HC Deb 16 June 1904 vol 136 cc283-5
MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to the case of Arthur Orbell, a commercial traveller, who on the 19th of April last was followed in the streets of Londonderry by Police Constable Hayes whilst in the pursuit of his business; whether he is aware that Mr. Orbell was detained at the Provincial Hotel for the night under the sur- veillance of this constable; and, if so, whether he can state the nature of the offence for which Orbell was suspected, and under whose authority Police Constable Hayes was acting when the incident occurred.


My attention was directed for the first time to this case by the Question of the hon. Member. The facts, I am informed, are substantially as stated, but I learn that, although Mr. Orbell was kept under supervision by the constable during the night, his liberty was in no way interfered with. The constable acted on his own initiative and responsibility without informing his superior officer. The matter was carefully inquired into by the Inspector-General, who gravely cautioned the constable against a repetition of such conduct. I may add that the county inspector has written to Mr. Orbell's employers expressing regret that he had been subjected to any inconvenience.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

asked how the right hon. Gentleman reconciled his statement that Mr. Orbell's liberty was in no way interfered with when he admitted the facts in the Question were substantially correct and that Mr. Orbell was detained at the hotel for the night under the personal supervision of the constable. Was not that interference with the liberty of the subject?


said he did not suggest for one moment that the constable was not guilty of a grave error of judgment.


Has any apology been tendered to Mr. Orbell for the inconvenience to which he was subjected?


I have answered that.


No, the apology has been sent to his employers. Is he not to have one personally?


Yes, I think an expression of regret is due to him.

MR. JAMES O'CONNOR (Wicklow, W.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman take care that this constable is promoted for his excessive zeal?

[No answer was returned.]