HC Deb 14 April 1910 vol 16 cc1570-1W

asked the Home Secretary whether, when Sir Robert Anderson held office in the Secret Service the reports which he received from Le Caron and other subordinate agents relating to the Parnell Commission were kept at his own private residence and not with the Government archives; and whether it is still the practice of similar officers at the Home Office to retain in their own hands documents of that nature?


I understand that my hon. Friend is right in saying that the documents in question never came into the possession of the Home Office. There is no officer now in the Home Office whose position can be described as similar to that of Sir Robert Anderson.


asked whether Sir Robert Anderson was at Scotland Yard at the time of Pigott's escape from England; whether there is any explanation on record as to how he escaped, seeing that he was under the surveillance of two Scotland Yard detectives and one Dublin detective; and whether any official inquiry was ever held into the circumstances of his escape?


Sir Robert Anderson was at Scotland Yard at the time of Pigott's escape, and it was by officers belonging to his Department that Pigott was traced from place to place until finally his arrest was secured in Madrid. Previous to his flight he was not in any way under the surveillance of Scotland Yard officers; he was attended by two officers of the Royal Irish Constabulary, not for the purpose of watching him, but to protect him from molestation. These officers reported his disappearance on the afternoon of 25th February, 1889, and the following day the Commission issued its warrant for his arrest. The warrant was directed to the Commissioner of Police, and thus for the first time brought Scotland Yard into the case, with the result that he was pursued and captured, though at the moment of capture he committed suicide. There was no occasion for any official inquiry, all the facts being notorious.