§ In addition to the sums payable out of moneys provided by Parliament for specified services of the Metropolitan Police, and as salaries under the Metropolitan. Police Act, 1899, there shall be paid in each year out of moneys provided by Parliament in respect of services rendered by the Metropolitan Police for Imperial and national purposes such sum as the Secretary of State, with the approval of the Treasury, may determine.
§ Mr. CLAUDE HAY
This is a convenient opportunity to ask the right hon. Gentle- 1389 man the Home Secretary one or two questions on the Clause which raises matters affecting the interests of the ratepayers of London and their contribution to the Metropolitan Police Fund. When this Bill was read a second time the right hon. Gentleman said the occasion had arrived when the contribution made by the Exchequer to the Metropolitan Force must be reviewed. He told the House that at that time the matter was before the Treasury, and that he was unable to give any further particulars. I would respectfully ask him to tell the House whether he is now in a position to give any information as to the increase from the national funds in relief of the ratepayers of London. Anyone who looks into this question will see that there is an undue hardship upon the ratepayers, who have to pay for the protection not merely of London buildings, but buildings which are really national, besides which they contribute to the protection of the lives of foreign princes to our shores. Indeed, in addition to their ordinary duties, the Metropolitan Police admirably perform great national services. Some of those services are rendered outside the metropolitan area, and therefore become more national than if rendered within the Metropolis. Having regard to the increasing demands imposed upon them by the central authorities in London, I would respectfully suggest to the right hon. Gentleman to give the relief much sought and much expected by the large mass of the poorer ratepayers of London.
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Gladstone)
I am afraid I cannot add much to what I have already said. I hoped to have been able to put the sum in the Bill, but it was found necessary by the Treasury to go very fully into the subject. It is a subject of very considerable perplexity, the exact contribution which ought to be paid by the State in respect of general services rendered by the Metropolitan Police. An undertaking was given twenty years ago, and I can only say, as far as I am concerned, it seems to me clear that it is time there should be some increase in the Imperial contribution to the cost of the Metropolitan Police. The object of Clause I. is to provide the necessary sum which shall cover all those charges which the hon. Member referred to and which may be Imperial charges, and certainly ought to be borne by the State and not by the ratepayers of 1390 London. This is a large question, and it would be necessary to go into the details of the finances of the country which would occupy a very considerable time. I can assure him I shall do my best to see that justice is done to the ratepayers by an adequate increase.
§ Clauses 2, 3, and 4 agreed to.