§ (4.40.) MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)
In asking the leave of the House to introduce a Bill to establish an Insurance and Provident Fund for the police of Scotland I hope I may be allowed in a few words to explain the purport of the measure. The reason for its introduction is to be found in a speech made by the Home Secretary on Monday night. The right hon. Gentleman informed the House that, in his opinion, the sum that might ultimately fall on the rates in Scotland under the Government Bill might reach £120,000 a year. Making all deductions, that would involve an ultimate liability 221 within 25 years of £70,000 upon the ratepayers of Scotland. When we consider the fact that the total amount now paid for police by the people of Scotland is only £145,000, it becomes obvious that an additional sum of £70,000 would be a burden so great that it is impossible to suppose the ratepayers would boar it. I have considered whether the Government Bill could be so amended as to protect the ratepayers of Scotland, and I have found considerable difficulty in doing so in the absence of some special Instruction to the Select Committee. In these circumstances, the only course open to me is to introduce such a Bill, and ask the Government to refer it to the same Committee ns that to which their own measure will be referred. I am anxious to assist the Government in getting the Superannuation Bill passed during the present Session, because I conceive if superannuation is not provided at this juncture it may possibly be a long time before it is provided to the police of Scotland. Briefly, my proposition is that a Provident Fund shall be established, to be managed by a Board of five, the Chairman to be paid and appointed by the Government, and the four others elected by the police. To that Board I would hand over the grant of £40,000 and other sources of revenue provided by the Government Bills. I may point out that the Government are giving to this Superannuation Fund a sum which, if capitalised, would amount to £1,800,000. In Superannuation or Insurance Funds provided jointly by employers and workmen the employer acts liberally if he contributes one-half, but in this case the Government are bestowing six times the amount contributed by the police. I propose that the Board should pay pensions to men at a certain age after a number of years service, to be fixed by the Board, to persons wholly incapacitated from any cause whatever, and to the children of policemen who died from any cause whatever.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is rather exceeding the brief explanatory statement permissible under the Standing Order.
§ MR. HUNTER
I was about to conclude. I propose that pensions should not be forfeitable under any circumstances, and that a policeman leaving 222 the Force, whether dismissed or discharged, shall be entitled to get back his contributions with compound interest.
Bill to establish an Insurance and Provident Fund for the Police of Scotland, ordered to be brought in by Mr. Hunter, Mr. Asquith, Mr. Bryce, Mr. Esslemont, Mr. M'Ewan, Mr. Philipps, Mr. Robert Reid, Mr. Angus Sutherland, and Mr. John Wilson.
Bill presented, and read first time. [Bill 360.]