§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it has come to his knowledge that Henry Kemp, formerly a superintendent in the Worcestershire Police Force, when within six weeks of the date at which he would have been entitled to retire on a pension of £100 a year, was discharged from the force by the chief constable, on account of a report by a local Magistrate and his gardener that the said Henry Kemp had been guilty of gross immorality; that the said Henry Kemp brought an action at the Birmingham Assizes against his defamers, and was awarded £500 damages, the jury stating that, but for the hope that some way would be found by which Kemp could secure his pension, they would have given much heavier damages, and the Judge (Mr. Justice Mathew) concurred in the statement of the jury to that effect; that the chief constable (who assisted the defendants in the trial in support of the charge of immorality and set forth no other ground for dismissal) had since stated, and the statement had been supported by the Chairman of the Police Committee, that Kemp was discharged for entirely different reasons; that the said Chairman of the Police Committee of Worcestershire, who is also Chairman of the County Council, 22 had threatened to resign his position on the County Council unless the Council sustained the decision of the chief constable not to reinstate the said Kemp, nor to permit any independent investigation; and whether it is within the powers of the Home Secretary to order an investigation into the case, and will he do so?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. ASQUITH,) Fife, E.
I have caused inquiry to be made, and it is reported to me that the dismissal of Kemp was for untruthfulness more than once repeated; and that the order of dismissal was given by the Chairman of the Worcestershire Standing Joint Committee. The conduct of the Chairman is reported to have been approved by a unanimous vote of the Standing Joint Committee, and of the County Council. The Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee denies that he threatened to resign unless the decision not to reinstate Kemp was sustained, or for any other reason. In the circumstances, I am of opinion that, even if I have the power, no useful purpose could be served by an inquiry.