HC Deb 12 January 1916 vol 77 cc1597-8
41. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether Police-constable Cecil Kyle, of the Metropolitan police, has been dismissed for joining a trade union; if so, is he aware that police unions are recognised by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, by the municipality of Paris, and by other governing bodies; and, in view of the plea for the relaxation of trade union regulations and for the unity of all classes in the prosecution of the War, will he give instructions for the reinstatement of Constable Kyle?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)

Under the provisions of the Police Emergency Act, 1915, members of police forces who have served their pensionable time are retained pending the termination of the War, their pensions being safeguarded. Ex-Constable Cecil Kyle, being dissatisfied with those provisions, openly intimated his intention of so conducting himself as to make his retention impossible. After one disciplinary default had been dealt with by admonition, he addressed a registered letter to the Commissioner to say he had joined an un-authorised association styling itself the National Union of Police and Prison Officers, thereby ensuring that his deliberate violation of standing orders should come under the cognisance of a disciplinary board. The evidence being conclusive, he was dismissed the police force—his pension rights after the War not being affected by the disciplinary award. I agree with my predecessors, who have repeatedly stated in the House that it is impossible to allow a union or association to be established in an organised and disciplined force such as the police.


May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman recognises that he has made a very bad start in his office by not reinstating this man?


No, Sir, on the contrary.