HC Deb 13 July 1936 vol 314 cc1825-6

11.31 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 14, line 19, at the end, to insert: (3) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section a Secretary of State may make rules under section fifteen of the principal Act for enabling all or any of the functions of a chief officer of police to be discharged by deputy in the event of the illness or absence, or a vacancy in the office, of the chief officer of police. This is a small practical point which has come to light recently. The Amendment is to enable a deputy to perform the functions of a chief officer of police in the case of the latter's absence through illness or for some other reason. It is not necessary in the case of county forces, as there are already provisions in the County Police Act, 1839, which meet that contingency, but there is not a similar provision dealing with borough forces. As there has been a certain number of cases recently in which there has been inconvenience arising out of the fact that when the chief constable has been ill it has been difficult for anyone else to perform his functions, it has been thought wise to include this provision in the Bill.


I agree that the insertion of these words is absolutely necessary. I have had a proof of this in the town nearest to my home, where the chief constable, who was a member of the Departmental Committee for this Bill, became ill and is now on leave of absence. I think the Amendment will make for more efficient administration.

11.33 p.m.


May I ask the Under-Secretary whether this Amendment would apply to Clause 5, which as originally drafted contained the words "chief officer of police or his representative" but which was later amended to leave out the words "or his representative"? I would like to have the Under-Secretary's assurance that this is not an insidious attempt to reintroduce those words.


I would like to give the hon. Member a complete assurance on that point.

Amendment agreed to.