§ MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that on the 16th of April the Warwickshire Standing Joint Committee, by the second or casting vote of the Chairman, resolved that an Order of July last cancelling the pension of Mr. Kinchant, the late Chief Constable, be rescinded and the arrears paid, on the ground that an opinion of counsel had raised a doubt as to the validity of a previous Order of the Committee; whether his attention had been drawn to the fact that a warrant for the arrest of Mr. Kin-chant was issued in May, 1892, in relation to his bankruptcy, and that he has since been living abroad to escape its execution; whether he is aware that the Committee called upon him to submit himself to a second medical examination, but that he failed to do so, and thereupon, in July last, they cancelled his pension, and in October last dismissed him from the Force; that an application was subsequently made in the Queen's Bench Division, on Mr. Kinchant's behalf, for a mandamus to compel the Committee to pay the pension, and the Lord Chief Justice, in refusing it, said that the Committee were right and had acted within their jurisdiction in cancelling it; that a Petition of Appeal was presented to the April Quarter Sessions, and a date in May next fixed for its hearing, but that, without waiting for this, and as an amendment to a motion to instruct counsel to appear upon the appeal, the Committee have resolved to rescind the Order which the Lord Chief Justice upheld, and to pay the arrears of the pension; whether he is aware that this decision has caused great surprise and 36 indignation throughout the county; and whether he will inquire into the circumstances and remind the Committee of his previous suggestion, in April, 1893, that they should abstain from paying the pension until ordered to do so by a Court of Law, and further suggest that, their action having been approved by the Lord Chief Justice, they should oppose the appeal?
§ MR. ASQUITH
Yes, I am aware of the facts stated by my hon. Friend. A warrant of arrest was issued. I am informed by the Chairman of the Standing Joint Committee that they were satisfied that when Mr. Kinchant was called upon to submit himself to second examination he was at the time suffering from a state of nervous instability which rendered it dangerous to his health to attend, and, taking into consideration that he had earned his pension, they agreed that it should be paid him. By law his pension is not payable to his creditors. The matter is engaging my serious attention.