Death of Miss I. Watkins.

Oral Answers to Questions — Naval and Military Pensions and Grants. – in the House of Commons on 10th December 1925.

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Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

44.

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the correspondence which has passed between a firm of solicitors and the Public Prosecutor as to the mystery surrounding the death of Miss Iris Watkins, Blackwood, and that certain evidence which has come to light has not been acted on; and will he secure this evidence and, if it appears to be advisable, instruct Scotland Yard to proceed with investigations?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

I am aware of the correspondence referred to, but I am not aware that any evidence has come to light that has no; been acted on. I understand the correspondence has been brought to the notice of the Chief Constable of Monmouthshire, and as the hon. Member was informed on 25th November, assistance in such cases is not given by Scotland Yard except upon request by the local police.

Photo of Sir Charles Edwards Sir Charles Edwards , Bedwellty

Are we entirely in the hands of an obstinate chief constable? I have seen a firm of solicitors to-day and they mentioned four new witnesses who are prepared to give evidence if this case is reopened. Has the Home Secretary no power over a chief constable who may not wish to proceed further with a case?

Photo of Mr William Joynson-Hicks Mr William Joynson-Hicks , Twickenham

I really cannot assume to myself the power to regulate the action of the chief constable. I have no such power. Chief constables are appointed and regulated by local authorities. I have no power at all.