HC Deb 06 March 1924 vol 170 cc1587-8
36. Mr. HAYES

asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the reasons why the Police Regulations, made under the Police Act, 1919, have not been complied with in the recent appointment of chief constable made by the Stalybridge Watch Committee; and whether his approval has yet been given to this appointment?


This appointment has been submitted for my approval in the usual way, and, after inquiring very carefully into the facts, I have come to the conclusion that the selected candidate possesses, quite apart from his short police service, special qualifications and experience within the meaning of the Regulations. In these circumstances, I cannot hold that the Regulations have not been complied with, and my inquiries have disclosed no ground upon which I should be justified in withholding my approval.


May I ask, in view of the fact that this chief constable is now about 29 years of age, and a sergeant must have at least five years' police experience to qualify for the rank of sergeant, whether he thinks 12 months' probationary period is sufficient to qualify for a chief constable, and will the Regulations—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"] Will the right hon. Gentleman consider an amendment of the Regulations, so that there may be no move appointments of this kind?


That matter has already been considered.


Is it not a fact that the Desborough Committee recommended that only men should be appointed to these important posts who had had considerably long and useful experience in the police force?


The officers are not appointed under what is laid down in the Desborough Committee's Report, but under existing Regulations, and, as long as the existing Regulations are maintained, I must make my appointments, or approve of appointments in harmony with the Regulations.