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STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE. SPECIAL MEETING. DISMISSAL OF THE CHIEF CONSTABLE. A special meeting of the Cardiganshire joint police committee was held at the Town Hall, Lampeter, on Thursday, when the following gentlemen were j present:—Mr John James, chairman, Mr Peter Jones, Mr C. M. Williams, and Mr D. C. Roberts, Aberystwyth, Mr J. T. Morgan, Maesnewydd, Mr J. W. Willis Band, Mr T. H. Maddy, Dolaeron, Major Price Lewes, Tyglyn Aeron, Mr J. T. Morgan, Nantceirio, the Rev J. M. Griffiths, Llanfihangel I Geneu'rglyn, Mr John Fowden, Lampeter, the Rev John Williams, Cardigan, Mr David Griffiths, Penlan, Dr John Rowland, Llanddewi Brefi, Mr J. M. Howell, Aberayron, Mr J. E. Regers, Abermeurig, Dr Enoch Davies, Llandyssul, Mr Morgan Evans, Oakford, Colonel H. Davies-Evans, Highmead, Mr Arthur Jones, Penrallt, the Rev John Owens, Blacn- pennal, Mr H. C. Fryer, clerk, and Major C. Bassett Lewis, chief constable. Two of the members apppoietcd by the court of quarter sessions—Mr Charles Lloyd, Waunifor, and Mr J. W. Szlumper— and Mr Thomas, Blaenporth, appointed by the council, were absent. THE CHIEF CONSTABLE. The hour fixed for the meeting was eleven o'clock, and at a quarter past eleven Major Price Lewes asked the Chairman if they could not proceed with the business of the meeting. The Chairman then asked the police constable who had charge of the room to call in the members that were outside, and they then came in in strong force. The Chairman said that the first business of the meeting was to consider the following resolution — "That Major Bassett Lewis be dismissed from the office of chief constable of the county at the expira. tion of the next ensuing quarter of his engagement, and that a notice required for that purpose be given to him forthwith." Mr Willis Bund said that before they proceeded with that matter, he had a question to ask as to a point of order. The requisition for the special I meeting was dated the 31st of January, and he wished to ask why it was that notice was not sent out until the lltli of February ? The result was that certainly one member—he believed more—of that committee was unable to attend that day and, in addition to that, others had been put to great inconvenience. If that requisition was sent to the Chairman on the 31st of January why should it be kept up the sleeve until the 10th of February, and notice not given before. Mr D. C. Roberts said that the requisition was handed to the chairman of the committee on Friday, the 7th of February. Mr Willis Bund said he could not see why it had been kept back. Nor he could not see why that special nn.-ting had been called. Mr D. C. Roberts said he was sorry that Mr Bund could not see any reason for it. He did not think it was necessary fo; him to give him any light. He expressed his own opinion. Mr Willis Bund said he thought it had been kept back until a definite day that would suit certain members had been arranged. Mr Peter Jones said a question had been asked, and a reply had been given, and if it was intended by Mr Willis Bund to comment upon the answer given, he thought it would be only right that he should move a motion. Mr Willis Bund said he accepted his own explana- tion. Mr D. C. Roberts said that he could take any explanation he understood. Mr Willis Buud said he had asked a question, and it had not been contradicted. The question he asked was if that meeting had been legally summoned, He then read standing order No 2, as follows Special meetings of the committee may be summoned by the chairman, or on his refusal by the clerk, after requisi- tion by five members of the committee, for any day or hour after given due notice." that meeting had not been summoned by the chairman. As they were going to dismiss a county official at that meeting, he would ask the chairman for his ruling as to whetner the meeting had been legally summoned or not. That meeting had been summoned by the clerk, and the standing orders held thaif it should be sum- moned by the chairman, and upon his refusual by the clerk, but the chairman had not refused in that case. The Clerk said he placed his own name to that sum- mons, being gaided by rule three of the standing orders, which rule said—" Seven clear days at least before any meeting of the committee a summons to attend the meeting, specifying the business proposed to be transacted thereat, and signed by the clerk of committee, shall be left or delivered at the usual place of abode of every member of the committee and therefore he considered that it was eonvened by the chairman as convener, although his name appeared to the summons. He explained that he had consulted the chairman about the matter. He thought that that standing order made it necessary, I whether it was for a special meeting or for a general meeting, that the summons should be signed by the clerk. Mr Willis Bund said that was not the case accord- ing to rule two. The Clerk you must read it with rule three. Mr Willis Bund said that it was a request to the chairman and therefore the clerk had no power to sign it The Clerk said it was convened by the chairman, though he signed the summons. Mr Willis Bund said that he did not exactly know the meaning of the word conversed.. It was not very clear. The Clerk To my mind it is very clear. Mr Willis Bund (to the Chairman) I ask for your ruling ? ii' Mr Pet3r Jones said that under rule two let meet- ing could be summoned by the chairman He understood from the statement made by Mr Fryer that he consulted the chairman, and re- ceived instructions from him to convene the I meeting. If they would read rule two with rule three they would find it quite clear. He thought they would find that what Mr Fryer had done was according to the instructions received from the chairman. Taking one rule with the other he thought it was a complete answer to the objection made by Mr Willis Bund. Mr Bund: I ask for the ruling of the chairman ? The Chairman said he considered that what the clerk had done was quite in order, and he should say that it was only quibbling, and that there was nothing in it. Mr Willis Bund: I asked for your ruling, so don't insult me in that way by saying that I am quibbling (laughter). The Chairman, said that the requisition was signed by live, and had been delivered in due time, and he thought himself that there was nothing in the ob- jection, and that they were only wasting time. Mr Willis Bund Give me your ruling? The Chairman My ruling is, that it is in order. Mr Willis Bund said that he had another point to ask him. He said that according to the requisition that meeting had been called to consider the advisa- bility of discharging the chief constable, and of ap- pointing a successor to him, and to pass resolutions thereon, which was signed by the necessary number of gentlemen. However, the notice of the meeting was not signed by those gentlemen who made the re- quisition to have a meeting called. It also did not state the distinct purposes contained in the requisi- tion, and therefore he submitted that it was illegal. The Chairman What is your authority? Mr Willis Bund: My authority for stating it is rule two. Having read the rule, he proceeded to say thd; the requisition, which had been signed by the ]>coper number of members distinctly stated that the meeting was to be called for the purpose of dismiss- ing the chief constable and appointing a successor whereas the two resolutions on tiio agenda were quito different. There were two different resolutions on the agenda, arid he wanted to know what authority they had to alter the requisition and put. in another resolution. The Chairman Did you say that resolution num- ber two was not included in the requisition ? Mr Willis Bund I say that neither is included. Mr D. C. Roberts said that in reference to what Mr Willis Bund had said, he would like to ask him a question whether the matter included in the requisi- tion was not included in resolution No. 1, to consider the advisability of dismissing the chief constable ? Mr Willis Band No, certainly not. Mr D. C. Roberts: I think I have a right to speak. j>Ir V\ illis Bund You have asked me a question, and 1 li&ve Hl1"wered you. J;P' ^?.^e.rtsT; Have you finished ? Mr Willis Bund Yes. Mr Roberts said that according to the standing- orders tne chairman mmself had the right to call the meeting, and it was quite clear that the matter con- taiued in the two resolutions, he thought, was included in the requisition. He asked the chairman for his ruling. Mr Peter Jones having remarked that in his opinion the resolutions were in accordance with the resolu- tion, The Chairman said that he did not think that there was anything in it, and ruled that it was perfectly ill order. Mr Willis Bund said there was another point. He presumed that the powers of that committee in the way of dismissing or appointing a chief constable would be the same as those that were held by the | court of quarter sessions. He then read the follow- ing from 2 and 3 Victoria, cap. 3, That every chief constable so to be appointed may hold his office until dismissed by the justices in general or quarter sessions assembled, or at any adjournment thereof." That was the case before the Local Government Act of 1888 was passed, and he thought that would hold good then. The justices in quarter sessions assembled had the power of dismissing or appointing, at any general meeting or an adjourned meeting, but they had not the power to do so at any special meeting. Therefore he thought that as that was a special meeting they could not dismiss him, and if they did he considered that it would be illegal. He would not ask for the chairman's ruling on that point because he considered that it was very clear. The Act of Parliament held that he could be dismissed at quarter sessions or general sessions. It could not be done at any special sessions, but it could be done at an adjourned meeting, because everyone would know of it. He concluded by remarking that he considered that the passing of that resolution that day was illegal. Mr Peter Jones said he quite agreed with Mr Willis Bund as to the powers that were vested in the court of quarter sessions as to appointment and dismissal of the chief constable. The section he had just ivad partained no doubt to the dismissal of the chief con- stable or the appointment of a successor, but they must bear in mind that. the Local Government vet transferred certain powers to that committee in con- nection with those powers which emboided certain schedules, and they would find in schedule two of the Municipal Corporations Act, which was embodied in the Local Government Act of 1888, that the quarterly meeting's of the committee should be held at noon, and so on,and that also invested in them certain powers for the convening of those meetings. It also said that the Clerk should three clear days before the date of the meeting, send a notice of such meeting to each of the members, which notice must be registered. There was also a clause as to the calling of special meetings, and also drawing up standing orders. Certain stand- ing orders had been drawn up by that committee, and those orders were in force, and he thought that the resolutions on the agenda that day were in accord- ance with thosi; standing orders. The standing joint committee was appointed under the Local Govern- ment Act of 1838, and tllO"e orders were embodied in the schedules, and he was of opinion that they were acting within their rights by taking those steps. The Chairman Has anybody else something to say on the matter ? Mr Peter Jones We will now take your ruling. The Chairman He does not ask for my ruling on this point. Mr Willis Bund Well, I will take your ruling. ihe Chairman: I rule it quite in order. I am satisfied after hearing wnat has been read. Mr Willis Bund said he would quote the section, but he supposed that it was quite immaterial after the chairman's ruling. Mr Peter Jones said that he considered that remark of Mr Bund's an insult to the chair, and thought after that it was perfectly needless to have the section read. Mr Willis Bund said that he was much obliged to Mr Jones for his kindness, and felt grateful to him. He only thought it was right. Being a lawyer him- self, he did not like anything like sharp practice. He thought that the Act quoted by Mr Jones had nothing to do with it. He did not wish to be unfair to the chairman, but as the chairman was a layman he thought it was fair to make such a remark, out if he had been a legal gentleman he certainly should not have done so. It was only fair to the chairman that he should call his attention to it, He conclude by remarking that he was much obliged to Mr Jones for his lesson. Mr Peter Jones said that the ruling of the chair- man had b ;en tnroughout in accordance with the standing orders, so that the remarks made by Mr Willis uini were quite saperfluou. He quite re- ciprocated tne kindly reference of Mr Willis Baud. They—the democratic section—had evidently been taught a lesson ur two in seemly behaviour, and certainly public officials had set them an excellent example. He trusted that their section would not take those lessons to heart He thought they should deduce the moral, but not follow the example. The Chairman said they would then take the resolutions, Mr Willis Bund I want your ruling. The Chairman: I thought you did not want my ruling on this section. Mr Bund I will take it. Mr C. M. Williams He distinctly said that he did not want the Chairman's ruling on that section. The R.iv J. M. Griffiths He did not say so. Mr C. M. Williams He distinctly said so. The Rev J. M. Griffiths Perhaps he thought it was quite clear. j Mr Willis Bund But I want it now. Me C. M. Williams: So he has changed his mind entirely. The Chairman My ruling is that we are in order. He did not think it would lead to anything except delay. Mr C. M. Williams: I suppose it is something like legal quibbling. The Chairman said that before they would proceed with the resolution he would read a letter from Mr 3/dumper, which was as follows :— 10, Victoria-terrace, Westminster, Loudon, S.W., "February 19th, 1890. My dear Sir,—I regret that a previous important appointment will prevent my attendance at the standing joint committee to-morrow. I do think it is quite unnecessary to have special meetings, l'he ordinary meetings are fixed, and any member can ma m his arrangements accordingly, but it is impos- sitlle at all times to attend special meetings, and I do think I have just cause of complaint at the short notice given of to-morrow's special meeting, for had a longer notice been given I could have arranged to attend. I regret this, and shall be glad if you will inform the committee of these my reasons for my absence to-morrow." The Chairman also read the following letter from Mr Thorn-is Thomas, Pias, Aberporth. Sir,—I very much regrot my inability, owing to severe indisposi- tion, to attend the very important meeting to be held at Lampeter this day. Having been confined to my bedroom since last Tuesday week, I dare not under- take the risk of driving such a long distance in this cold weather. Apologising for my inability to attend, 1 beg to remain, yours respectfully, THOMAS r THOMAS." The Chairman then remarked that they would pro- ceed with the resolutions. Mr D. C. Rob..rts said that after those objections they would proceed to the business for which th" meeting had been called. In accordance with the notice that they had on the agenda he begged to move this resolution: That Mayor Bassett Lewis be dismissed from the office of chief constable of the county at the expiration of the next ensuing quarter of his engagement, and that any notice required f ,1' tii it purpose be given to him forthwith." He thought it was quite unnecessary that he should take up their time in moving that resolution. Since that committee had come into existence it had beeofelt by the members, especially the members appointed by the council, that it was impossible t < work harmoniously with tne chief constable. He did not care who they were, whether appointed by the court of quarter sessions or appointed by the county council, and he believed that all must have felt that it was quite impossible for them to work harmoniously. And it was on those grounds that he moved tint resolution. Finding that it was impossible for them to carry out the antics that they had been called upon to do, he begged to move the resolution. Perhaps it would only be right that he should explain why the meeting had been called for that morning. Mr Willis Band Hear, hear. Mr Roberts Thaukyou. Continuing, lie said that perhaps it was only due to them thai he should explain it. At the last meeting he moved a resolu- tion similar to the one that he had just proposed, but finding that that was out of order, he gave notice that he would bring the matter forward at tho next meeting. That was the next meeting, gentlemen. Since that time he had fully considered the matter, and made up his mind to move that resolution, and the sooner it was taken in hand the better. He also thought that it was only right and just to the chief constable that they should give him a quarttr's notice, and if they allowed the matter to run until the Apiil meeting notice could not be given until the end of September. He did not see anything to gain by leading it until then, and having the business conducted in the same otd way, and therefore he thought it only right to have a meeting that day. If that resolution was carried he intended moving No 2 on the agenda, and then in April they would be in a position to move the appointmeat of a successor. With those remarks ho begged to move the resolu- tion. Mr Morgan Evans begged to second the motion. In doing so he thought it would be well to say a few words. Personally he had nothing against the chief constable, but lie quite disagreed with the v. ay that he had seen things managed in the county, and h) was quite tired of the wrangling that had been carried 011 between the committee aud the chief constable (hear hear.) He thought it was high time that the committee and the chief constable should cone to some clear understanding.' He had this objection to the way the chief constable had been managing public business. He thought he had been confining himself more to the officials than to the public. He had a case in point. There was a depute between himself personally and a certain ♦ui1 i.' j-ro,m t^la^ town, and he would say plainly tnat ne had refused him upon application the infor- mation required by him (the speaker.) The conse- quence of it was very well known, and there was no getting at all at anything like an explanation. The bailiff had applied to the chief constable for a police force without consulting him or asking his version of the question, but applied to the chairman of the court of Qiarter Sessions for an order. He thought it was only right that the chief constable should come out as much as that from the official circle, and have answered him the questions asked. He did not make those remarks as a personal matter but as to the general way things had been carried on in the county. If things were allowed to take the same coarse very long the result would bring the country into such a st'1te that it would be impos- sible to carry on business in a quiet manner. He blamed the chief constable for the way he had carried on the business. Mr Willis Bund said that he thought it would be only right to explain one matter. They were as certain as could be quite out of order. The pro- ceedings that day were qnite illegal. He then read the following quotations from section 78 All enact- ments in any act, whether general or local and per- sonal, relating to any business, powers, duties, or liabilities transferred by or in pursuance of this act from any authority to a county council, either alone or jointly with the quarter sessions, or to any joint committee, shall, subject to the provision of this act and so far as circumstances admit, be construed as if— Whereunder any such enactment as in this section m nt:oned, any powers, duties or liabilities are to be ex "cised or discharged after any present- ment or in any particular manner or at any par- ticular meeting, or subject to any other conditions, the County Council may, by the standing orders for the regulat on of their proceedings, provide for the exercise and discharge of those powers, duties and liabilities without any such prior presentment or in a different manner, or at any meeting of the council fixed by the standing orders, or without such other conditions; and until such standing orders take effect, shall exercise and discharge them in the like manner and at the like time, and subject to the like conditions so nearly as circumstances admit." The fourth section of the act that he had read to them rovided that he cannot be dismissed only on those sppcified occasions, and there was nothing in the act or in the schedule that extended to them such powers and if that was passed it would be per- fectly illegal, and if the committee made up their minds to disregard the act of parliament it would be done at the expense of the ratepayers. A good deai might be said on the act, which no doubt would be said at thejpropertitno, upon the dismissal of the chief constable. The opinion of a court would have to be tiken as to how far the procoedings of that day were legal. The Chairman asked if any other gentlemen wished to speak on 'the motion, and finding no re- sponse put the motion to the meeting, when eleven voted for and ten against, and he therefore declared the motion carried. Mr Willis Bund said he would propose that the names for and against should be taken down, which proposition was under rule 23. The Chairman was about to proceed with the next notice on the agenda, when Mr D. C. Roberts said that he had not taken the nam's of those for and against the motion. Mr 0. M. Williams Bat Mr Willis Band had no supporter. Mr Roberts Never mind I will support him. The.Chairman then took the names. The following were recorded in favour of the motion: Mr John James, Mr D. C. Roberts, Mr C. M. Williams, Mr Peter Jones, Mr J. T. Mirgan, Maesnewydi, Mr Morgan Evans, the Rev John Owen, Mr David Griffiths, the Kev John Williams, Cardigan, Dr Enoch Davies, and Mr J. M. Howeii and the following against: Mr Willis Bund, Colonel Davies-Evan's, Mr J. T. Morgan, Nantceirio, Mr r. H. Maddy, th; Rev J. M. Griffiths, Mi- J. Fowden, Dr John Rowlaud, Mr J. E. Rogers, Mr A. Jones and VIdjor Price-Lowes. THE SUCCESSOR. The Chairman said that the next matter was to consider tne following motion, which had also been placed oil the agenda by Mr Roberts "That a com- mittee be appointed to take into consideration the best method of filli.,g up the impending vacancy in the office of chief constable of the county, the remuneration to be attached to the office, and other matters connected therewith, aud toreportithereon at the next m> eting." Mr Roberts, in moving the resolution, said he thought it would be well before the new appointment was mad ft that a committee should be appointed to consider the matter, and that they might consider thoroughly the various matters connected with it. Mr J. M Howell briefly seconded the motion. A vote w is then taken, and the result was the same as in the previous division, the Radicals having a majority of one. THE COMMITTEE.—A LITTLE DIFFICUTY. Mr D. C. Roberts then proposed that Colonel H. Davias-Evans, the Rev J. M Griffiths, nnd Mr Charles Lloyd, Waunifor, should be on the committee. Colonel Davies-Evans I bag to decline to act on the committee. Mr Roberts I will name the gentleman, and they can decline if they so desire afterwards. 'ihe Rev J. M. Griffiths: I don't think I can accept it. I would sooner decline, because I think that the proceedings are illegal. accept it. I would sooner decline, because I think that the proceedings are illegal. Mr Roberts I will also name Mr C. M. Williams, Mr Peter Jones and Dr En > :h Davies. Mr Morgan Evans I beg to propose that Mr D. C. Roberts be on the committee. Dr Davies seconded Mr Morgan Evans's proposi- tion. The Chairman: That will make seven, but Colonel Evans says he will not act. Mr Roberts said that he was informed that Dr Davies could not attend, and therefore he would name Mr J. M. Howell in his stead. The Chairman (to Col. Evans) Am I to understand that you decline ? Colonel Davies-Evans Yes. I beg to decline, sir. The Rev. J. M. Griffiths: I beg to decline too (laughter). The Chairman Then you have only five now. Mr Peter Jones said he thooght inadvisable that they should have one eminent legal gentleman upon the committee, and therefore he proposed Mr Willis Bund (laughter). Mr Willis Band I must decline to have anything to do with an illegal matter, even on the invitation of Mr Peter Jones. The Chairman asked if anyone wished to propose another. Mr C. M. Williams I beg to propose Mr J. T. Morgan. Dr Davies seconded. Mr J. T. Morgan, Nantsoirlo What Mr Morgan ? Mr C. M. Williams. Oh, Nantceirio, of course (laughter). Mr Morgan said that it had been explained by Mr Willis Bund tiiat the proceeding's were illegal, and he would have nothing to do" with any illegal matter. Mr 0. M. Williams I presume that the committee will have no doubt whatever as to the illegality after that statement from such an authority as Mr J. T. Morgan, and that his legal knowledge is such that no one. I suppose, would venture to dispute (laughter). The Chairman The committee have nothing to do with the legality of the matter. 0 Mr J. T. Morgan Perhaps so, but I decline to have anything to do in any illegal thing. Mr D. C. Roberts then asked the chairman to put the names of those five gentlemen, viz., Mr Peter Jones, Mr C. M. Williams, Mr D. C. Roberts, Mr J. M. Howell, and Mr Charles Lloyd, to the meeting. Major Price Lewis suggested that they should put the eleven that voted for it on the committee. Mr C. M. Williams thought that a rather extraordinary course, when they said it was iilporn.l. Mijor Price Lewes I think that it is all fours with the others. Mr C. M. Williams proposed that the name o Mr J. T. Morgan, Maesnswvdd, should also be added. The names of those six gcnllat-nen were then puL. to the meeting and carried. COSTS. The Clerk asked the committee for their permission to pay the costs, which had been ordered by the court of quarter sessions to be paid out of the ounty fund, in the recent licensing appeals. After some remarks it was decided that the clerk should tell the solicitors that the money would ba paid after the next meeting. It transpired during the discussion that exe- cution o i the effects of tae deputy chief constable had been threatened. NOTICE OF MOTION. Mr J. W. Willis Blind said that under {the 10th i Standing order he would hand in the following notice of motion for the n-'xt meeting To call attention to the rulings of the chairman on points f or del- at the last quarterly meeting of the committee, held in January, and at the special meeting hell on the ) 20tii of February, and to move that the chairman be directed in future to conduct the business of the committee in accordance with the standing orders of the committee." THE POLICE AND THE GAME. Col. H. Davies-Evans, Highmead, sa.id he wished to ask a question, with reference to a matter that they had not come to consider that day. A committee had been appointed to hold an enquiry to investigate the charges made against the police of watching the rivers and game, and he wished to ask them if it was for the committee to form their own opinions as to what course to adopt. He thought it would be advisable that that committee should draw up a number of questions, and they could then make enquiries into them. That course he believed would bemoresatisf-tctory. They conld then tet cate- gorical answers at the enquiry. He was going into it with the firm intention of doing his best to enquire into the whole thing, and therefore for the sake of the committee he did not think that they ought to be left in that sort of indefinite position. As it was at present he hai nothing with the exception of the resolution passed at the last meeting to go upon, and as far as he could see it was a very indefinite charge and he thought something should be done to define the charge that they had to enquire into, so that when they met they would be able to make a full and satisfactory enquiry. Mr Morgan Evans and Mr J. M. Howell were of opinion that the affidavits produced by Dr Enoch Davies some time ago would be sufficient to lead the I committee. Col. Davies-Evans asked if the original affidavits could be got, when it transpired that they were in South Wales, and that owing to Dr Davies being unwell that they could not be got for the enquiry. Mr J. M. Howell said that they had appeared in the newspapers. Colonel Davies-Evans said he thought it would be more regular to have the originals. Mr J. M. Howell asked if the chief constable intended producing the constables, because it would be perfectly useless going there it he did not. Major Price Lewes said that the chief constable had given orders to the constables to attend the enquiry, and he thought it would be only fair if the persons who had made the affidavits also appeared. The police were the accused, and were to be present to becross-examined, so he thought the others should also attend to be also cross-examined. Mr J. T. Morgan, Nantceirio, said he understood that most of those who had fi'.ed affiiavits had been convicted. After some further remarks it was decided to leave the course to be adopted to the committee. The committee then rose.