§ CAPTAIN NORTON
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can state if any difficulty is experienced at the present time in obtaining an adequate supply of suitable recruits for the ranks of the Metropolitan Police; and by what number that force is short of its established strength.
§ *THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (SIR M. WHITE RIDLEY, Lancs., Blackpool)
The answer to the first paragraph is in the negative. It is necessary, in order to provide a margin for temporary augmentations, to keep the force below its authorised strength, and it is at the present moment 285 short; but this includes a recently authorised augmentation of 100 men for whom recruiting has not yet commenced. The actual deficit therefore is 185, which is below the average of the past seven years. These figures take no account of the 75 men now being trained in the preparatory class.