HC Deb 06 February 1913 vol 48 cc9-10

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland on account of what statement in it was Detective-Inspector Kane's report on the theft of the Crown Jewels in Dublin Castle in 1907 withheld from the Commission subsequently investigating the matter to which that report related; were the Commissioners informed that Mr. Kane had made a report; if not, why was that information concealed from them; what instructions were given to Mr. Kane before he was allowed to appear as a witness; whether there is any precedent for withholding from a body investigating a crime the previously written report of an important witness relating to that crime; and whether the Crown will produce Mr. Kane as a witness in any criminal proceedings against any of the persons implicated in his report?

Mr. T. W. RUSSELL (Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture, Ireland)

Inspector Kane's report was a confidential report addressed in the usual course to the heads of the Criminal Investigation Department, Scotland Yard, and was not available therefore for submission to the Commission which investigated the circumstances of the loss of the Crown Jewels. Nor was this at all necessary, as Inspector Kane attended the Commission as a witness, was examined at great length, and gave oral evidence on all the points dealt with in his report. No instructions were given to Inspector Kane before his appearance at the inquiry beyond the direction that he should attend and give evidence. In the event of a criminal prosecution, it will be for the counsel who conduct the prosecution to decide what witnesses should be called to give evidence.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that reports made by possible witnesses are always submitted to a body of, this kind, and can he state any reason why that course was departed from in this particular case?


I cannot add anything to the answer I have given.


May I ask whether it is a fact that there were any Crown Jewels?


asked the nature of the evidence in the Probate Court, Dublin, in the custody of Mr. Norris Goddard, Sessional Crown solicitor, relating to crime committed in Dublin Castle in 1907; why no action has been taken on that evidence; and, in the event of criminal proceedings against any of the persons involved, whether that evidence will be placed at the disposal of the counsel or solicitor in charge of such proceedings?


My right hon. Friend referred this question to Mr. Norris Goddard, Crown Solicitor for Carlow, who states that he has not the slightest idea of what the hon. Member refers to. Mr. Goddard, Crown Solicitor for Carlow, who and never had, in his custody, possession, or procurement, any evidence relating to crime committed in Dublin Castle in 1907, or at any other time.