HC Deb 07 June 1917 vol 94 cc318-9
41. Mr. WILES

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that the revised rules of the Police Union, which have been submitted to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, guard against any possibility of members withholding their services as a means of obtaining redress and that the object of the union is to have all differences between the authorities and members arranged or decided by amicable and conciliatory means he will now reconsider his decision as to permitting members of the force to make a collective representation of their grievances to the Commissioner; and, if he still feels unable to recognise the Police Union as the channel for representing the views of the entire Force, will he give instructions that facilities shall be given for the men to consult together as to their conditions of service so that the views of the police as a body may be always available, and thus relieve much of the prevailing discontent?


I regret that there is nothing which I can usefully add to what has been said by my predecessors in office and by me in reply to the numerous questions addressed to us on this subject.


asked the Home Secretary whether any steps had been taken to ascertain the views of the members of the Metropolitan police themselves when it was decided not to pay them for the seventeen days' leave they forfeited in 1914 on the outbreak of the War and before the order was given allowing weekly leave to be resumed; whether he is aware that the police resent the action of the then Home Secretary in informing the House that the police were willing to give up some portion of their leisure as their share of the national sacrifice, without giving the men an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the subject; and whether, in the interests of discipline, he will consider the advisability of giving the police as a body facilities to make known their own views to the authorities when questions affecting their conditions of employment have to be decided?


No, Sir; the suspension of leave was on the ground of national necessity, and the grant of leave was resumed at the earliest possible moment. If the hon. Member will refer to the answer given in this House on 22nd February, 1915, he will find that my predecessor's statement was that he ventured to think that "the majority of the force will willingly give up some portion of their leisure as their share of the sacrifice which all classes have to make during this national emergency." I have no doubt that my predecessor correctly voiced the patriotic sentiments of the majority of the metropolitan police. As regards the third part of the question, I have nothing to add to what has already been said on the point.

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