Sir Robert Peel
hoped the noble Lord would allow him to call his attention to another subject of much importance, on which, from the situation he had held, he felt much interest. A considerable time back, a recommendation from the Crown had directed the attention of the House to the establishment of municipal police through the country, and the House had pledged itself that it would take the subject into consideration. Since that time, no measure relating to it had been proposed by Government. He wished to know, therefore, whether Government had any intention of bringing forward some measure of the kind, or whether, finding an obstruction to such a measure from local causes, they had abandoned the idea altogether? It was very desirable to know whether they had abandoned the matter, because, in that case, many parts of the country would be disposed to take such steps as would supply the deficiency, and establish a police of their own.
§ Lord Althorp
admitted, that there were great difficulties attending this matter, but those difficulties had not prevented the Government from taking it into their serious consideration, and, in fact, considerable progress had already been made in it. He could not, however, pledge himself, as he had in the case referred to by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Goulburn), that he should be able to introduce any measure on the subject during the present Session.
§ Mr. Portman
expressed a hope, that the Session would not be allowed to pass, without the introduction of some measure on this important subject.
§ Mr. Alderman Venables
said, that the city of London had taken active measures for the improvement of its police, and some acts were in preparation to carry those alterations into effect.
Sir Robert Peel
thought that the City had the power to make any alterations in its police, without the necessity of any legislative measure. His question had no relation to the city of London, but rather to those places in the country which would take steps for establishing local police, if they understood that no general measure on that subject were intended.