§ *MR. SLACK (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been directed to the fact that the recent grant of rent-aid to constables, attached to police stations beyond the Metropolitan boroughs, was accompanied by conditions which deprive certain men of 1s. 6d. per week, if they are discovered to be paying less than 6s. a week for house rent, so that men paying 6s. and ever obtain the 1s. 6d., whilst men paying say 5s. 10d. are deprived of the allowance; whether he will consider the advisability of discontinuing his sanction to this and other inequalities in the payment of the Metropolitan Police.
*THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. AHERS-DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
The allowance to which the hon. Member refers is intended to assist those members of the Metropolitan Police Force who have necessarily to pay rents so high in amount as to impose an undue strain on their income. It is obvious that if a grant is made in aid of rent, the rents actually paid by the men must be taken into consideration; and, after careful and prolonged inquiry, I came to the conclusion that when a constable pays for rent less than 6s. a week, which is about one-fifth of the average pay of his rank, he does not need such assistance. The present conditions of rent-aid were laid down by me in March last; they are by no means wanting in liberality; and I see no reason for altering them.
§ *MR. SLACK
Am I to understand from the Home Secretary that it is necessary for a man whose rent is 5s. 10d. a week to pay 2d. a week more in rent in order to obtain the 1s. 6d.?
§ *MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
The line must be drawn somewhere, whenever you make a rule. This concession was granted after careful consideration, and was received with universal approval by the force.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
Could not the arrangement be readjusted so that an allowance not exceeding 1s. 6d. should be made to every constable?