HC Deb 02 July 1936 vol 314 cc751-4

Order read for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [29th June], "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

Question again proposed.

11.18 p.m.


There is a reference in this Bill to Scotland Yard and to the building to be erected for the Commissioner of Police. Does this mean that there is recognition of the Metropolitan Police as being a Government Department, with all the privileges that attach to a Government Department when it comes to the erection of buildings, the sites of buildings, and the obtaining of land? If that be so, I want to know why it is that the Metropolitan Police are placed in a category different from that of the police in other parts of the country. I certainly strongly object to this being looked upon as a Government Department and claiming privileges that are not held by the police forces in the country.

11.19 p.m.


I would say that this does not put the Metropolitan Police in any such position. It merely deals with a very small area of land, and in the building concerned makes it possible for certain agency work to be done on behalf of the police. It in no way alters the general position of the Metropolitan Police.

11.20 p.m.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

While warmly supporting the Bill, there are one or two points which I wish to put to my right hon. Friend. I endeavoured on the Report stage to move a new Clause, but for certain reasons I did not press my proposal. I now realise that I have to some extent given up a right which I might otherwise have had of intervening in this Debate. At the same time, I find in the Bill one or two matters of outstanding importance to which I should like to refer. Any moneys that are required are to be provided by Parliament, in other words by the subject.

That brings me to the point, What are the rights of the subject in relation to the Crown, and in mentioning the Crown I am, of course, merely alluding to those Government Departments which are responsible for the administration of Crown property. The ordinary subject apparently has no rights vis-a-vis the Crown. The home-coming cyclist may be pushed down by a Post Office van and he has no redress. The inoffensive pedestrian may be crashed into by an Army lorry and he has no rights in law. There is the further and more classic and also more appropriate example of the leaseholder of Crown property. The leaseholder of Crown property is in a peculiar position. He pays, but gets little or nothing in return. At least, it is entirely in the discretion of the Minister—


I do not see any Clause in the Bill referring to leaseholders.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

I was merely quoting that as an example showing the insufficiency of the rights of the subject against these Government Departments.


The hon. and gallant Gentleman has been long enough in the House to know that on the Third Reading we can only deal with what is in the Bill.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

I fully accept your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, for there is no one whose opinion on these matters is of greater value, but if you will bear with me for a moment, I think I can show that I was merely endeavouring to give an example. I was pointing out that the subject is the person who pays for what is in the Bill, who pays for these buildings that are to be erected in Whitehall. Therefore, it is most important to analyse the rights of the subject in regard to the Crown or these Government Departments.


I hardly think that that would arise on the Third Reading; it might have been raised on the Second Reading.

Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

I must submit to your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, but perhaps you would allow me to appeal to my right hon. Friend the Minister to receive in private discussion some of the observations which I might otherwise have felt compelled to make at this stage as regards Crown property. I have no wish to hold the attention of the House longer, but perhaps my right hon. Friend would indicate his willingness to have a consultation with the representatives of these Crown tenants.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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