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i Carnarvonshire Joint Police…


Carnarvonshire Joint Police Com- mittee. THE ATTACK ON MR LLOYD GEORGE, M.P. i» STATEMENT BY THE tHIEF CONSTABLE. The annual meeting of the above com- mittee took place on Thursday at Carnar- von, when Mr C. H. Darbishire was una- nimously chosen chairman for the ensu- ing year. Colonel Wynne Finch, fthe retiring chairman, replying to a vote of thanks for his services, alluded to the sub-com- mittee which had during the past year inquired into the administration of the police force. That committee had far- reaching effects, the first" effect being to create a feeling of surprise and consterna- tion among people that the police force, from the Chipf Constable downwards, was under a cloud, and it was to endeavour to remove this that the sub-committee was appointed'. He had to thank especially two members of that committee—viz the chairman of the County Council and v, • Williams, who were indefati- gable in theeir atteendance, and without whose help the committee would not have been able to bring out their report, which was so far satisfactory as to be ad- opted by the Police Committee. The in- quiry resulted in the committee finding, that there was no sort of reflection on the police from the Chief Constable downwards; on the contrary, the force compared favourably with many of those m other counties. The committee had found one fault, and had done away with it at once. Mr J. R. Pritchard called attention to a matter which, he said, was not referred to in the Chief Constable's report-viz., the attack on Mr Lloyd George, M.P., while attending a meeting at Bangor last week. It had been (noticed that the meeting was a disorderly one. He thought that as members of the Police £ Jk>mmittee, whatever their views might be, they ought to assert the right of free speech in the county. He then asked what 'steps were taken by the police on the occasion in question to defend free- dom of speech, and whether any of the persons who broke windows, and particu- larly ithe person who assaulted Mr George, were likely to be prosecuted. He pointed out that that night a meeting on the other side would be held at Carnarvon, and contended that both sides should be protected when they were doing what was legal. The Chief Constable (Colonel Ruck), •replying, raid that he had 'intended to refer to this matter, which had occurred too late to be included in his printed re- port. His answer to the questions put was that the police did not take measures to assert the freedom of speech at Ban- gor, but thy did take meassures to pre- serve the peace, which, he was sorry to say, were not altogether successful. He was glad to state that the attempted as- sault referred to did not result seriously. It could not be said that that assault was the fault Of the police, because, as a mat- ter of fact, there were present plenty of police to see Mr George to his carriage. But as far as he could see, Mr George's party left the hall without saying where they were going, with the result that they got mixed up in the crowd, and then the ■unfortunate loccuirrenoe ialready alluded to happened. It was true that windows were broken at Penrhyn Hall, and that was a. difficult thing to prevent in the case of a disorderly crowd, jand especially at night. He (Colonel Ruck) was there per- sonally, and heard of windows being broken, but neither he nor the superin- tendent who was engaged with him knew how it was done, unless it was done by" means of cataipulfts. Tb;ere were two things which he much regretted-viz., the window-breaking and The attempted assault on Mr Lloyd George, otherwise he did not think there was much to complain of. There was a. considerable crowd pre- sent, and it was noisy, but it was not savage, and he took the responsibility of not interfering with them as far as pos- sible. There certainly was enough police there to clear the people from the vicinity of the hall, but whether they were suffi- cient to keep them away during the whole of the three hours for which the meeting lasted he could not say. Those at the meeting were able to get through their work, and there was plenty of police ready to see the principal persons safely off, but those persons left without the police knowing that they were going. The Chairman: Are the police unable to ge>t hold of the person who committed the assault? The Chief Constable replied that Super- intendent Rowland, who accompanied Mr Lloyd George from outside the hall, saw a stick used". but he could not say who used it, and as far as he (Colonel Ruck) was able to say nobody could make him out. Mr J. R. Pritchard: How many police bad you there? The Chief Constable: About seventy altogether. Mr Pritchard: And yet there is not a single instance of a man being identined after breaking a window. Mr Issard Davies: Were there any conceited plans between the police and those responsible for the meeting? The Chief Constable replied that it had been arranged that the principal per- sons were to drive in a certain direction. Mr Davies: So that they did not fulfil their part of the arrangement ? The Chief Constable was understood to say that they left the hall before the car- riage was called, and they then got mixed up in the crowd. There were plenty of police near ready to protect them. Mr D. P. Williams: Weri they asked to leave before the carriage was ready? The Chief Constable: I do liit know. If anything of the kind happens igafn, we must try to arrange it better. Colonel Wynne Finch observed to th° Chief Constable that he understood him to say that Mr George and his friends did not put themselves in the hands of the police as to getting away from the hall. If they had, he presumed the police would have been able to clear the way. The Chief Constable: There is no doubt that we should. I know for a fact that there were plenty of men to see them off comfortably if they had only gone to the carriage. The Chairman could not help thinking that it would have been rather better if some of the police outside had taken a little more on their shoulders, instead of leavin.g it entirely to those inside the hall. » Mr W. A. Darbishire: I think it was mismanagement on the part of Mr George's marasera. I have experience of public meetings, many of them disor- derly, and all depends upon the people who manage them. Mr D. P. Williams felt that the police ought to take more vigorous steps to find vuA the window-breakers and the person t who committed the assault. When the county went to the expense of sending seventy policemen to Bangor, it seemed strange that they were unable to detect one man who had broken a window (hear, hear). There was to be a meeting held at Carnarvon that night, and he hoped that rows of which they had heard would be taken firmly in hand. He could not help thinking -that, if proper precautions had been taken at Bangor, some of the miscreants would have been found out. Mr Jones-Morris: Are you importing seventy constables to Carnarvon to-night? The Chief Constable: No, sir. Mr Issard Davies said he sympathised with the Chief Constable in this matter. He had experience of a great many crowds, and it was really impossible for a body of men to prevent the throwing of stones, which people sometimes carried about in their pockets. He did not think that the committee ought to allow any reflection whatever upon the police unless they deserved! it. The Chief Constable's wish to protect Mr Lloyd George was perfectly evident, seeing the large num- ber of men he imported to Bangor, and if managers of meetings did not fall in with the arrangements made by the police the latter ought not to be held responsible. Mr D. P. Williams: I do not say that Colonel Ruck was responsible for break- ing windows, but the police ought to find out who did it. The Chairman suggested that they might have easily been detected if one or two plain clothes officers had! been put on duty. He now believed that the Chief Constable knew thoroughly the wishes of the committee. The discussion then closed.



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