Oral Answers to Questions — Metropolitan Police Force.

– in the House of Commons on 27th July 1933.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

24.

asked the Home Secretary by what authority members of the Metropolitan Police Force on duty in the Houses of Parliament have been forbidden to receive the usual annual testimonial given to them by Members of Parliament at the close of the Summer Session?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The Regulations of the Metropolitan Police, like the Regulations of other police forces, forbid members of the force to accept any gratuity without the consent of the Commissioner of Police. Hitherto, the Commissioner has allowed members of the force on duty in the Houses of Parliament to receive the gratuities referred to by the hon. Member, but after consultation with myself he decided this year that this practice should be discontinued. Arrangements have accordingly been made that the sums which were formerly given to the individual officers should be paid into the Commissioners' central fund for police charities and amenities.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

Why should the privileges of Members of Parliament be interfered with in this way?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

As I stated in this House in the general Debate on the Police Bill, it is essential that gratuities of all kinds to individual officers, which lead to very grave difficulties, should be discontinued; and I think that if the House of Commons would realise that this money is being contributed in the main for the benefit of the whole force—

HON. MEMBERS:

No.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is it not a fact that the gratuities are given for the valuable services and the courteous way in which the police deal with Members?

Photo of Sir Patrick Hannon Sir Patrick Hannon , Birmingham Moseley

is it not a fact that this custom has obtained in this House for a long period of time and that these contributions are made for services rendered in this House; and why should they be put into some common fund?

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Because you have a second Mussolini.

Photo of Mr Henry Croft Mr Henry Croft , Bournemouth

Is it not a fact that it has been proved highly undesirable throughout the whole country that any form of gratuities should be given to the police, and is it not therefore time that this House should set an example in the matter?

Photo of Commander Sir Peter Agnew Commander Sir Peter Agnew , Camborne

Will any portion of the sum subscribed be allocated to the Corps of Custodians?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

That is another point.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that we are now to have no further instructions from Lord Trenchard?

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

25.

asked the Home Secretary for what period was the present Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police appointed; what is the retiring age of this rank; and what is the pension to which he will be entitled; and what is his present age?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

It is not the practice to appoint the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis for a stated term, and no period was specified in the case of Lord Trenchard. Under the Police Pensions Act, 1921, the age of compulsory retirement of the Commissioner is 65, sub-to extension in the interests of efficiency for not more than five years. Any pension to which Lord Trenchard may be entitled would depend on a number of factors which will not be determined until he retires. He was 60 years of age in February last.

Photo of Mr Frederick Cocks Mr Frederick Cocks , Broxtowe

In the interests of the efficiency of the Force, will the right hon. Gentleman call for the retirement of this gentleman?

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Would it he possible for this gentleman to draw a pension in respect of his services in the Metropolitan Police Force and at the same time in respect of his services in the Air Force?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

As I have said, the pension to which Lord Trenchard may be entitled will depend on a number of factors which will fall to be considered.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

Are we to understand that Lord Trenchard can take as many; tips and pensions as he can get?

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

28.

asked the Home Secretary the total number of superintendents and chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police Force; and how many of these will reach the age of 50 and 47, respectively, in the next three years?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

There are 32 superintendents and 36 chief inspectors in the force. Twenty-five superintendents are already 50 and 22 chief inspectors are already 47. Three superintendents and 10 chief inspectors will reach the ages of 50 and 47 respectively during the next three years.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

Cannot the same rule be applied to Lord Trenchard that he has applied to these people?

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

27.

asked the Home Secretary by what authority the order has been given to retire superintendents and chief inspectors of the Metropolitan Police Force art the ages of 50 and 47, respectively, seeing that according to the Police Pensions Act the retiring age of these officers is 60.

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The provisions of the order referred to are not completely stated in the hon. Member's question. The position is that the cases of those superintendents and chief inspectors who have attained the ages of 50 and 47, respectively, who are in receipt of the maximum pay of their rank and who are entitled to pension at the maximum rate of two-thirds of pay, are being examined in order to decide whether, in the in- terests of the general efficiency of the force, they should be required to retire under the powers given by Section 1 (2) of the Police Pensions Act, 1921.

Photo of Mr Valentine McEntee Mr Valentine McEntee , Walthamstow West

Can the right hon. Gentleman give any reason why these police officers are compelled to resign at 50 and Lord Trenchard is allowed to remain years longer than that?

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

What about the judges of the High Court of 80 years of age

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

28.

asked the Home Secretary whether in future it is proposed to appoint any inspector in the Metropolitan Police Force who has passed the age of 4.3 to the rank of chief inspector; how many of the present inspectors will have passed that age in the next three years; and how many of these under present arrangements will be deprived of the prospects of promotion?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No age limit has been prescribed for future promotions to the rank of chief inspector. The second and third parts of the question do not therefore arise.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether all these changes are consequent on the passing of the Metropolitan Police Act, or are they irrespective of it?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The changes to which I think the hon. Member refers with regard to the inspectors are not due to the passing of that Act but to previous legislation.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

Is this clearing the ground for getting a military police force in London?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Do not all these supplementary questions show what the position of the Indian police will be when they are handed over to the Indian politicians?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

29.

asked the Home Secretary the total number of superintendents, chief inspectors, and inspectors now serving in the Metropolitan Police Force; and how many of these under the new regulations will have reached the retiring age or have passed the zone for promotion during the next three years?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

There are 32 superintendents, 36 chief inspectors and 676 other inspectors now serving. The measures which are being taken under Section 1 (2) of the Police Pensions Act, 1921, during the period of reorganisation affect five superintendents and eight chief inspectors, and may affect six more superintendents and 16 more chief inspectors during the next three years. No maximum age for promotion has been laid down for any of these ranks.

Photo of Mr William Cove Mr William Cove , Aberavon

Does not this all mean an added cost to the Exchequer and the local authorities?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

30.

asked the Home Secretary the ages of the present assistant commissioners of the Metropolitan Police; the retiring age of their rank; the term of their respective appointments z what pensions they will be entitled to on retirement; and what previous police service they had before their present appointments?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

The Deputy Commissioner is 57 and the other three assistant commissioners are 53, 52 and 49 respectively. The age of compulsory retirement applying to them is 65, and they have been appointed to serve until that age unless voluntarily they retire earlier. If they serve as assistant commissioners until the age of 65 one would receive a pension of £1,200 a year, two pensions of £1,000 a year, and one a pension of £800 a year. The Deputy Commissioner had 22 years and the assistant commissioners respectively 30, 14 and 12 years previous service in connection with the force before appointment to the posts which they now hold.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Does it not appear anomalous, to say the least of it, that most of the assistant commissioners should be over 50 years of age and that 50 should be regarded as a reasonable retiring age for everybody underneath

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Is the Home Secretary satisfied that 50 years is an age at which men of this type should retire from active life when we have High Court judges—

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

That supplementary question has relation to a question asked three or four minutes ago.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

31.

asked the Home Secretary whether it is the intention not, to promote in the future any officer who is over the age of 44 to the rank of superintendent in the Metropolitan Police Force; and whether he will state how many of the 38 chief inspectors will by this means be deprived of the chance of promotion?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No, Sir; there is no such intention.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

37.

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the form in which recruitment for the Police College and short-term service men will take place; whether it has yet commenced;; if not, when it is expected to; and whether he will state the terms on which engagements will be offered to such candidates?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I am not yet in a position to make any statement on the subject of recruitment to the College, but when arangements are complete they will be announced in the Press. As regards short-term service, recruitment of constables will start shortly and the terms of engagement will be similar to those for long-term service, except that promotion will only be attainable to the rank of sergeant and retirement with a gratuity after 10 years' service will be provided for. A Press announcement will be issued on this matter also.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

May I ask whether in the recruitment for this service the social position of the men in question will be inquired into?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

All inquiries that are made as to recruitment of any person coming into the Police Force will apply to both classes.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Are they to have special uniforms—brown shirts?

Photo of Mr David Adams Mr David Adams , Poplar South Poplar

38.

asked the Home Secretary whether the appointment of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is a full time and full pay appointment; whether his attention has been drawn to the engagement of the present commissioner on inspection duties of the Royal Air Force; and whether such duties call for the special appointment of a deputy or assistant at New Scotland Yard during such times?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

Lord Trenchard's appointment as Commissioner of Police is a full-time appointment. With regard to the second part of the question, the facts are that he was invited to visit one of the depots of the Royal Air Force on the 25th July and that he accepted the invitation. It has long been customary to invite distinguished officers to pay visits of that kind; it is an honour to them, and I cannot think that any exception can reasonably be taken to the spending of a few hours in that way. No special appointment at New Scotland Yard was required on the occasion referred to.