Lancashire County Constabulary.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons at on 7 June 1934.

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Photo of Major Thomas Jesson Major Thomas Jesson , Rochdale

9.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction existing amongst the recruits of the Lancashire County Constabulary; and whether he will institute an inquiry into the actions of the chief constable in this respect?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No representations have hitherto been made to me regarding any dissatisfaction among recruits to the Lancashire constabulary. I may say, however, that I understand that, at the request of the chief constable, a special meeting of the Standing Joint Committee is being convened for the purpose of considering the general administration of discipline in the county constabulary.

Photo of Major Thomas Jesson Major Thomas Jesson , Rochdale

While assuring my right hon. Friend that there is substance in the question, does he not consider that in the interests of the future efficiency of the Lancashire police force it is very necessary that these nervous apprehensions should be allayed at the earliest possible moment?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

I think the answer that I have given should do so.

Photo of Hon. Charles Rhys Hon. Charles Rhys , Guildford

When the committee called by the chief constable of Lancashire has met, is it the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to go into the whole question of the discipline of the police force in Lancashire?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

That is a matter for the Standing Joint Committee.

Mr. DAVIES:

Does he not think that the time has arrived when he himself should take a hand in settling this problem?

Photo of Major Thomas Jesson Major Thomas Jesson , Rochdale

14.

asked the Home Secretary whether he will introduce legislation granting to members of county constabulary the right of appeal to a standing joint committee against disciplinary decisions of a county chief constable?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No, Sir. There is an appeal to me if a man is dismissed or required to resign and I am not aware of any reason for any further appeal.

Photo of Major Thomas Jesson Major Thomas Jesson , Rochdale

May I ask why a member of a borough police force should have a right of appeal to his watch committee, a right which is denied to a member of a county police force to the Standing Joint Committee; and does not my right hon. Friend appreciate that by denying this right to a member of a county police force it gives unrivalled power to an autocratic chief constable?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No, Sir. There is a final appeal to the Home Secretary, and, if there be anything improper done on the part of any chief constable, it is fully investigated by the proper authorities.

Photo of Major Thomas Jesson Major Thomas Jesson , Rochdale

But only in the case of a dismissal of a policeman?

Photo of Sir Harold Sutcliffe Sir Harold Sutcliffe , Royton

Does my right hon. Friend propose to ask the watch committee for an explanation of the present unrest in the county police of Lancashire?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

As I have stated, an inquiry is to be held by the Standing Joint Committee, and, until they have made their inquiries and moved in the matter, I have nothing further to add.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

After the inquiry has been held, does the right hon. Gentleman receive a report of the decision arrived at?

Photo of Mr Cecil Pike Mr Cecil Pike , Sheffield, Attercliffe

Will the right hon. Gentleman call for a report?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

No, Sir. The power is in the hands of the proper statutory body. Until they think fit to apply to me, it is not my business to intervene.