1 December 1888
Mr. Monro brings excellent qualifications for the anxious and responsible post to which he has been appointed. Some years ago he held with great credit a similar position in Bengal and since then, as Director of the Criminal Investigation Department in this country, he succeeded in unravelling the plots of the dynamite conspirators, and in bringing to justice some of the actual perpetrators of those outrages. As he received this appointment from Sir William Harcourt, while he owes his new position to the influence of Mr. Matthews, his selection will be regarded with approval by the leaders of both the great parties in Parliament, and there is good reason to hope that the unfortunate condition of friction which led to the resignation of Sir Charles Warren will henceforward be avoided. With the exception of the Chief Secretaryship for Ireland, there are no official positions in these days which are more arduous, and, and many respects, more unthankful, than the Home Secretaryship and the Chief Commissionership of Metropolitan Police. Their holders are blamed if any individual constable either fails to do his duty or does it too zealously; if mysterious murders remain undetected; if they restrict the right of public meeting; or if, on the other hand, they permit assemblies to take place which afterwards, as in February, 1886, degenerate into scenes of disorder and pillage. Then, every now and then exceptional incidents arise, such as the Cass case, which need to be handled with considerable judgement and dexterity. It is to be hoped that unpleasant experience has taught Mr. Matthews wisdom; nevertheless he will do well to bear in mind that incidents occasionally occur which throw the British public into a state of intense, though transient, excitement, and that it is prudent for the Home Secretary, whatever his private opinions may be, to sympathise heartily with this excitement while it lasts. Sir William Harcourt thoroughly understood this policy when he was Home Secretary, and it undoubtedly increased the popularity which he already deserved on more solid grounds.