HC Deb 24 June 1890 vol 345 c1799

I wish to call the attention of the Chief Secretary to a letter which appears in the Pall Mall Gazette this evening from a New Zealand lady, in which the writer says— I find some of the customs of this country very strange. I am here on a visit from Mew Zealand, and I am not two days in town till the police have been making inquiries about me even in such a public place as a bank, as if I were an escaped convict or suspected of felony. Why should I or any lady be subjected to such an indignity? Need I say I am a Protestant: and while my politics should not deprive me of the liberty of a citizen, they are not Nationalist, for, being a colonist, I know little of the Irish controversy. But it would be well that the colonists and English people should know that British citizens cannot move about in broad daylight without being the subjects of police surveillance. May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of his statement that people are only shadowed if they are suspected of being criminals, this lady was so suspected; and will he take steps to protect at least visitors to our country from this indignity?


The hon. Member asks whether this lady will be protected. I do not think she complains of being shadowed, but she does complain of certain inquiries being made. I know nothing of the facts, but will cause an investigation to be made if the hon. Member will give notice of a question.


Of course I will. At the same time, allow me to point out that the lady complains that "British citizens cannot move about in broad daylight without being the subjects of police surveillance." I think that is the most serious part of the allegation.


I understand that to be a general observation and not a specific complaint.


I will put the question down for Thursday next.