MR. FINUCANE IN EXPLANATION.
TO THE EDITOR.
Sir,—In reference to a charge made by ex- Senior-constable Hanlon before the Royal Police Commission against Mr. Finucane, the following letter has been addressed by Mr. Finucane to the chairman of the com- mission, which speaks for itself :—
"Home Secretary's Office, Brisbane, 18th September, 1899.
"The Chairman Royal Police Commission, Brisbane.
"Sir,—In the evidence given by George Hanlon before the Police Commission on Friday, Hanlon, after complaining that he was refused his application to retire on pen- sion, says that he blames me for his treat- ment. I cannot do better than commence by explaining the procedure required by law in cases where a member of the Police Force asks to retire on pension, owing to physical unfltness for further service, and then relate the facts. On the application from the person so affected being received at the Commissioner's office, the applicant is sent before a board, consisting of two medical men appointed by the Governor-in-Councll, to be examined. Upon being examined, the two doctors, after describing the complaint from which the man is suffering, and, having satisfied themselves that he is incapable, "from Infirmity of mind or body, to dis- charge the duties of his office," certify to that effect, and send their certificate to the Commissioner of Police, who forwards such certificate to the Home Secretary, with a letter recommending that the man be al- lowed to retire on the pension due to his rank and service. The Home Secretary then obtains the sanction of the Governor- in-Council, and the matter is completed. Now, in Hanlon's case the two doctors, whom he mentions, and before whom he went, more than once, refused to certify that he was physically unfit for further service in the Police Force, and the custom was departed from by calling in a third doctor as a referee, who upheld the decision of the two that Hanlon was not unfit physic- ally for further service. The Commissioner of Police (Mr. Seymour), and not myself, as Mr. Hanlon says, in whose hands the matter lay, has no power, in the absence of the medical testimony required by the Act, to recommend Hanlon to retire on pen- sion. In fact, the Home Secretary himself had not that power, let alone the chief clerk, Mr. Finucane. As to Hanlon receiv- ing a curt letter from me, I simply con- veyed to his inspector, in the usual terms, the information that, under the circum- stances, the Commissioner could not recom- mend to the Home Secretary Hanlon's ap- plication to retire on pension. Hanlon on the 8th March, 1894, resigned, and a month afterwards the license for a public-house at Cabarlah, the place wheie he was sta-
tioned as senior-constable, was transferred to him from his sister-in-law, Mrs. Hanni- gan. He then made application, to be re- funded his contributions to the Superannua- tion Fund, and his request was granted, on Mr. Seymour's recommendation, as a matter of grace ; and, indeed, a further favour was conceded to Hanlon by also allowing him interest at the rate of 5 per cent ; but when the voucher went before the Police Invest- ment Board for payment it was referred back by that board to the Home Secretary. The matter was blocked, and the minute granting this money was rescinded by the Governor-in-Council, on the recommendation of the Home Secretary. Meantime Mr. Sey- mour and I left the department, the refusal of the Government to grant Hanlon's re- quest went to Mr. Okeden, and it was Mr. Okeden who conveyed to Hanlon the inform- ation that upon second consideration the refundment of bis contributions to the Pension Fund could not be allowed. The facts are plainly set out on the ofllcial records of the Police Depart- ment. It will be seen that I had nothing
whatever to do with Hanlon's case.
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