§ MR. J. AIRD (Paddington, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can now state the consideration to be given to the police force of the Metropolis for their arduous and most successful efforts in keeping order during the recent Jubilee rejoicings; and if it is intended to give a medal to the police on this special occasion?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY,) Lancashire, Blackpool
Yes, Sir, a medal will be issued to the police, and I have sanctioned, in addition, the grant of four days' extra pay.
§ COLONEL DENNY (Kilmarnock Burghs)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to certain allegations in the Press that dissatisfaction exists among the Colonial troops as to their treatment by the Military authorities; and whether he can make a statement on the subject?
§ MR. BRODRICK
In reference to this Question the following letter was voluntarily addressed to the War Office on the 18th June by the officers commanding the various Colonial detachments, all of whose signatures are attached to it,—Having, seen in some of the daily papers that dissatisfaction exists amongst the Colonial troops stationed at Chelsea Barracks with reference to the treatment they have received from the military authorities, we have the honour to inform you that the report is entirely devoid of foundation.The officers in command of every detachment from the colonies are unanimous in their opinion that the accommodation provided and arrangements made for the comfort of their troops reflect the greatest credit on the military authorities, enhanced as the difficulty is by having to deal with so many units of different nationalities.It is further reported to the War Office by the Commanding Officer that, as far as he can judge, the feeling of all ranks under his command is one of resentment against those persons who have taken upon themselves the task of making complaints on their behalf. I can assure the House that nothing has been or will be wanting on the part of the authorities to render the stay of our Colonial guests as agreeable as possible. [Cheers.]
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
In answer to the hon. Gentleman, I have to say that the persons responsible for the arrangements connected with the reception of the Houses of Parliament at Buckingham Palace are the Palace 635 officials. I have received a communication from the Lord Chamberlain this morning in which he states that—it had been the earnest wish of the officers of the Household to show the utmost respect to the Speaker and the Members of the House of Commons.He expresses his very great regret that, notwithstanding their best endeavours, anything should have occurred to produce an unfavourable impression. [Laughter.] That is, I am afraid, all the information I can give the hon. Member.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
No, Sir; I do not think it will be possible in the first place; and, in the second place, I do not think it desirable that the House should express an opinion upon the discretion exercised by the officials at the Palace.
§ MR. E. BOULNOIS (Marylebone, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact that abnormal fares have been charged to the public during the last few days by the London General Omnibus Company, the Road Car Company, and some other omnibus proprietors, whereas cab proprietors were expressly warned that they must not make any difference in the scale of fares; and whether he can take steps in the interest of the poorer classes to prevent the recurrence of such a proceeding?
§ *SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
I believe it is the case that very high fares were charged by omnibus proprietors on one or two days last week. This, however, was no violation of the Acts, which leave it to the proprietors to fix their own fares, and only require that the fares fixed shall be distinctly painted in a conspicuous place in the inside of the omnibus. Cab fares stand on an entirely different footing, being regulated, under statute, by a Home Office Order. I very much doubt whether it would be to the public advantage that omnibus fares should be similarly regulated.
§ MR. E. H. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
asked whether the right 636 hon. Gentleman had heard that the police were dissatisfied with the arrangement by which the extra fares were painted inside the omnibuses?
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that a woman named Mrs. Fitzsimmons died from injuries received in a police baton charge on the 22nd inst., while Her Majesty's Jubilee was being celebrated in Dublin; whether he is aware that nearly 300 persons were treated in the hospitals of Dublin for injuries resulting from the baton charges of the police, and whether he will cause a sworn inquiry to be held with the view of fixing the responsibility for these outrages inflicted on the citizens of Dublin while exercising their legal rights?
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. GERALD BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
There is no doubt that Mrs. Fitzsimmons met her death in consequence of injuries received by her during the disturbances that took place on Tuesday, the 22nd inst.; but whether death was actually caused by her being trampled upon by the crowd, or by her afterwards falling from the car on which she was being transported to the hospital, is uncertain. The fall from the car took place in consequence of the policeman in charge of the car being struck down by a blow from a stick or stone while in the act of discharging this office of humanity. I have no certain information of the number of persons who have been treated in the hospital for injuries received in the course of the disturbances, but I should imagine the number given by the hon. Member is in excess of the facts. It would be altogether premature to state whether any inquiry may be considered desirable.
§ MR. O'BRIEN
asked whether in case the Coroner's jury brought in a verdict declaring that the police were responsible for Mrs. Fitzsimmons' death, would the Government accept it?
§ MR. CHARLES SHAW (Stafford)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty 637 if he is aware that on Saturday last, on board the Campania, at the naval review, there were 1,800 persons; that out of that number the Members of the House of Commons and their friends only amounted to 800; and how it arises that so large a percentage of those on board were members of the outside public, when the ship had been placed at the disposal, as understood, of the Members of the House of Commons? I also wish to ask into whose coffers the five guineas charge went for the accommodation of bed, breakfast, and dinner on board—whether to the Admiralty, or to the Cunard Company?