asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what representations he has received from the Superintendent's Central Committee and the Police Federation on the findings of the Oaksey Report; and what action he proposes to take on them;
(2) if he is aware that dissatisfaction exists among police officers with certain aspects of the Oaksey Report; and if he will give further consideration to the matter so as to meet the objections that have been raised.
At the recent meeting of the Police Council the representatives of the superintendents and Police Federation raised a number of matters on the Report; but they accepted the position that it would not be practicable to pick and choose among the recommendations made by the Committee and that effect should be given to the Report as a whole. Provision has however been made in the draft Police Pensions Regulations now before the House to meet the special position of members of the forces who were serving on 28th August, 1921, and who are compelled to retire by the operation of the age limit. My right hon. Friend is also taking steps after consultation with the Superintendents' Central Committee and the local authority Associations to overcome hardships which may arise in individual cases consequent on the introduction of the new grading system for superintendents.
Can we have an assurance that no police officer of any grade will be worse off in any way under the terms of this award, and is the Under-Secretary satisfied that the decisions arrived at will have the desired effect of encouraging recruitment and will satisfy existing members of the forces, because there is a good deal of evidence that there is still dissatisfaction at present?
Dealing with the last part of the supplementary question first, I think it is clear that a number of people in the Police Force would have liked higher awards than are suggested under the Oaksey Report, but that was to be expected. Their representative bodies have, however, accepted the position as indicated in my answer.
Is my hon. Friend aware that one of the anomalies arising was the question of pensions of those about to retire, and that what he has said on behalf of his right hon. Friend will cause a great deal of satisfaction among those concerned?
I apologise to the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) for not having answered the first part of his supplementary question. I think it is substantially the case that under this report no police officer will be worse off, but we have to take one recommendation with another and look at the matter as a whole.
Will my hon. Friend pass on to his right hon. Friend the fact that in Birmingham there is great dissatisfaction, and that among the many complaints is the fact that there is no question of back-dating the award as has been done with the awards in other walks of life?