*THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. GEORGE RUSSELL,) Beds., N.
moved for leave to introduce a Bill for transferring the expenses of the Metropolitan Police Courts to the Metropolitan Police Fund, and for making provision with respect to the Courts of the stipendiary magistrate of Chatham and Sheerness. He said the Bill was intended to redress a grievance that had often been complained of. It was not proposed by the Bill to deal with the 536 payment of magistrates, which would still be made out of the Consolidated Fund. The maintenance of the courts, the pay of the minor officials, incidental expenses, and all pensions would be borne by the Metropolitan Police Fund, and would involve a charge of £27,000 a year. Against that was to be set the fees and fines paid to the fund, which amounted to £26,000 a year. That was, so far, a bad bargain for the Metropolitan Police Fund. In order to redress this balance, the Treasury undertook to pay all the police attached to the Houses of Parliament, which involved a charge of £7,000 a year. This would make a receipt of £33,000, as against outgoings of £27,600. The Treasury would also write off a sum of £10,000, the debt remaining on account of alterations at Bow Street Police Station. The difference between the receipts and payments was to be used in three ways. It was proposed under the Bill to take power to increase the payment of clerks. It was also proposed to take power to acquire the freehold of leasehold properties as far as practicable. It was further proposed to carry out structural and sanitary improvements where they were needed. The expense of the police at the Chatham and Sheerness Dockyards was now borne lay the Metropolitan Police Fund and recouped by the Admiralty; and the Kent County Council kept up the court, while the Treasury paid the magistrate and the clerk. The Bill provided that the clerk was to be paid out of the Metropolitan Police Fund, and that the net cost on the Police Fund was to be recouped by the Admiralty.
§ MR. J. CALDWELL (Mid Lanark)
said, that what had been complained of from year to year was that in the provincial cities the expenses of the police courts were borne by the local rates, and that notwithstanding that the appointment of the stipendiary magistrates was vested in the Crown. London was treated exceptionally because it received about £40,000 a year out of the Consolidated Fund for its stipendiary magistrates. Again, the cost of the buildings in London was borne by Imperial funds. Notwithstanding these facts complaint had recently been made in the House that the contributions of the Government to local rates in London were inadequate.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member is only entitled, under the Standing Order, to make a short statement.
§ MR. CALDWELL
continued that this Bill would do away with the exceptional position of London, but it proposed to perpetuate the charge made for London on the Consolidated Fund, and therefore he reserved to himself full liberty to discuss the matter in detail on the Second Reading.
§ MR. G. C. T. BARTLEY
asked whether the Standing Order did not allow a speech to be made on each side? So far, two speeches had been made on one side. This was a matter which affected the Metropolis, and only a Scotch Member had been allowed to say a word.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
The word side does not occur in the Standing Order, and if used could only refer to the sides of the question, and not to the sides of the House.
§ MR. T. GIBSON BOWLES (Lynn Regis)
wished to raise a point of order. He understood from the statement of the hon. Gentleman who had introduced the Bill that it proposed to remit a sum due to the Treasury on account of the police courts. That would be a sum due to the Crown; and if he rightly understood the rule of the House, it was that any Bill which proposed to tax a subject or to remit anything due to the Crown must originate in Committee of Ways and Means. If that were so, ought not this Bill to be introduced in Committee?
§ Bill presented accordingly, and read the first time; to be read a second time upon Thursday, and to be printed. [Bill 231].