§ CAPTAIN NORTON
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether the cost of the boots to be issued to the members of the Metropolitan Police Force in April next will be the same as that for the previous issue; (2) why it is expected that the boots about to be issued will remain in good order for a longer period than those issued upon any previous occasion; and (3) whether, when the choice between the two systems was given to the men, 672 the fact that the weekly payment would be six months in arrear was not made clear, whereas it was distinctly stated that failure to produce two pairs of boots in good, sound serviceable condition would render the officer liable to punishment, such neglect being regarded as an offence against discipline?
§ SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY
The answer to the first paragraph is in the affirmative, and to the second, that no such expectation is entertained. The men were distinctly informed last year by the notice on the voting paper which was issued to them that the money allowance would commence on the 7th October 1897, but that they would not be required to purchase a new pair until the boots to be last issued were in need of repair. Failure to possess proper boots would, after due caution, render the officer liable to punishment; but it is not intended, or expected, that the new regulations will in any degree operate to the prejudice of the men.