HC Deb 28 March 1899 vol 69 cc652-3
MR. LLOYD - GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

The right honourable Gentleman did not answer the whole of the question I put down on the Paper to-day. He neglected to answer the most important point of the question; it is purely a local matter relating to the removal of the office of the Superintendent of Police from Conway to Llandudno. The matter was gone into very fully by the County Police Committee, who represent both the Magistrates and the County Council, and they decided, after a very full discussion, by a majority of two to one not to remove the office of the Superintendent. There may be something to be said, of course, for the removal, but by what process I do not know, and that is the part of the question which the right honourable Gentleman did not answer; an inquiry was set on foot by the Home Office to override the decision of the Police Committee. Now, I do not think it is right that the Home Office should adopt such a course without giving full notice to the Local Authorities of their intention. I should like to know at whose instance this inquiry was set on foot. It was not at the instance of the Police Authority, because they had gone into the matter and decided against the removal, but there was an inquiry, and an officer was sent down to investigate the matter. He never communicated with the Police Committee or with the District Council of Conway, but only communicated with the District Council of Llandudno. He goes down to Carnarvon and sees the Chairman of the Committee, but that gentleman had taken a one sided view of this particular question. After having seen him, the officer went and saw the I Chief Constable, who had also taken a very strong view upon the question, and it was only discovered by the barest accident that the Home Office had set the inquiry on foot at all. He did not consult the local Bench of Magistrates, who only discovered by accident that a man had been sent down.