HC Deb 21 May 1931 vol 252 cc2174-5

asked the Home Secretary whether he is now in a position to make any statement on the case of ex-Inspector Syme?


It has been decided to grant a pension to ex-Inspector John Syme in respect of his 15 years' service in the Metropolitan Police Force. The pension will be calculated on Mr. Syme's salary in the rank of Inspector which he held in 1909, and will amount, with the appropriate increases payable since 1920 under the Pensions Increase Acts, to approximately £72 per annum. He will also receive arrears of pension since 1909 amounting to about £1,200. The decision to grant this pension has been arrived at after a careful re-examination of the history of Mr. Syme's case, the origin of which can be traced back to the fact that when he was at Gerald Road Police Station in 1909 his superior officer reported in writing to higher police authorities that Mr. Syme had on a particular occasion shown undue familiarity with his subordinates. Following upon this report, Inspector Syme was transferred from one police station to another station in the same Division, but apart altogether from the question of the transfer, it is obvious that such a report—a report which was subsequently found to be unwarranted—might have affected his future career as a police officer. The subsequent trouble, to which detailed reference need not be made here, undoubtedly arose out of this report and out of the sense of wrong which resulted from the fact that Inspector Syme knew that such a report had been made and that the same was unjustified. There has never been any question as to Mr. Syme's sincerity. It is acknowledged that while in the Police Service he discharged his duties in a conscientious manner, and no stigma of any kind attaches in this settlement to him. It must not be thought that this settlement involves any reflection upon those who in the course of years have been concerned in the handling of the case.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman what explanation he can give of the interminable and unwarrantable delay which has been taking place—




We cannot go into that now.