Oral Answers to Questions — Women Police Patrols.

– in the House of Commons on 14th March 1922.

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

71.

asked the Home Secretary what cause is to be assigned to the women of the Metropolitan police women patrols for their dismissal; and whether any compensation, and, if so, what amount, is to be paid to them?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

As I have already stated, the disbandment of the Metropolitan police women patrols has been decided upon as a measure of economy. Their engagements are terminable at any time by one month's notice, and no question of compensation arises.

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

Is it not a fact that the Metropolitan women police patrols were made pensionable by Act of Parliament in the Police Pensions Act; is the Home Secretary aware that his statement in this House last week that they were not entitled to pensions has been challenged by legal authority; and is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we all know perfectly well that it is not economy getting rid of these women? I should like an answer to these questions.

Sir J. D. REES:

Are these ladies entitled to pensions as well as pay, allowances and unbecoming uniforms?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

As far as pensions are concerned, I gather I must wait for a decision of the Courts before replying; but undoubtedly it will save a very large sum of money to disband these women.

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

What about your promise? What about the House of Commons having passed a law?

Photo of Mr Frank Briant Mr Frank Briant , Lambeth North

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it is that the Irish Constabulary, with less than one year's service, are to receive pensions, and these women, who have got longer service, are not to receive pensions?

Captain BENN:

When these women were engaged, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether they understood that their terms were to be comparable to the engagement of ordinary men constables?

Photo of Mr Edward Shortt Mr Edward Shortt , Newcastle upon Tyne West

Certainly not; quite the contrary.