HC Deb 08 August 1940 vol 364 cc410-1
60. Mr. Tinker

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a number of licensed victuallers offered their services as special constables and were duly sworn in and enrolled, but have since been told they cannot be accepted because of a regulation which debars members of their trade for this duty; and will he give consideration to see whether it can be re moved and the licensed victuallers be placed on the same footing as other citizens?

Sir J. Anderson

No regulation to this effect has been made, but I am advised that a special constable is debarred by Section 35 of the Licensing (Consolidation) Act, 1910, from holding a justices' licence.

Mr. Tinker

Surely the right hon. Gentleman will be aware that we are at war now and want to utilise the services of citizens to the best advantage, and why should these citizens be excluded from doing the best they can for the country?

Sir J. Anderson

I confess that I have a good deal of sympathy with the point of view put by my hon. Friend, but in view of the many opportunities of public service which are now available, I doubt whether a Defence Regulation for the removal of this particular disability, which is imposed by the ordinary law, would be justified.

Mr. R. Gibson

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that a reason is given in general for the refusal of an application to become a special constable?

Sir J. Anderson

That is a different question.