, and we ought to know exactly what the salary of the Commissioner is.


The Commissioner receives nothing but what appears on the Estimates. He has an Indian pension.


Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will go a step further, and inform us who is now at the head of this detective business in America?


Order, order! That hardly arises on the Vote.


There are Assistant Commissioners. I want to know whether any of the Assistant Commissioners receive anything from the Secret Service money?


No person down on the Estimates for a salary receives anything in addition to that salary.


That is an answer; but I should like to know the relations of the police of Scotland Yard with the police and others in America. There was a discussion in this House some time ago about the position of Mr. Hoare, our Consul in New York. It was shown that Mr. Hoare had had communications from England in regard to police matters, and that he took up a position as a sort of head of the Detective Department in the United States. I believe I am right in saying that that business has been handed over to Mr. Eraser, Vice Consul, and I think we ought to be informed—


Order, order! I do not see how that is relevant to this Vote. It might be raised on the Vote for the Home Secretary's salary.


Well, I will drop that point; but there is another in which I confess I am myself a little interested. There is a policeman of the name of Jarvis, who has brought an action against me for saying he was at a certain place at a certain time in America. Now, I want to know from the Home Secretary whether Jarvis is to pay for this or the police? I do not object to the police paying; but if I win my case, and Jarvis cannot pay, I want to know whether the Home Secretary, or someone in his Department, will pay the expenses? I do not know whether or not Jarvis has been put forward without any money against me; but I know that the action may cost me £1,000 or £2,000, and I want to know, if I win my case, to whom I am to look for my expenses. If Jarvis is being supplied with funds by the police I think the Home Secretary will admit that if I win I ought to have my expenses from those who are supplying-him. As Jarvis's salary is included in this Estimate, this is the time to raise the question.


No; it is not included.


I think it is included in this Estimate.


Order, order!


As I have exhausted my criticisms, I may as well sit down.


Order, order. There is no salary in the Vote beyond that of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners.

(9.42.) MR. CAUSTON (Southwark, W.)

I am sure all hon. Members will agree with me that these frequent acri- monious discussions with regard to the London Police are not only most distasteful to those who take part in them but most injurious to the well-being of the police and of the people of London. It is not that the people and the police cannot get on well together, but it is the abominable system which exists that causes the trouble. Now that we have a London County Council, we say that the police should be placed under its control, in the same way as the Municipal Bodies in other cities and towns have control over their police. The people of London have made up their minds that they will no longer allow their police to be controlled by the Home Secretary, be he Liberal or be he Conservative. With regard to Mr. Monro's resignation, the hon. Member for Northampton seems to be in possession of more information than we have got. We have only the statement of the Home Secretary.


I specifically said I knew nothing beyond the letter of Mr. Monro, and the statement of the Home Secretary.


Then we are all in the same position. Whether the Home Secretary be right or wrong, I desire to say that the present system is bad, and we want to see it altered. That system brings hard and distasteful work to the police; it brings the Home Secretary into disrepute; and there is no doubt that the ill-feeling between the police and the people will also bring about what we think is an unnecessary demand for an increase of the London Police Force. The only remedy is to place the police under the control of the London County Council. I quite admit there may be a necessity for a Government Imperial police. If the Government want a force for the protection of the Public Offices by all means have one, but do not let us have a police dictatorship in London. Place the London police under the control of the London County Council, and you will establish good-will between the police and the people, and ease the labours of the Home Secretary. Of course, we cannot now discuss the details of the Superannuation Bill. The police render special services, and should be specially treated; they look after our property and our lives; they give themselves up to their work almost in the same way that the clergy devote themselves to looking after our souls. Superannuation, no doubt, attracts respectable men to the Force; but if in the Bill you are going to take away with one hand what you give with the other, you will do no good. What you want is a contented police, and if you have that you have a trustworthy and reliable force. I cannot understand why the Metropolitan Police should not be as well paid as the City Police. It is absurd to say that the Metropolitan Police could not be controlled by the London County Council, for the City Corporation manages its own force. In the City you have most valuable property requiring protection, and you never hear of the City Police being inefficient or discontented. I do hope that in the interests of the Home Office, for the sake of the peace of mind of the Home Secretary, in the interests of the welfare of the people of London as well as of the police generally, this short-sighted policy in regard to the management of the police will be abandoned.

(9.52.) MR. PICTON (Leicester)

I should be glad to have an explanation of the item of £650 for the travelling expenses of Inspectors.

(9.53.) MR. T. M. HEALY (Longford, N.)

I desire to ask an explanation of the item of £48,000 for clothing and other expenses of constables employed in the protection of public buildings and on other special duties. I have reason to believe that the special duty of some of these gentlemen was to go to Colorado in the interests of the Times before the Special Commission, and while pretending to be on holiday engage themselves in finding out a large number of mares' nests. We know it has been denied, but we know also that the denials were false, for we had men there as well as Her Majesty's Government. Differing from some of my hon. Friends, I was delighted when I heard of Mr. Monro's resignation. The more these permanent officials are put down the better. Mr. Monro made himself specially offensive to Irish Members. His conduct in connection with the Select Committee in regard to the hon. Member for North Louth was abominable. Therefore, the moment I heard that Mr. Monro had resigned I was greatly delighted. It is always a good thing to get rid of the last man. As to the alleged payment of secret service money to the Chief Commissioner, I think we ought to know more on this matter. We know how it once transpired—although it had been denied—that a sum of £10,000 had been used in securing Parliamentary candidates. We are also aware that when there is a change of Government these things are sure to leak out, and we should like to know where it is the Chief Commissioner gets his perquisites from, if not from the Secret Service Fund. If he receives anything in addition to his salary it should appear on the Estimates. I agree that the salary attached to the office ought to be raised. I heard with some surprise the statement the other night that the Force was to be increased by 1,000 men. When the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby increased the Force at the time of one of the explosions which occurred, I believe, on the day of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, the right hon. Gentleman said that if the people of London wished the police to be specially engaged for their protection when they were out enjoying themselves they would have to pay for it, and it would be necessary to add to the Force. It was proposed to strengthen the Force on a former occasion, solely on account of the presence of dynamitards in the Metropolis. But the right hon. Gentleman is proposing an increase at a time when practically there is no crisis and no kind of disturbance. This second addition will make an increase of 2,000 since five or six years ago, when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby was the Home Secretary. Of course, if the men are over-worked, and have been kept on duty too long hours, it is quite right that an increase should be made. Still, I think the Government make an increase in circumstances which require very much more explanation than is afforded by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. This advance in the number of the police is really effected in a backstairs sort of manner, so that the cost may not come on the Estimates. I do not know how these things are arranged in London, but I gather that there is no check whatever on the right hon. Gentleman, or on the number of men who are to compose the Force. I deprecate the observation of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton with reference to setting up a Force in London, which is to be treated as a sort of Prætorian Guard. That expression was used by the Royal Irish Constabulary when they struck in 1882. Allow me to say that the two bodies are very different. The police of London, like the police of Dublin, are of a pacific temperament, and are not supplied with bayonets and rifles, and powder and ball. They live amongst a civil population, and do not segregate in barracks. They are not subject to that close military discipline which prevails in the Irish Constabulary, and I do not believe that there is the slightest desire on the part of the London police in any way to set themselves up as against the civil population. Having lived now for a long time in London, I may say that a more respectful body of men I do not believe ever had control of the streets of any Metropolis in the world. They are civil to a fault. It is not as if they knew you. Of course, coming about this House, one may expect extra attention. But wherever you go the police of the Metropolis are universally, extremely, and consistently polite and courteous in their duty. That shows the advantage of having a domestic Police Force, uncontrolled by stringent military discipline, which prevails in the Royal Irish Constabulary. I think it would be a very unfortunate thing if any excitement were allowed to grow up among the constabulary in London, or if they were induced to combine in a hostile sense against Her Majesty's Government, because if, instead of moderate agitation, they were to take hostile means for the redress of their grievances, I believe they would only set the general body of the population against them, and the general body of the population is now largely in sympathy with them, and most anxious for the redress of their grievances. I believe that if the Government can at all manage to see their way to meet the just and fair demands of the men, the people of London, and the Members of this House, so far as the Estimates can be laid before them, would be prepared to go a long way in soothing down and dissipating the grievances and irritation of these men. I deprecate the suggestion of any attempt whatever to set up a Praetorian Guard.


The hon. Member has asked a question with regard to an item of £625 which appears on these Estimates as travelling expenses of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary. I can assure the hon. Member for Leicester that these expenses have nothing to do with journeys to America. They are the expenses of the officers whose duty it used to be, before the Local Government Act, to satisfy the Home Secretary of the efficiency, not of the Metropolitan Force, but of the provincial force, and whose duty it is since the Local Government Act, to afford information upon which can be given the certificate that is required before contributions can be made to the Local Police Authorities from the Imperial taxation, which has been transferred to local purposes. The performance of that duty involves journeys to every county and every police borough in England and Wales. The hon. Member for East Finsbury (Mr. Rowlands) inquired why the Report of the Department Committee upon superannuation had not been produced. I do not know whether he was in the House when the Home Secretary spoke. If he was he must have noticed that the Home Secretary distinctly said that the Departmental Committee separated without making any Report, on the ground that Mr. Monro, most unhappily for the interests of the police and their administration generally, thought it his duty to separate himself from the deliberations of that Committee. As regards the Annual Report, of the Chief Commissioner, which some hon. Members say ought to be issued at an earlier period of the year, in order that the House may have it in its hands when the Police Vote comes before it, I can assure him that I heartily sympathise with him in that desire. But the Commissioner of Police is most heavily burdened with the most anxious duties, and it is found in practice—I could quote precedents for many years back — that the Annual Report never can be brought out much before the month of August or September. It is true, I believe, that on one occasion it was got out, but the Police Vote was taken at a very late date. Since the disappearance of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, the Debate has somewhat quitted the lines on which he sought to launch it. I had no doubt as to the result, and I felt sure that the very general concurrence which has been expressed in all parts of the House as to the conduct of my right, hon. Friend the Home Secretary with regard to the unhappy differences which have arisen, would be endorsed and approved by the great majority of this House. The Debate has since proceeded on the familiar lines of a discussion of the Utopian idea of municipal control of the Metropolitan Police. I have always noticed up to the present evening that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby has been most careful to guard himself against anything like an approval of the municipal control of the London Police as against Imperial control. But on this occasion he has selected, if I may say so, the body of my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to make a bridge whereby he may cross from one country to the other, deserting all the opinions gained in the hard experience of office, that he may travel in a more convenient and pleasant land, in which he can gain electoral support. For my part, I maintain that this House, 80 of whose Members are elected by constituencies in the Metropolitan Police area, while the other 590, by the very condition of their holding seats in this House, are residents in that area, is the most effective Watch Committee we could have, accustomed as it is to investigate questions of far larger importance and financial difficulty than are those connected with the Metropolitan Police Force. Not only that, but I maintain that there is quicker responsibility and sensitiveness to public opinion under the present conditions of control of the police than there would be were they controlled by the County Council, whose debates do not attract the attention nor involve the tremendous political consequences which attach to debates in this House on acts of the Executive. We have heard to-day of the discontent which is supposed to reign in the Metropolitan Police Force. I have watched the government of that Force for four years, and having had relations with the Superior Staff, which I should always have been glad to have, I am bound to say that I am very sceptical about the reports of general and widespread dissatisfaction in the London police. There is not the smallest doubt that there has been a great deal of cooked up appearance of it in the newspapers; the number of the meetings has been exaggerated, and I am not quite sure that there have not been reports of meetings which have never taken place. Sir, I think better of the Metropolitan police than to suppose they would engage in anything like the kind of agitation in combination with outsiders in which they have been represented in some prints as being engaged. I feel certain that, when reasonable discussion is allowed of their claim on the one hand, and of the efforts which are being made to satisfy them on the other, in the end we shall arrive at a just and satisfactory settlement of the claims of the police, with due regard to the interests of the ratepayers of London. I wish, Sir, that hon. Members had been inclined to let this subject alone. They come here; and with a light heart ask us to grant certain demands for additional pay and allowances for the police. I must say I feel inclined to ask them whether they have gone into the question at all of the additional burdens on the ratepayers? I believe were we to seriously entertain the demands of hon. Members the cost would involve a burden upon the ratepayers, much greater than the bulk of them are prepared to bear. I have said what I have with a full sense of the value of the services of the police. Let it not be supposed that we do not recognise the good temper with which the police discharge their duties in all sorts of difficult circumstances in all hours, and in circumstances of hardship and exposure. At the same time, Sir, every proposal of this kind must be examined not under the circumstances of political and electioneering pressure, but in the cool atmosphere of a strict examination of the financial consequences of the proposals that may be made. I hope, Sir, after this discussion the Committee may possibly be disposed to allow us to take this Vote, which, I can answer, will not be taken as giving the Government any encouragement or commission to deal otherwise than fairly with a Force which has immense claims upon the gratitude of the people, and as regards which I do not believe the statements that are made by certain gentlemen who sit in certain quarters of this House and represent them as being out of harmony with the people amongst whom they live.

(10.20.) MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

Perhaps I may, as a Metropolitan Member, be allowed to say a few words in reply to what has fallen from the hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Home Department. He says we have been engaged in a philosophical discussion, but whether that be so or not, one result of the Debate has been that it has brought the question of the control of the Metropolitan Police by the London County Council more than ever within the range of practical politics. One of the arguments by which the case brought forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby has been met, is that the House has been engaged in considering' an ideal and Utopian system of a municipal control over the London Police. That I suppose-means that the municipal control of the police, which answers so well in the great provincial towns, is ideal; and, at any rate, if it be ideal there the idea is one which might well be extended to the Metropolis. We object to these local Metropolitan questions occupying the time and attention of the House to the exclusion of the great Imperial questions with which it has to deal. We do not believe they can be properly discussed and decided in this House, and we think that they ought to be handed over to the representatives of the ratepayers in the County Council by whom they will receive proper consideration. The hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for the Home Department has said that 80 Members of this House who represent Metropolitan constituencies are resident in the Metropolis, have so strong an interest in its affairs, and may be relied upon by the ratepayers for the efficiency with which they will guard the interests of the constituencies in this matter; but I would point out that by far the greater portion of the Metropolitan Members occupy seats on the other side of the House, and that with but one exception none of those 60 or 70 Conservative gentlemen have spoken on this question this evening, although it is one affecting the discipline and the whole position of the Metropolitan Police. I cannot blame hon. Members opposite for not having taken part in the Debate this evening as the time has only, with great difficulty, been wrested from other matters of importance, and no one desires that the discussion should be continued at any great length. Still it is unfortunate that we should be confined to one solitary evening in the entire Session for the discussion of the whole question of the Metropolitan police, and this fact is in itself proof sufficient that these questions do not receive that consideration from the representatives of the London constituencies which they ought to receive. These are matters which do not affect the House of Commons as much as they affect the ratepayers; and the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary is greatly hampered and controlled by Acts of Parliament in dealing with them. At the same time, the ratepayers, who have to pay by far the larger portion of the cost of the police, have no direct voice in the decision of these questions. I will not, at this hour, go into the general question. I will only say that I think the real gravamen of the charge we make against the Home Secretary is not so much that he exercised the final control—for we are all agreed that he ought to exercise full control over the Chief Commissioner so long as ho is responsible for the Metropolitan Police in this House—as that these difficulties which have arisen ought never to have been allowed to get to such a head. We say that the right hon. Gentleman has shown now, as in former times, when we have had to discuss questions connected with his office in this House, that he is out of touch with the police and those having authority in that Force; and that he is unable sufficiently to control it, as is proved by the discontent which prevails among the men. The Under Secretary for the Home Department denies that there is discontent in the force. Nobody believes or wishes that that discontent should come to a serious crisis; but that there is a large amount of discontent I think few in this House will deny. That discontent has, we say, arisen from the strained relations between the Home Office and the Police; and we cannot but attribute the fact to the action of the Home Secretary himself. We, en this side, are all agreed that the right hon. Gentleman might have handled the force with greater discretion and ability, and our experience of the way in which these questions have been handled in the past has shown us that he is altogether out of touch with the Force generally. This has brought us more and more to the belief that the only way in which the most important and vital questions relating to the Metropolitan Police can be properly discussed and decided is by placing that Force under the control of the Representative Council for London.

(10.27.) MR. PICTON

The Committee was strongly disposed to pass this vote at once when the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department rose to make his speech; but the hon. Gentleman has contrived to say several things which necessitate an answer, and so, therefore, to some extent, has prolonged this Debate. I do not think that the hon. Gentleman was justified in the attack he made upon the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, in his absence, and I must object to the sneering remark that since the right hon. Gentleman had left the House the discussion had taken a more proper and natural tone. The right hon. Gentleman was only doing his duty in bringing forward his case against the action of the Home Department. From his experience of the Department, and the high position he holds on the Front Opposition Bench, he was bound to bring before the Committee the profound uneasiness which exists in the public mind, and which has been occasioned by the friction which has subsisted between the Home Office and Scotland Yard, and, in fact, between the Home Office and the Police Force generally. I am, however, bound to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary made a very able and temperate and also a very successful defence; but this does not, in the least degree, condemn the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby for having brought forward the case lie has advanced. If we have a case to bring forward but are never to raise it in this House unless we are infallibly certain that there is nothing to be said on the other side, there will practically be an end to all Debate. It is for us testate our case and hear what the other side has to say. If what is said on the other side is sound and satisfactory, we acknowledge it, but we are not to be blamed for stating our case as we receive it from the regular sources of information. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary wont, I think, a little out of his way in casting scorn upon the idea of our committing the Metropolitan Police to the care of the County Council. He made use of this singular observation—that this House is the best "Watch Committee." What does he mean by calling this House a Watch Committee? I suppose he knows what is usually meant by the Watch Committee of a Town Council? The Watch Committee is not the whole Council. It is a small body selected from among the members of the Council because of their special knowledge of the duties of the Municipal Police. They are personally acquainted with the Force and they know the needs of the different districts in their towns and boroughs, and generally are well qualified to carry out the functions devolving upon them. The idea of comparing this House, composed of Representatives of constituencies from John o'Groats to Land's End, as well as from across the Irish Sea, with an ordinary Watch Committee of a Town Council is the very height of absurdity. Beyond this, the right hon. Gentleman passed a slight upon what he termed "the small political consequence of the London County Coucil." What we say is, that it is precisely because of its non-political character that the London County Council is the body best fitted for the duty of undertaking the control and management of the Metropolitan Police. But then the right hon. Gentleman said this House was more sensitive to public opinion. I suppose he was thinking of the vote of last night. The London County Council is in direct and intimate touch with all parts of the Metropolis. Remarks have been made about the kindness and attention of the police, but there is something to be said on the other side. The men are good, but the system is thoroughly bad. In a force of 15,000 men, all cannot be perfect, and the system is likely at times to bring out the worst side of the character of the most arbitrary and passionate among them. The system leads them to believe that they are in many respects antagonistic to the democratic movements of the time. They are taught it is their business, as far as possible, to put down all open-air meetings. They think they are the opponents of extreme Radical opinions or Socialism, as the case may be, and their action at times, when there are great assemblies of the people, is likely to irritate rather than conciliate. The recent meeting in Hyde Park affords one illustration out of many of the irritating manner in which the police are often made to act. I say "made to act," because I am quite sure that, under an ordinary Municipal Government, their own nature would lead them to do nothing of the kind. Those who attended the Hyde Park meeting could see that the police were made to interrupt it and to minimise the public demonstration of opinion as far as possible. It is continually my misfortune to have to walk home through the streets very late at night, and I cannot help noticing the action of the police. I have repeatedly seen police constables needlessly interfere with the harmless jollity of people who, perhaps, had had a little too much to drink, but who were good humoured enough if they were only let alone. I remember two police constables at the corner of Tottenham Court Road, seeing three young men coming along Oxford Street singing, and seizing them by the shoulders, and pushing them across the street until they nearly fell on their faces. Cases are continually reported in the newspapers of men being run in at police stations without any special reason whatever. Several cases have occurred in which Police Magistrates have said they could not decide on which side the blame lay, but they strongly suspected the action of the police. I do not say that these cases cast doubt on the general character of the police, but they illustrate my contention that the tendency of the system is rather to aggravate the worst features of the worst disposed men among them. The police ought to be a terror to evildoers, but not to ordinary citizens in the exercise of their ordinary rights. The police ought to be recognised everywhere as the friends of the people in all their legitimate enterprises. The present state of things has given rise to considerable friction and irritation between the police and the people of London, and I do not believe this will ever be cured until the police are put under the management of the London County Council.

(10.36.) MR. GAINSEORD BRUCE (Finsbury, Holborn)

I should not have risen to address the House but for the challenge of the hon. Member opposite. We are told that we have not attempted to answer the case that has been made against the Government. We on this side of the House are not in the habit of making unnecessary speeches, and we thought it was useless to answer remarks which, so far as they required an answer, have already been answered by some of the hon. Members sitting opposite. I agree with what has been already said, that the frequent and acrimonious discussion of matters of this kind does not tend to the public advantage, and it seems to me that no facts have been brought forward to justify the charges which have been made.


Does the hon. and learned Member deny that there is dissatisfaction existing among the police?


Yes, I do deny it. I venture to think I know as much about the police than Gentlemen opposite. I have been in constant communication with them of late, and I deny absolutely that there is any dissatisfaction amounting to disloyalty among them. It is true that attempts have been made to stir up dissatisfaction among the police, but those attempts have failed. It is said on the other side of the House that the people of London want the control of the police made over to the London County Council. The people of London want nothing of the kind. The people of London think the London County Council, as at present constituted, a most extravagant and inefficient body, utterly unable to confine its attention to its own business, and vainly meddling with the business of everybody else.

(10.40.) MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)

I came to the House prepared to blame the Home Secretary, but, after listening to the Debate, I think my right hon. Friend deserves to be praised and supported. I am not satisfied that there is sufficient discipline among the higher ranks at Scotland Yard. In these matters there can be no such thing as dual control; and if there has been any want of discipline, from Mr. Monro downwards, it is right that the Home Secretary should have put down his foot firmly. We are anxious that the superannuation allowances of the police should be ample, and even generous; but I think that hon. Gentlemen opposite would have been the first to complain of the Home Secretary if he had attempted to induce the House to accede to the suggestions of Mr. Monro. This is an occasion when, with every sympathy for the police, we must put confidence in the Home Secretary, and that confidence I hope hon. Members will show by their votes.

(10.44.) MR. T. M. HEALY

I think I am entitled to an answer to the two or three words I used earlier in the Debate.

(10.45.) MR. MATTHEWS

The hon. and learned Member wished to know whether Jarvis was paid out of the sum allotted for special duties. He has not been paid one penny out of that fund, nor has the sum of £1,000, or any sum whatever, been paid to Mr. Monro.


The right hon. Gentleman has answered me in one way and not in another. I asked how it was that this man Jarvis was enabled to pay this visit to Colorado, and how it was that a certain journal in this country had a man placed at its disposition, when it was pretended that he was on his holiday. When this man got to New York he was detached from that place by the Consul there and sent to Colorado. It is all very well to say that this man gets nothing under this Vote, but we are entitled to complain of the system whereby officers can be em- ployed in this manner. What was the man doing in America I Can it be pretended that an ordinary policeman could take a holiday in New York—a man who has only a salary of some 25s. a week? If this Vote is the only Vote in the Estimates for this purpose, it is singular that the expenses of police officers in occult and extraordinary duties can be screened and that the House can have no check upon them. It is an undoubted fact that this man went to America in the service of the Times, and yet it seems there is no means of checking the amount of money paid. If it was necessary to send this man away would his expenses be paid out of the Secret Service Fund and not out of this Vote? This is an attempt to blind Parliament. We have two grounds of complaint in the fact that Jarvis was detached in the service of the Times, and that Mr. Monro compelled this unfortunate man by a threat of dismissal to bring the libel action against the hon. Member for Northampton. Now that Mr. Monro has gone, I suppose that Jarvis will drop this action, because I do not imagine that this gentleman from the Crimea will be very much interested in the dignity of Mr. Monro, or in the maintenance of the truth of his letter to the Times. Jarvis will now have some peace. Hitherto his life has been made miserable. He had to back up Mr. Monro and the Home Secretary, and was compelled to make a, statement to the effect that he was never in America at all, or at all events, only in New York for a short time—these words having been put into the mouth of the Home Secretary by Mr. Monro. I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary has the same idea of the truth of Mr. Monro that he had, or whether he will receive that statement with some discount now that Mr. Monro has been compelled to resign. The Home Secretary made his statement to the House, I presume, on the authority of Mr. Monro; but did he attempt to probe the statement to the bottom? I would suggest that he should get this new General whom he is placing in charge of the Police Force to ask this question of Jarvis whether, as a matter of fact, he did make this journey to Del Norte? Mr. Monro now is in rather low water, but he has a following amongst a certain section of the police and the public, and I would point out to the Home Secretary that it would further discredit him to get his successor in office to question Jarvis and find out whether, as a matter of fact, he; went further West than Mr. Monro informed the Home Secretary. In this way the right hon. Gentleman can go a long way in the direction of discrediting the general way in which Mr. Monro discharged his ordinary duties. Will the Home Secretary say distinctly whether Jarvis went to America on Scotland Yard business or for a holiday?


rose to put the question.

(10.55.) MR. T. M. HEALY

If I receive no reply to my question, I shall move, Sir, that you report Progress.

(10.55.) MR. MATTHEWS

I have over and over again stated to the House that Jarvis did not go to Del Norte, Colorado. What is the use of asking me what fund he was paid from?


Did he go to New York?


He was not paid out of this fund, and he did not go to Colorado. I have given the hon. Member the best information I can. I do not know why Jarvis went to Now York. I should think he went on public business. The suggestion that he went on his holidays is a pure joke. It is as incorrect a statement as the rest of his version of this affair.

(10.57.) MR. T. M. HEALY

The right hon. Gentleman has affected a very fine anger, but I can assure him that, so far as I am concerned, I am completely indifferent to it. This is a matter which has been raised several times before the House by, the hon. Member for Northampton and the Irish Members. The right hon. Gentleman suggests that I was joking when I asked if Jarvis had gone to New York on a holiday. I was doing nothing of the kind. The statement was put forward either by Jarvis or his official superiors. The right hon. Gentleman gets up to reply to me in a splendid frenzy; but let me tell him that if he wants to gets his Vote it is not by frenzy that he will get it. The right hon. Gentleman says he does not know what Jarvis went to New York for; but the right hon. Gentleman ought to know. He was three times questioned about it by Metropolitan and other Members, and ha ought to have taken the trouble to inform himself. He knew the Police Vote was coming on, and ought to have known that this question would arise. It will be raised again and again until the right hon. Gentleman finds out where Jarvis went to. The matter in relation to Jarvis's visit to Colorado was not made clear until after the Debate upon the Special Commission Report. The right hon. Gentleman must not suppose that the matter is going to be hushed up. If we cannot raise it on this Vote, we shall raise it on other Votes. There is one great distinguishing feature which we possess, and that is that when we start a question we thrash it out. I ask a specific question. Will the right hon. Gentleman put to Mr. Monro's successor the question addressed to himself as to the visit of Jarvis to Colorado?


I really think I must deprecate this discussion. Jarvis has brought an action, and the matter is before a Court of Law. Of course, I cannot express an opinion on the subject; but I believe I am in no way compromising Jarvis when I say I understand that, as a matter of fact, Jarvis was at the time in question on leave in America. At any rate, if a man brings an action he should have an opportunity of thrashing the question out in Court; it is hardly fair to Jarvis to prejudice the case by discussing it here. But there is a little matter of a personal nature in regard to which, perhaps, the Home Secretary will give me some information. It is, whether Jarvis is bringing this action with his own money, or using the public's money—my money as a taxpayer? I do not want to press hardly on this man. I dare say he is not well off, and I have not the slightest objection to the Government giving him money. But I protest against Jarvis being put forward in this case. I assume that I shall get a verdict, and that that verdict will carry costs. ["Oh, oh!"] Yes; it is an action for libel, and a verdict would carry costs. Well, I do not want the Government to give Jarvis money with which to bring an action against me, and then when I get my costs to be told that Jarvis has no money. It is only fair that if the Government provide Jarvis with money to bring the action, they should pay me my costs.


The answer I gave to a question on this subject before was that Jarvis would bring the action at his own risk and cost. Perhaps the hon. Member for Long ford will accept the reason given by the hon. Member for Northampton why I should not subject Jarvis to cross-examination. I have given the hon. Member all the information I can.


The fact that an action has been brought against the hon. Member for Northampton is no reason why information should be withheld from us. The Irish Members are entitled to have the information I ask for, irrespective of any action against a newspaper proprietor. In my opinion, this man was sent to America to do the Times' business; and in order to mark my sense of the manner in which the man was sent out I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question, 'That a sum, not exceeding £37,586, be granted for the said Service,"—)Mr. T. M. Healy,) —put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next.

Committee to sit again upon Monday next.