Police and Prisons.

National Expenditure. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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On the question of police and prisons, the reduction recommended was £1,599,000, and the reduction agreed is £1,253,000. These reductions are got, however, in a different way from that recommended by the Committee on National Expenditure. In the main, they suggested that the reductions should be got by reductions in the pay of the police. It has been represented to us that similar reductions can be obtained, and more easily, by dealing with the allowances of the police rather than with their pay at the present time, and, accordingly, we have accepted a plan, proposed by the Home Secretary and the Secretary for Scotland, by which a reduction of almost the same amount can be got by the means which I have described.

Photo of Mr James Remnant Mr James Remnant , Holborn

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether the Desborough Committee, which dealt with the police administration, did not make many recommendations which would of themselves save the country large sums of money without impairing the efficiency of the police or drawing away from their pensions or pay—recommendations which have never been carried out?

Photo of Sir Robert Horne Sir Robert Horne , Glasgow Hillhead

If there are such recommendations, I am afraid I am not aware of them, and I would suggest that my hon. Friend should raise that question when we come to the Estimates for the Home Office.

Photo of Viscountess Nancy Astor Viscountess Nancy Astor , Plymouth, Sutton

May I ask if it has been definitely decided by the Government to do away with all women police?

Sir J. D. REES:

Are these women police, when abolished, to be all pensioned for life?

Photo of Sir Robert Horne Sir Robert Horne , Glasgow Hillhead

These are questions of detail which I cannot now go into.

Sir C. KINLOCH-COOKE rose

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

Order, order! It is not fair for hon. Members to interrupt in this way.

Photo of Sir Robert Horne Sir Robert Horne , Glasgow Hillhead

Summing up the Second Report, the reductions recommended were £3,590,000 and we have decided on a sum amounting to £2,973,000.

On the Third Report I shall be very brief. There they recommend reductions to the amount of £8,750,000. The Report was only very recently in our hands, and not all of the items have yet been completely investigated, but I can assure the House that we shall have a saving of at least £8,500,000 out of the £8,750,000, and I think probably we shall get it all. Of that amount £3,000,000 will be due to economies which the Colonial Secretary has effected in the Middle East, and £2,500,000 on the Post Office.