§ 71. Mr. BILLING
asked what is the present rate of pay and allowances of private constables, city, county, and borough, and what additions have been, made to meet the increased cost of living; whether their hours of duty have been increased in consequence of the War; and, in that case, whether any increase of pay is. proposed?
If by "private constables" the hon. Member means police constables below the rank of sergeant, I can only say that the conditions of employment outside the Metropolitan Police area are determined by the local police authority, and that they vary in different places. I believe that war bonuses, or increases of pay, have been given in most localities, if not in all.
§ Mr. BILLING
Will the right hon. Gentleman please answer the question as to what is the rate of pay of these police officers?
§ 74. Mr. GILBERT
asked whether, in view of the increased cost of living and the recent increases of wages granted to various classes of labour in the London area, he will consider whether an immediate increase of pay can be granted to the officers and men of the Metropolitan Police Force?
The pay of the Metropolitan Police Force generally was increased in August, 1914, and in the following year, in view of the rise of prices, my predecessor decided to grant a special war bonus of 3s. a week. The Commissioner of Police recently drew my attention to the difficulties which members of the force experience in maintaining their households owing to the continued increase in the cost of living. After careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that the conditions required that an additional allowance should be given to married men with families, and that the amount of the allowance should have regard to the responsibilities they have to meet. Each constable and sergeant with a family will, therefore, receive during the War a special allowance of 1s. a week in respect of each child under the age of fifteen who is living at home and is not in any paid employment. The allowance will be given subject to the condition that the officer's pay and allowances, including the war bonus of March, 1915, and the present special allowance, are not to exceed 63s. The grant will take effect from 2nd October.
§ Mr. GILBERT
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered whether any increase should be given to ordinary constables who are not married?
Yes, Sir; I have considered that question most carefully. The unmarried constable lives in a police station, and he has the advantage of economic messing allowances.
Yes, Sir; a married constable without children is usually a man of five years' service, whose pay, with allowances, amounts to at least £2 a week, in addition to pension rates and other advantages, and under these circumstances and considering that a war bonus of 3s. a week has already been given to this class of men, I do not think that they are labouring under any special hardship.
§ Mr. BILLING
Will the right hon. Gentleman deal with the cases of those 184 married constables who have not had five years' service? It is exceedingly unfortunate for them.
Does the right hon. Gentleman know of any reason why the same treatment should not be meted out to the Dublin Metropolitan Police?