§ 29. Mr. Maxton (for Mr. McGovern)
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the reasons for the recent decision of the police committee in Ayr in which they passed a vote of no confidence in the chief constable; and whether he will inquire into the reasons for considerable discontent in this force?
§ Sir T. Moore
Before this question is answered, may I ask your guidance, Mr. Speaker, as to whether it would not be to the advantage of the House that Members should concentrate on matters affecting their own constituencies, rather than putting questions affecting other constituencies?
I am informed that no vote of this nature has been passed by the police committee. The suggestion contained in the second part of the question that there is considerable discontent in the force is being brought to the notice of the police authority who are responsible for the efficient maintenance of the force.
§ The following question stood upon the Order Paper in the name of Mr. MCGOVERN:
§ 31. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that Chief Constable Duffus, of the Ayrshire constabulary, had his retiral sanctioned by the police committee, and has not yet retired, is over 61 years of age and is serving in contravention of Section 1 of the Police Pensions Act, 1921; and whether he can state the reason for his failure to retire, also that of Superintendent Leslie, of Irvine, who is over 62 years of age?187
§ Mr. Stephen
On a point of Order. Is it in order for an hon. Member to put another hon. Member's question without having been asked by that hon. Member to do so?
§ Mr. Speaker
Strictly, the rule is that an hon. Member who is not present should ask another hon. Member to put his question for him.
§ Mr. Buchanan
Seeing that an hon. Member should not put a question without having secured permission, may I ask whether that has been done in this case?
§ Mr. Garro Jones
Having regard to the circumstances in which certain hon. Members occasionally refrain fromputting questions which stand in their names on the Order Paper, is it not desirable that it should be made clear that no hon. Member should put the question without the assent of the hon. Member who is absent?
§ Sir T. Moore
Since the hon. Member who put down this question and attached his name to it, is not here to put it himself, and since he has not considered the rights, or duties, or privileges of the hon. Member who represents that constituency, as to whether he should put that question, have I not the right to put the question for him?
I am informed that Superintendent and Deputy-Chief Constable Duffus, who is 61 years of age and had his pension approved in May this year by the police authority, has had his period of service extended in terms of Section 1 (1) of the Police Pensions Act, 1921, on the ground that the extension is in the interests of efficiency, and that the extension of Superintendent Leslie's period of service beyond the age of 60 was made on the same statutory ground. I understand that it is anticipated that both officers will shortly retire.
§ Sir T. Moore
May I raise a further question on the point of Order and ask for your help and guidance, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of myself and other hon. Members? If the hon. Member who put down this question had been aware of local conditions, he would never have put the question, because he would have been aware of the facts.
§ Mr. Maxton
Further to the point of Order. If the hon. and gallant Member wishes to become a Member of our party, he must make his application in the ordinary way, and we will consider it.
§ Mr. Williams
I wish to raise a fresh point of Order. I understand that it is your Ruling on the practice of the House that an hon. Member makes himself responsible for the accuracy of statements he makes in a question. May I ask what penalty attaches to an hon. Member who makes inaccurate statements?