HC Deb 11 April 1940 vol 359 cc690-1
30. Mr. Parker

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the Metropolitan Police rate has been increased by nearly 4d. in the £ for the coming year; that the increase is causing grave concern to the local authorities who have to collect the rate; and whether he will consider giving local authorities the right to see the estimate on which the precept is based, and be allowed to make representations to the Home Office if they think fit?

Sir J. Anderson

The increase, which is 3d. in the £, is to meet Civil Defence expenditure in the two years, 1939–40 and 1940–41. The estimates of the Metropolitan Police Fund are included among the Civil Estimates, Class III, and will be found on pages 29–30 of the current volume. These Estimates are revised before the amount of the police rate is settled at the end of February. Details of the revision made in February last have been furnished to all local authorities who have asked for the information. It is open to local authorities to make any representations they think fit with regard to Metropolitan Police expenditure, but it would not be practicable to consult the different rating authorities, numbering 101, in the Metropolitan Police District before the Estimates are settled.

Mr. Thorne

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that local authorities think that this extra burden for special police ought to be borne by the Government and not by them?

Sir J. Anderson

To a very large extent it is already borne by the Government.

Sir H. Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it was not necessary to increase the pay of the police during the Great War?

Sir J. Anderson

The conditions are entirely different this time.