HC Deb 16 March 1891 vol 351 cc1058-9
MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is correct that on the last meeting the two working men who are members of the Joint Committee of the Durham County Council desired to raise a question as to the conduct of the police at Silksworth, and whether the rest of the members rose and left them unable to form a quorum; whether up to date a single person has been arrested, or charged, or summoned by the police for throwing stones, earth, or any other missile on the occasion of the recent baton charge; and how many police were present on that occasion?


The Vice Chairman on the occasion in question is abroad, so that I have not been able to obtain the information from him; but I am informed by the chief constable that one of the members of the Committee made some remarks on the conduct of some of the policemen at Silksworth, referring to a quarrel between three constables in their lodgings. The reply given was that, this being a question of discipline, it had already been disposed of by the chief constable. The conduct of the police in relation to the strike at Silksworth was in no way impugned. Some further questions were also asked and answered as to the number, lodging, and expense of the police at Silksworth. There was a full quorum of the members of the Committee present until the business before it was concluded. No person has been arrested, charged, or summoned in connection with the mêlée on the 25th of February. The missiles came from all parts of a tumultuous crowd, most of whom were strangers to Silksworth. The number of constabulary of all ranks was about 150, of whom 45 took part in the charge.

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