HC Deb 02 April 1900 vol 81 c1041

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. GRANT LAWSON (Yorkshire, N.R., Thirsk) in the Chair.]

MR. BILL (Staffordshire, Leek)

moved to leave out Sub-section 2. This sub-section raised a very important question. It provided that the local authority, such as the Standing Joint Committee in Counties, was to be liable to give compensation to police Reservists who were wounded in the war. His own council had passed a resolution to the effect that, inasmuch as the constable could not be regarded at the time he joined the colours as in their service, the gratuity should be provided out of the military funds and not out of the police funds. Now the position of a police Reservist who was severely wounded would be worse under this sub-section than if he had been injured at home while on duty as a policeman. He wanted to know whether the gratuity under the sub-section would be in addition to what would be granted by the War Office, or in substitution for it. If the gratuity was the only sum that was to be awarded in compensation for disablement or death, then it ought to be very much increased. He did not think when a policeman gave up his position at home and went abroad to fight for his country, he should be put in any worse position in case of injury than if he had remained in the police force. Then if the money was to be paid wholly out of local funds municipal corporations would refuse to employ Reservists, and that would be a great disadvantage to both the Reservists and corporations.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 4, to leave out Sub-section (2)."—(Mr. Bill.)

Question proposed, "That Sub-section (2) stand part of the clause."


I hope my hon. friend will not press this Amendment. I would point out to him in regard to the burden that is to be thrown on the municipalities, that it is quite permissive. Some local authorities have already granted the gratuities, and unless we pass this clause, these grants would be illegal. The grant of the local authorities is quite independent of what comes from the War Office.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick)

said, on behalf of his hon. friend the Member for West Renfrew, he begged to move the Amendment standing on the Paper. The clause as it at present stood was, he thought, liable to doubt.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 8, to leave out the words 'if he returns to' in order to insert the words 'in the event of his reinstatement in.'"—(Mr. Parker Smith.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."


I hope my hon. friend will not press this Amendment. No doubt there may be a difference of opinion as to the interpretation of these words; but in framing this Bill we adopted the words of the Act of 1890. There is a question of sentiment in the matter. It is said that when you reinstate a man there is a feeling that he has done something that was not quite right; but that if you speak of him as returning to the force, it takes away from the idea of reflection upon him.


said he was satisfied that the matter had been brought before the attention of the Home Office.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Bill reported. As amended, to be considered on Thursday.