Oral Answers to Questions — Metropolitan Police Prosecutions.

– in the House of Commons on 10th December 1931.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel  Campbell-Johnston Lieut-Colonel Campbell-Johnston , East Ham South

31.

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the prosecutions on behalf of the Metropolitan police, conducted at present by a private firm of solicitors, cost the Treasury on an average £40,000 per annum; and whether he will form a special legal department at New Scotland Yard whose duty it would be to conduct police prosecutions, seeing that such department when formed would only cost between £12,000 and £15,000 per annum?

Photo of Mr Herbert Samuel Mr Herbert Samuel , Darwen

The amount of the charges in question is not, and has never been, so high as the figure quoted in the first part of the question. In the last 12 months the charges amounted to £32,850. The cost falling on the Ex- chequer is half these charges less any costs recovered, and in the last year was about £13,250. Certain measures taken last year and further measures taken recently will, I anticipate, result in a substantial reduction in the charges falling on the Exchequer under this head. The present arrangements meet the Commissioner's requirements satisfactorily, and I should not wish to consider any change, at any rate until I have been able to ascertain to what extent the cost can be reduced by the measures now being taken.

The following STATEMENT shows the desired particulars for rural districts in England and Wales:—

Number of houses—.
Year ended 30th September.Constructed with State assistance under—Reconditioned with State assistance.
Housing, etc., Act 1923.Other Housing Acts.
192918,0935,2941,059
19305,9161,201
19318,5641,445
Financial assistance under the Housing, etc., Act, 1923, was not available in respect of houses completed after the 30th September, 1929.