HC Deb 24 August 1893 vol 16 cc974-6

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that at the meeting of the Cardiganshire Joint Standing Committee, held on August 10, at Aberayron, his letter to the Chief Constable, pointing out that the County Court bailiff was insufficiently protected on May 5, was not mentioned by the Chief Constable in his Report, and only produced on the demand of the Chairman of Quarter Sessions; that the Chairman of Quarter Sessions proposed two motions to the effect that the Chief Constable be ordered in all cases where the police were engaged in protecting the Sheriff's officers when carrying out the orders of any Court to employ such number of constables as may be necessary to ensure the proper protection of the Sheriff's officers, and the due execution of such orders; and that any existing orders or instructions of the Committee to the Chief Constable in any way repugnant to this order be rescinded, but they were lost by the votes of the representatives of the County Council, every Justice voting for them; whether he is aware that two of these County Councillors are also members of the Antitithe Committee; and whether he now intends to take any steps to get the intention of his letter carried out, and the law enforced, and, if so, if he will state what steps?


I am informed that my letter, to which the hon. Member refers, was not mentioned by the Chief Constable in his Report, but was produced and read on the Chairman of Quarter Sessions asking if it had been received. It is also a fact that the Chairman of Quarter Sessions gave notice of the two motions referred to by the hon. Member, but on the first being defeated the second was not moved. The representatives of the Quarter Sessions, of whom five were present, all voted in favour of the motion, and the County Council representatives, 12 in number, who appear to have stated that they thought the motion unnecessary, voted against it. I have been informed (but I have no means of verifying the information) that one, and probably two, of these County Councillors are members of the Anti-Tithe Committee. The Chief Constable wrote to me, in reply to my letter, undertaking to give adequate police protection to the bailiff, and to prevent a repetition of such an assault as was committed on the 5th of May. No facts have been brought to my knowledge which would lead me to suppose that the Chief Constable has failed, or will fail, to carry out the undertaking so given. I must express my hope that in so doing he will receive the co-operation and support of the Standing Joint Committee, who are responsible for the administration of the local police.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in 1891 the Standing Committee passed a resolution instructing the Chief Constable that not more than three policemen were to be employed at tithe sales or distraints. If so, how is it possible, now the Committee have refused to repeal that instruction, to afford adequate protection?


This is the first I have heard of that instruction.