§ 15. Mr. CHARLES DUNCAN
asked the Home Secretary how many motor boats are attached to the Thames Division of the Metropolitan Police; how many are converted rowboats; how many boats with improved engines compose the fleet provided since the coroner's inquest on Sergeant Spooner in January, 1913; and are these boats used on patrol duty or in supervision of the ordinary patrol boats?
§ Mr. McKENNA
Eighteen motor boats are attached to the Thames Division. Seven of these are converted row boats. Five boats with improved engines have been supplied since January, 1913; two others are completed, and will shortly be in service; and another is nearing completion. The boats will be used for supervision or for patrol duty as in the opinion of the responsible officers is from time to time necessary.
§ 16. Mr. C. DUNCAN
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that police officers of the Thames Division of the Metropolitan Police are hampered in their public duty by the inefficiency of the motor patrol boats and their lives endangered by the failure of the engines to act at critical moments; and will he give permission to the constables and sergeants to hold a meeting to discuss this question and lay their views before the police authorities?
§ Mr. McKENNA
No, Sir. The lives of the Thames police are not endangered, nor are they hampered in their duty. The earliest police motor boats are, as I mentioned in reply to a previous question, being replaced by an improved type. The engines of these earlier boats, like all motor engines, are liable not to act at times, but oars are carried to meet such 1561 a contingency, and these boats are not now used on the lower river where the currents are strong. This matter is receiving the close attention of the Commissioner and his export advisers, and he informs me that he is not prepared to give permission for a meeting to be organised to discuss this question.