HC Deb 01 June 1938 vol 336 cc2048-9
74. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that in England the whole cost of mobile traffic police is met by the central government, whereas in Scotland this charge has to be borne by local authorities, assisted by only a partial grant from the Ministry of Transport; upon what grounds this distinction is made; and whether he will take steps to remedy the apparent injustice to Scottish local authorities either by means of a 100 per cent. grant to the authorities or by the Department taking over complete responsibility for mobile traffic police?

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Burgin)

My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension. The contributions made from the Road Fund towards the expenses of the police motor patrols are calculated on the same basis and at the same rates whether paid to police authorities in England or Scotland. It is only in connection with the special and experimental augmentation of patrols in certain areas, announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 17th February, 1937, that the whole cost is met by the Exchequer.

Mr. Stewart

Is the Minister aware that it was in regard to the latter point that the question was framed; and will he not consider making available to Scotland this 100 per cent. grant for the mobile police force?

Mr. Burgin

Certain areas were selected for experiment, and it was considered better to carry out the experiments in London, than to enlarge the area.