HC Deb 27 April 1849 vol 104 cc931-2

wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary a question, as to the intentions of the Government regarding the rating of the parishes in Middlesex for the support of the police. The Police Act gave the Government the power of issuing 90,000l. from the Consolidated Fund towards the support of that body, whenever the rates in the parishes amounted to a certain sum in the pound. In 1847 the magistrates of Middlesex had re-assessed the county, the effect of which act was to raise the rateable property from 6,200,000l. to 7,700,000l. An additional sum towards the maintenance of the police was raised, amounting to upwards of 35,000l. He wished to ask whether it was the intention of the Government to relieve the parishes of the great additional burdens that had been imposed upon them last year in consequence of the extraordinary circumstances of the case?


said, that when the metropolitan police were first established it was necessary that a rate amounting to 8d. in the pound should be levied. This rate was afterwards reduced to 6d., a charge having been placed on the Consolidated Fund, by which a portion of the expense of the police was defrayed, in consideration of their general as distinguished from their local service. The charge upon the Consolidated Fund amounted to 90,000l. It was anticipated, in consequence of a new assessment last year for Middlesex, that the result would be such as to render it possible for an application to be made to Parliament to reduce the assesment from 6d. to 5d. Circumstances afterwards transpired which rendered it necessary, in the opinion of the Government, and, as he believed, in the opinion of the public generally, to increase the police force considerably. He was not prepared to say that any reduction of this force could now be made, considering that there had been an increase in the population within the year of 220,000, and no less than 1,476 new streets. He would give the noble Lord the same answer he had given the deputations that waited upon him in reference to this subject—that it would be desirable, if possible, to have a more equitable assessment of the metropolitan districts. If the result of any such measure should be a surplus, he could assure the noble Lord and the House, that the Government had no desire whatever to press for a greater sum than was indispensably necessary. He must, however, warn the noble Lord from encouraging the impression that, in the event of a surplus fund thus arising, the metropolitan ratepayers would have the whole benefit of it. It should be recollected that the Consolidated Fund was contributing 90,000l. a year. It would, therefore, be a matter of consideration with the Government whether it ought not to have a share in such an advantage as well as the ratepayers.

Subject at an end.

Back to