WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 1888
Although statements continue to be made to the police by persons who believe they have information of importance to communicate, no fresh clue has been discovered. A large clerical staff is occupied daily at Leman-street in dealing with the mass of papers which accumulates in conjunction with the investigation of the case. The detectives were hoping that when the murderer resumed his visits to Whitechapel he would leave behind him traces which would enable them to identify him, but the cunning of the assassin has been, as usual, great. Meanwhile, another letter, purporting to have been written by "Jack the Ripper," was received yesterday morning at Leman-street. It refers to the latest murder, and threatens more. Dorset-street continues to be thronged with sightseers, and it is becoming unsafe for a respectably-dressed man to loiter about, as he immediately excites observation, and some officious person, becoming suspicious, calls the attention of the constable on the beat to him. In one case yesterday afternoon a gentleman, who gave an address in Cheapside, was taken to Commercial-street Police-station, and detained for an hour and a half, pending inquiries. With regard to the statement of Mrs. Cox that she saw a man who carried a pot of beer enter, with the deceased, her room in Miller's-court on the morning of the murder, no can has been found, and inquiry has failed to discover any publican who served Kelly or her companion with beer on the night of Thursday. A second inquest would have been held on the body had it been removed into the Whitechapel district for burial. Mr. Wynne Baxter states that in that case it could not have been avoided, but the double inquiry has been averted by the action of Mr. H. Wilton, parish clerk and keeper of the Shoreditch mortuary. He has undertaken to inter the body at his own expense, assisted by contributions which may be received, and yesterday he obtained from the coroner's officer, Mr. Hammond, an order to prepare the coffin. Much surprise is expressed that the inquest should have been closed before an opportunity was given to the relatives of the deceased to identify the body. As they are believed to reside in Ireland there was some delay to be expected in finding them. Dr. Macdonald stated that the duty of the jury was to ascertain the cause of death, but the common law, since Edward I., has declared that, in the language of the declaratory statute, "all the injuries of the body, also all wounds, ought to be viewed; and the length, breadth, and deepness, with what weapon, and in what part of the body the wound or hurt is; and how many be culpable, and how many wounds there be, and who gave the wounds - all which things must be enrolled in the roll of the coroner's." No question was put as to any of these points; the doctor was not asked as to the nature of the weapon which had been used to cause the injuries. It has been held that a coroner is bound to accept all evidence tendered, and to take down in writing the material parts. Dr. Macdonald interrogated the witnesses, but it was Mr. Hodgkinson who committed their testimony to writing. It is in the power of the Attorney-General to apply to the High Court of Justice to hold a new inquest, if he is satisfied that there has been rejection of evidence, irregularity of proceedings, or insufficiency of inquiry. This course is improbable, as it is stated that Mr. Phillips, the divisional surgeon of police, with whom the coroner consulted in private, has had a commission from the Home Office for some time, and he does not consider himself a "free agent"; but it is pointed out that by hurriedly closing the inquest the opportunity has been lost of putting on record statements made on oath, and when the memory of witnesses is fresh. It is not improbable that a long interval may elapse before a prisoner is charged at the police-court.
The Central News says: The police have made a thorough search of casual wards and other places of a similar character. In the Holborn casual ward their attention was attracted to the very suspicious behaviour of one of the temporary inmates. Constables were at once sent to the place, and they arrested a rough-looking fellow, who gave the name of Thomas Murphy. He was taken to the police-station at Frederick-street, King's-cross-road, where on being searched he was found to have in his possession a somewhat formidable-looking knife with a blade about 10in long. He was, therefore, detained in custody on suspicion, and the police proceeded to make inquiries into the truth of his statements. The task was rendered difficult by the confused and contradictory accounts which Murphy gave of himself, and the man was still in custody last evening. Murphy did not worry himself in the least about his detention, for he was supplied with refreshments in the course of the day, and was allowed to sit near a fire - luxuries to which he had evidently not been used for some time past. He amused himself by reading over and over again a piece of newspaper which he held in his hand, but his manner was restless and irritable at times. Murphy is about 5ft 6in in height, and has the general appearance of a sailor. His hair is light, and complexion fair. He is dressed in a blue jersey, his coat and trousers being of a minute check pattern. He wears a "cheesecutter" cap and a thick pair of boots.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
The SPEAKER took the chair at three o'clock.
Mr. MATTHEWS, replying to Lord H. Bruce, said he was informed by the Commissioner that the police in the metropolis were located according to the wants of each particular district, and not according to the population or to the rates. He had no reason to believe that they were overworked or undermanned as to their ordinary duties, and when there were extra duties to be performed they were always cheerfully undertaken.
Mr. JOHNSTON: Who is the commissioner who gave the information?
Mr. MATTHEWS: Sir Charles Warren.
SIR CHARLES WARREN.
Mr. MATTHEWS: In order to avoid misunderstanding as to the grounds of Sir Chas. Warren's resignation, which I announced yesterday, I ask leave of the House to make a statement. On Nov. 8 I directed the following letter to be written to Sir Chas. Warren: "Sir - Mr. Secretary Matthews directs me to state that his attention has been called to an article signed by you in this month's number of 'Murray's Magazine,' relating to the management and discipline of the Metropolitan Police Force. He desires me to forward to you the enclosed copy of the Home Office circular, which was duly communicated to the Commissioner of Police in 1879, and to state that the directions in that circular were intended to apply to the Metropolitan Police, and to every officer in the force, from the commissioner downwards. I am accordingly to request that in future the terms of this order may be strictly complied with. - I am, Sir, your obedient servant (Signed) E. LEIGH PEMBERTON." The enclosure from the Home Office was in these terms: "The Secretary of State having had his attention called to the question of allowing private publication by officers attached to the department of books on matters relating to the department, is of opinion that the practice may lead to embarrassment, and should in future be discontinued. He desires, therefore, that it should be considered a rule of the department that no officer should publish any work relating to the department unless the sanction of the Secretary of State has been previously obtained for the purpose." I received on the same day the following reply: "Sir - I have just received a pressing and confidential letter stating that a Home Office circular of May 27, 1879, is intended to apply to the metropolitan police force. I have to point out that, had I been told that such a circular was to be in force, I should not have accepted the post of Commissioner of Police. I have to point out that my duties and those of the Metropolitan Police are governed by statute, and that the Secretary of State for the Home Department has not the power under the statute of issuing orders for the police force. This circular, if put in force, would practically enable everyone anonymously to attack the police force without in any way permitting the commissioner to correct false statements, which I have been in the habit of doing whenever I found it necessary for three years past. I desire to say that I entirely decline to accept these instructions with regard to the Commissioner of Police, and I have again to place my resignation in the hands of her Majesty's Government. - I am, Sir, your most obedient servant (Signed) CHAS. WARREN." I answered this letter on Nov. 10 in the following terms: "Sir - I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 8th inst. In that letter, after contending that the Secretary of State has not the power, under statute, of issuing orders for the Metropolitan Police, you decline to accept his instructions that the commissioner and all officers of the force should comply with the Home Office minute of May 27, 1879, by which officers attached to the Home Department were enjoined not to publish any work relating to the department without the previous sanction of the Secretary of State, and you place your resignation in the hands of her Majesty's Government. In my judgement the claim thus put forward by you, as Commissioner of Police, to disregard the instructions of the Secretary of State is altogether inadmissible, and accordingly I have only to accept your resignation. At the same time I am glad to acknowledge the services which you have rendered to her Majesty's Government during the course of your administration of the police force." The Government accepted the resignation of Sir Chas. Warren on the ground stated in the correspondence I have read, and on no other ground. The failure of the police to discover recent crimes in the metropolis and the differences of opinion between Sir Chas. Warren and Mr. Monro had nothing to do with the action of the Government in parting with an officer so distinguished and so zealous in the discharge of his office as Sir Charles Warren has been. I wish to add, in justice to Mr. Monro and Mr. Anderson, that since Mr. Monro's resignation he has not interfered in any way with the conduct of the business of the Criminal Investigation Department, nor has he been consulted by myself, or by anyone else to my knowledge, on the subject. The advice which I have sought from Mr. Monro has been confined to the general question of the organisation proper for the department in the abstract, without any reference whatever to the daily current business of the department.
Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM: I should like to ask the right hon. gentleman what the word "again" refers to in Sir Charles Warren's letter. (Hear, hear.) Is this not the first time that Sir Charles Warren's resignation has been placed in the hands of her Majesty's Government?
Mr. MATTHEWS: There have been previous differences occasioning the tendering of his resignation.
Mr. CUNINGHAME GRAHAM: At what time did the former resignation occur? (Hear, hear.)
Mr. MATTHEWS was understood to decline to answer the question.
Mr. LABOUCHERE: What is the precise position of Mr. Monro, who has been consulted?
Mr. MATTHEWS: Mr. Monro holds no office of any kind, and is in no way connected with the Metropolitan police.
Mr. J. STUART: Will the right hon. gentleman lay the correspondence on the table?
Mr. MATTHEWS: If hon. members wish it.
Mr. BRADLAUGH: The documents having been read to the House by a Minister, is he not bound to lay them on the table? (Hear, hear.)
Mr. CONYBEARE; Can the right hon. gentleman inform the House whether the report in the St. James's Gazette tonight that the office has been offered to the hon. member for Central Sheffield (Mr. Howard Vincent) is correct?
Mr. MATTHEWS: The statements which appear on the subject are all of them, as far as I have seen them, without any foundation whatever.
The subject then dropped.
The House went into Committee of Supply on the Civil Service Estimates, Mr. Courtney in the chair.
Upon the vote of £333,525 for the metropolitan police,
Mr. BRADLAUGH moved to reduce the amount by £1,500, on account of the salary of the Chief Commissioner. Although the amendment was necessarily directed against Sir C. Warren, he frankly avowed that his complaints were really levelled against the Home Secretary. Within the past few years a complete change had come over the attitude of the populace of the metropolis towards the police, whom they formerly regarded with something like respect. This change was due to the conduct of the Commissioner who had recently resigned, which conduct, he understood, was endorsed and approved by the Home Secretary.
Mr. MATTHEWS, who was received with Ministerial cheers, alluding to the allegation that the police had assaulted prisoners in custody, reiterated what he had already said, that a magistrate was the proper person to investigate charges of that grave kind, and that if the hon. member brought anything like a prima facie case he would direct the Public Prosecutor to take the matter in hand. (Cheers.) He would not tolerate misconduct such as was complained of, but it must be satisfactorily established before the Home Secretary could take action. With regard to the transactions which led to the lamentable disturbances in Trafalgar-square, he had nothing to retract and nothing to regret. (Opposition cries of "Oh," and Ministerial cheers.) He fully accepted the responsibility of what was done. Nobody deplored more than he did the melancholy incidents which occurred. He observed the growth of the agitation with deep regret, and assured the committee that the steps which were adopted were absolutely demanded by the exigencies of the occasion. (Cheers.) He rejoiced at the admirable sense which the great majority of the inhabitants of the metropolis exhibited, and that they were once more able to enjoy Trafalgar-square with reasonable comfort. (Ironical Opposition cheers.) Very little good would be done by reviving the discussion, and he sincerely hoped that the matter would speedily be allowed to remain at rest. (Cheers.) As to the distribution of voting papers in Marylebone, he had nothing to add to the statements he had previously made on the subject.
Mr. S. MONTAGU regretted the refusal of the Home Secretary to permit a reward to be offered for the detection of the Whitechapel murderer. The people of Whitechapel felt that in a district where poverty and wretchedness prevailed perhaps in a more acute form than anywhere else in England, adequate police protection ought to be afforded. (Hear, hear.) The scare caused by the recent crimes had terribly reduced trade.
Mr. LAWSON demanded from the Home Secretary some declaration as to the future organisation of the metropolitan police, especially in view of the resignation of Sir Charles Warren. (Hear, hear.) Londoners earnestly desired it should be a civilian force under a civilian head. (Hear, hear.) They believed that during the last few years it had been systematically demoralised by its administration, and that the military idea had been the one dominant principle, much to the detriment of the force and to the danger of social order in the metropolis. The people were especially apprehensive as to the future, seeing that under the Local Government Act they were denied all voice in the management and control of the police. He quoted opinions against a militarising policy. He implored the Home Secretary to appoint as the successor of Sir Charles Warren a man in whom the public would have confidence - a man who would do his best to secure popular sympathy by arresting mischievous tendencies. If a soldier of the same type as Sir Charles Warren were selected, a fatal error would be committed. (Cheers.) He recommended him to try a man who had won his spurs in one of the great towns under municipal control. In any case, much depended on his choice.
Mr. FIRTH echoed the sentiments of the last speaker.
Mr. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM rose to continue the discussion, which at midnight, by the rules of the House, stood adjourned.
MARYLEBONE. - WHITECHAPEL MANIA. - A very painful scene occurred in court on the hearing of a charge against Philip Gad Cornish, 23, a schoolmaster of Ratling Hope School, Pontesbury, near Shrewsbury, Salop, who was said to be a lunatic wandering at large. Before being brought into the court the poor fellow was heard shouting and kicking violently at the door. When brought in by two officers both his hands were tightly pressed on the top of his head, his eyes were glaring, and he generally presented a very disturbing appearance. - Police-constable 192 F stated that he found the man in Praed-street, about five o'clock on Monday, evidently mad, and arrested him. There was a companion with Cornish. The officer's evidence was frequently interrupted by the violent behaviour of Cornish, who shouted out at the top of his voice, threw himself about and stamped with his foot, and demanded that the witness, who was, he said, the son of perdition, should be made to tell the truth. - The young man who had accompanied the prisoner said he was a blacksmith. On Monday morning Cornish asked him to accompany him from Ratling Hope to London, as he had been appointed to come up and catch "Jack the Ripper," the perpetrator of the Whitechapel murders, for which he was to receive a large sum of money. The witness thought it was all right, so he left his work and accompanied the schoolmaster, and they arrived in London in the afternoon. He thought Cornish was all right when they started, but he saw a change come over him while on the journey. - Mr. de Rutzen directed that the sufferer should be taken to the workhouse in a cab.
WESTMINSTER. - FALSE ALARM. - Fanny Phillips, 42, was brought before Mr. D'Eyncourt for being drunk and disorderly at Carey-street, Vincent-square, Westminster. - Constable 64 A deposed that at one o'clock yesterday morning he heard loud screams in a woman's voice of "Murder" and "Jack the Ripper has got hold of me." He rushed across Vincent-square, which at that time was deserted, and found that the prisoner was screaming, and knocking at the door of a house where she had formerly lived. Great excitement was caused in the locality. - Mr. D'Eyncourt sent her to prison for four days.
CLERKENWELL. - A WARNING. - John Avery, aged 43, a ticket writer, of Southwick House, Vicarage-road, Willesden, was brought up for being drunk and disorderly in York-road the previous night. - John Carvell, a private in the 11th Hussars, said that on Monday night he was standing at the corner of York-road, Islington, when the prisoner came up to him, caught hold of him, and said, "I'm Jack the Ripper: I'll show you how I do all the lot." Witness told him to go away and not to talk nonsense, but Avery, who was intoxicated, followed him and threw his right arm round his neck. A scuffle ensued, and witness's nose was scratched. He shook off the prisoner, who said, "Come and have a glass of beer and I will tell you a secret, and you can make some money." They accordingly went into the Duke of York public house, Caledonian-street, and there, in the bar, Avery repeated two or three times that he was "Jack the Ripper." Witness then thought it best to give him into custody, and accordingly dragged him outside and gave him in charge of a police officer who was on duty near by. Mr. Bros (to the accused): You have done an exceedingly foolish and wicked thing. I shall send all persons who are brought before me for acting as you have done to prison without the option of a fine. You will be imprisoned for fourteen days, with hard labour. - The Prisoner. Do not send me to prison; it will ruin me. Cannot you fine me? - Mr. Bros: No, I will not; you must go to prison. - Avery was removed to the cells. -
John Brinckley, 40, a porter, of Wilmington-place, Clerkenwell, was charged before Mr. Bros with being drunk and disorderly in Goswell-road late the previous night. - Police-constable 192 G proved seeing the prisoner drunk in Goswell-road, with a woman's skirt on over his other clothes. There were several persons round him, and he cried out, "I'm Jack the Ripper! I'm going down the City-road tonight, and I'll do another there." The constable took him into custody. - Brinckley, in defence, stated that he did not remember putting on the skirt; some one must have put it on him for a lark. All he said was that he would "try and find Jack the Ripper." - The gaoler said he knew the prisoner to be a hardworking man, but he often acted foolishly, and had on more than one occasion been fined at this court. - Mr. Bros: You were not only drunk, but you played the fool under circumstances which might lead to serious mischief. There is a great deal of public excitement just now about a particular matter, and I will send you to prison for fourteen days. - The prisoner begged for a fine to be imposed, but the magistrate peremptorily refused, and Brinckley was removed to the cells.
TRAFALGAR-SQUARE ANNIVERSARY. - About 5,000 persons assembled on Clerkenwell-green last night "in celebration of the anniversary of Bloody Sunday." Several bands were present, and the contingents from various Democratic, Socialist, and Radical clubs carried flags and banners. A resolution was carried at all the platforms calling for the release of George Harrison, for the freedom of meetings in Trafalgar-square, and for the dismissal of Mr. Matthews, the Home Secretary.
EXECUTION AT NEWGATE. - Levi Richard Bartlett was hanged at Newgate at eight o'clock yesterday morning, for the murder of his wife at Poplar in August last. Berry was the executioner. Death was instantaneous. Several hundred persons gathered outside the gaol to witness the hoisting of the black flag.
In the House of Commons, Mr. Pritchard Morgan (Gladstonian) took the oath and his seat for Merthyr Tydfil in succession to the late Mr. Henry Richard. Mr. Goschen stated that there was no intention on the part of the Government to withdraw their proposal for imposing a van and wheel tax. The Home Secretary explained that the sole ground on which Sir Charles Warren had tendered and the Government had accepted his resignation as Commissioner of Police, was that he declined to be subject to the instructions of the Secretary of State in regard to the publication in the press of any matter relating to the department. In reply to a question, the right hon. gentleman admitted that there had been previous occasions when, in consequence of differences, Sir Charles Warren had tendered his resignation. In Committee of Supply Mr. Jennings, supported by Lord Randolph Churchill, Mr. Henry Fowler, Mr. Labouchere, and others, moved the reduction of the vote for salaries and expenses of the Supreme Court of Judicature by way of protest against the extravagant sums paid to the holders of sinecures and underworked officials connected with the administration of the law. On a division the reduction was negatived by 148 votes to 129 - majority for the Government, 19. Subsequently there was a long discussion on the Police vote, which was ultimately adjourned till today.
Two men were brought before Mr. Bros at the Clerkenwell Police-court yesterday, charged with being drunk and disorderly, and the evidence disclosing that they had been proclaiming themselves to be "Jack the Ripper," the magistrate sentenced each of them to fourteen days' imprisonment, without the option of a fine.
SIR CHARLES WARREN'S resignation of the post of Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police has naturally created a desire on the part of the public to be informed of the precise reasons which led to such a step being taken. Curiosity on this point is now set at rest by the definite statements made last night by the Home Secretary in Parliament. Mr. MATTHEWS, "in order to avoid misunderstanding," read aloud to the House the correspondence which has recently passed between himself and the Chief Commissioner, and it will be seen from it how the opinions of the Home Secretary and of Sir CHARLES clashed on a most important and, indeed, a vital question of police administration. The immediate cause of dispute was the publication in a magazine of an article written by the Head of the Police, in which the management and discipline of the force were discussed at length. Such a publication was directly contrary to a minute which had been issued to the Police Force in 1879 by the Secretary of State of that time, and which Mr. MATTHEWS again quoted in the letter he recently addressed to Sir CHARLES WARREN. The practice, said the minute, of officers of the Police Force making communications to the press relating to their department was one which would lead to embarrassment, and must, in the opinion of the Home Secretary, be discontinued; no such communication was to be made unless sanctioned by the Secretary of State. This, it must be remembered, was no ukase issued by Mr. MATTHEWS simply in order to punish Sir CHARLES WARREN for being indiscreet enough to air his sentiments in print; it was a kind of police bye-law which was in force long before Mr. MATTHEWS ascended the seat formerly occupied by Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT; and Sir CHARLES WARREN, as the head of all the officers of the Police Force, was especially bound not to contravene its terms. Such, we believe, will be the opinion of every person qualified to judge of the matter; and we must allow that Mr. MATTHEWS was acting quite within his right when he reminded Sir CHARLES WARREN of the rule, and told him that it was intended to apply to every police official, from the Chief Commissioner downwards. At the same time the letter which Mr. MATTHEWS caused to be addressed to Sir CHARLES was, to say the least of it, a trifle brusque; it reveals very plainly what was the character of the relations which existed between these two high public functionaries, to the obvious detriment of the community they both served. If previous divergences of view, even quarrels, had occurred, it was all the more needful for the Home Secretary, in reminding the Chief Commissioner of a duty which he had forgotten, to put the disagreeable truth in as pleasant a form as possible. Mr. MATTHEWS, however, chose to administer the pill without the smallest suspicion of gilding attached to it, and the natural result was that the patient winced. Sir CHARLES WARREN wrote back on the same day to say that, had he known that such a rule - the rule of not communicating police matters to the press - had been in force, he would never have accepted the post of Chief Commissioner; that he had been in the habit of correcting misstatements made against the police for three years past, and he held it extremely necessary that somebody in authority should be able to do so on occasion. So far there is not much exception to be taken to Sir CHARLES'S letter, although he omits to take into account the obvious answer, that he could always have asked and obtained the permission of the Home Secretary to publish anything that he thought advisable. The Chief Commissioner, however, goes on to make the rather startling observation: "I have to point out that the Metropolitan Police are governed by statute, and the Secretary of State for the Home Department has no power to issue orders to the Police Forces." In conclusion, he "declines to accept these instructions," and "again" places his resignation in the hands of the Government. Mr. MATTHEWS was questioned in the House as to the signification of the word "again," and replied that "there had been previous differences which had caused Sir C. WARREN to tender his resignation." It is certainly high time that the official jars and wranglings which have disorganised the Police Force and imperilled the public safety should cease, but the resignation of a single and practically a subordinate official is so one-sided a remedy that Mr. MATTHEWS should imitate Sir CHARLES WARREN'S example, and himself retire from an uncongenial sphere of duty.
Above and apart from all the personal questions raised by the correspondence read yesterday, there is the more important point as to whether the views of the Home Secretary or of the Chief Commissioner are correct. Was Sir CHARLES WARREN justified in declining to obey instructions issued by a previous occupant of Mr. MATTHEWS' office, and reiterated by that gentleman? The letter in which he expresses his inability to obey those orders has a look of insubordination about it; but then, if Sir CHARLES WARREN'S contention is right, there can be no insubordination, just because there was no power to promulgate the orders in the first place. In other words, Sir CHARLES believes the Home Secretary to be acting "ultra vires" in presuming to dictate to the Police Force at all. This, as we have said, is a very grave and a very startling proposition to lay down. It has always been accepted hitherto that the Home Secretary has a paramount control over the whole Police Force. All large expenditure incurred on behalf of the force, all matters of promotion, and so on, have to come before the Home Secretary for his ratification. The useful "Police Code," drawn up by Mr. HOWARD VINCENT when he was Chief of the Detective Department, puts plainly what has been generally believed to be the case - that "the Metropolitan Police Force is under the direct control of the Secretary of State for the Home Department." Of course everybody will at once admit that for all ordinary purposes and on all but special emergencies the police of the Metropolis should be directed by the Chief Commissioner, to whom each constable should look as his chief. There may, however, and often do, arise occasions on which it is highly important that the Cabinet, acting through the Home Secretary, should be able to turn police energy or vigilance in some particular direction which is considered essential to public safety. It is impossible, therefore, to uphold Sir CHARLES WARREN'S view that, because he is appointed by statute, the Home Secretary can exercise no jurisdiction over him. The fact that any such proposition should have been seriously enunciated only shows once more the advisability of the Chief Commissioner having a certain amount of legal training and knowledge to fit him for his office. If there still remain any uncertainty as to the ultimate supremacy of the Secretary of State for the Home Department over the doings of the Metropolitan Police, then the matter should be set right at once by an explanatory statute. Sir CHARLES WARREN may be of opinion that, in his capacity as a magistrate for the Metropolitan Counties, he is amenable to the Lord Chancellor, and not to the Home Secretary; but we believe that, as a matter of fact, he is accountable to both, and the effective right of control of the collective Cabinet over future Chief Commissioners should not be left in doubt, if any doubt really exists. Mr. MATTHEWS, in accepting the resignation of the Chief Commissioner, acknowledged rather coldly the services rendered by Sir CHARLES to the Government, and at the same time declared that the claim to disregard the instructions of the Secretary of State was "altogether inadmissible."
There should, we repeat, be no mistake or possibility of mistake as to what the exact position at present is as regards the powers and responsibilities respectively of two such high public functionaries as our Home Secretary and the head of the Police Force in the capital of the Empire. When, however, that point is settled, there would remain to be considered whether our existing arrangements are what they should be; whether the maximum of police efficiency is secured with the least amount of public friction. There may very easily exist two opposite opinions as to what is ideally the best kind of government for a police army. Some will urge, with plausibility, that to give the Chief Commissioner nominal chief control while making him really subordinate to the Home Secretary is to lessen his sense of responsibility by diminishing his power. At best, it may be said, this system establishes a dual control over a force which by its nature and its duties calls emphatically for a single head to which it can look up, and which it can implicitly obey. If policemen, when they read an order of the Commissioner, say to themselves, "The Home Secretary very likely thinks differently," the discipline of the force may be expected to suffer. On the other hand, it can be argued that the force of orders issued by the chief of a department is not destroyed just because the chief is himself ultimately answerable to some higher authority. Take our railway system, for example. The traffic manager acts as a person capable of giving orders which must be rigidly obeyed, and which are not disputed; but he is himself under the control of the Board of Directors. A general in the field, in the same way, must render an account to the War Minister and the Ministry that send him out; but his instructions are none the less binding on his staff. As regards the management of our Police Force, we believe that the Chief Commissioner should be carefully chosen, and when chosen he should be interfered with as little as possible. It should only be in cases of emergency that he should be liable to be overridden; but the principle of the authority of the Home Secretary should never be lost sight of, and, even if he only interferes on rare occasions, his intervention, when it occurs, should carry with it immediate recognition. A corollary of this proposition is that the Home Secretary should himself be able to give his orders in a manner not sure to exasperate any Commissioner with a grain of self-respect in his composition, and this is unfortunately what Mr. MATTHEWS has altogether failed to accomplish.
No successor to Sir Charles Warren has yet been definitely selected, but it is understood that the Government favour the appointment of a civilian to the office of First Commissioner; and it is sought to secure for the position some one who has had experience in the class of work specially devolving upon the police. The names of several gentlemen holding important posts in that connection in the counties and larger provincial towns have been brought prominently to the attention of the authorities, and the choice of the Home Office is likely to fall upon either Mr. Malcolm Wood, Chief Constable of Manchester, or the Chief of the Birmingham Police. The representatives of Lancashire, irrespective of party, support Mr. Wood. Yesterday that gentleman was summoned to town, and it is expected that he will be appointed to the First Commissionership in the course of the next few days.
[BY SPECIAL WIRE.]
[FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.]
This afternoon Paris was enshrined in a semi-autumnal setting. Dawdlers on the Boulevards were numerous, and spent much time gazing in the windows of photographers and jewellers, or scanning the naughty numbers of the Vie Parisienne which were temptingly displayed in the kiosques of newspaper vendors. The smell of blood was still, however, in the air, and wherever you turned the talk was almost sure to be about Murder. With the accumulated horrors of the trials of Prado and Chambige, and the renewed rumours respecting the mysterious murderer of M. BarrÍme, comes the latest "Whitechapel atrocity," which is discussed as keenly by Parisians as if it had happened on the Boulevards. Jack the Ripper looms in the imagination as a more fearful scourge of humanity than Cardillac, the secret assassin in Hoffmann's tale, and the new "Mysteries of Paris" are beginning to pale before those of London.
[TELEGRAM FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.]
The Vienna newspapers reproduce, almost in extenso, The Daily Telegraph's account of the "Whitechapel murder." That atrocious crime has made a profound sensation in Vienna, but there can be no doubt that had such a series of crimes been perpetuated in this country without detection the highest officials of State would have been called to account. The announcement that bloodhounds would be used on the next occasion to track the assassin has excited considerable interest in Austria, where the opinion amongst fanciers is that the experiment would probably prove successful.