§ 28. Mr. W. BENNETT
asked the Home Secretary whether, seeing that it has been customary for the police in the daily police orders to publish notices of the suspension or punishment of police officers for disciplinary offences, he will state why the practice has been discontinued?
36. Mr. MACLEAN
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the police orders issued from New Scotland Yard to Metropolitan police stations have ceased to contain particulars of the suspensions and punishments of police offenders against discipline; whether this stoppage has his approval; and, if so, the reason for this new method?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The practice of notifying in Police Orders certain particulars with regard to disciplinary action was established in the Metropolitan Police as a convenient method of conveying orders or information to all whom it might concern in the force. 1462 It had no other purpose. Recently the attention of the Commissioner was called to the fact that the particulars so given were being utilised for purposes of a wider publicity for which they were not suitable, since in many instances the notifications related to cases still sub judice and because the information given was usually confined to particulars essential for service purposes. The Commissioner accordingly decided for the time being to discontinue the practice. This does not mean, however, that there is any intention to withhold from the Press information which they should have upon matters of public interest, and if the present arrangements for the purpose do not satisfactorily meet the requirements of the case, I shall be glad to consider, with the Commissioner, how they can be improved. We may perhaps hope to have the co-operation of the Press in concerting arrangements which could be adhered to by all concerned.
§ Mr. SMITHERS
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability, in connection with these services and disciplinary inquiries, of having the evidence taken on oath?
§ Mr. CLYNES
The subject of inquiries is not referred to, either in the question or the answer, but I will consider the point raised.