HC Deb 31 July 1964 vol 699 cc451-2W
Commander Kerans

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the amount of compensation and ex-gratia payments made to the five men pardoned in the Challenor case.

Mr. Brooke

Applications forex-gratia payment of compensation have been received from two of the men. These are under consideration.

Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now state the terms of reference of the inquiry to be set up under the Police Act, 1964, concerning Detective-Sergeant Challenor.

Mr. Brooke

When I informed the House on 2nd July of my intention to set up this inquiry, I also announced that the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis had at my request invited Mr. Norman Goodchild, the Chief Constable of Wolverhampton, to undertake an inquiry into fresh allegations of corruption. I said that I would take Mr. Goodchild's report into account in determining the terms of reference for the inquiry.

I am informed that Mr. Goodchild's report cannot be completed for some time. I have therefore decided that the terms of reference of the inquiry should initially be: "To inquire into the circumstances in which it was possible for Detective Sergeant Challenor to continue on duty at a time when he appears to have been affected by the onset of mental illness.

Mr. A. E. James, Q.C., the Recorder of Derby, has agreed to undertake this inquiry. He will be assisted by Commander W. J. A. Willis, C.B.E., M.V.O., C.G.M., lately one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary, as an assessor.

The inquiry will have statutory powers under Section 32 of the Police Act, 1964, which comes into operation tomorrow, to summon witnesses and to take evidence on oath. I intend to give directions under this Section that it shall sit in public so far as its present terms of reference are concerned. If, in the light of Mr. Goodchild's report, it becomes necessary to refer further matters to the inquiry, I shall consider, when doing so, whether it should continue to sit in public when considering them.