HC Deb 15 December 1942 vol 385 cc1786-7
Sir Irving Albery

I desire to ask the Leader of the House whether a further opportunity can be given to discuss the amalgamation of police forces, before the Secretary of State for Home Affairs takes any action. The reason why I ask for such an opportunity is as follows: When the Prayer against the original proposal was debated in this House, the right hon. Gentleman gave us very definite assurances as to the limited scope of his intentions. The statement which he has since made to the House goes very far beyond the intention which he expressed to the House at that time, and the Prayer was withdrawn on account of the assurances which he then gave to the House. It seems to me only right that the House should have a fresh opportunity of expressing its views on the very different proposals which the right hon. Gentleman has now put forward.

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Eden)

We had, of course, a full Debate on this only a little time ago. I could not possibly give an undertaking that my right hon. Friend will take no action pending further debate, in view of the fact that we shall be adjourning for Christmas. As far as I am aware, there is no strong feeling on this matter in the House. If there were such a feeling, it would be considered through the usual channels, and until that is brought to my notice, I can offer my hon. Friend no encouragement.

Sir I. Albery

The situation which really seems to me to arise—I am sure it is unintentional—is that the House was misled when that Prayer was debated, and as regards the feeling which there is in the House, I can only say that several of us represent constituencies which are vitally concerned in this matter, and we have been asked to take up the strongest possible attitude in opposition to this proposal.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

May I say that there are other Members of Parliament who think exactly the opposite?

Mr. Eden

I was conscious of the conflict of views. Perhaps my hon. Friend would speak to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary about putting his point of view. I think that is the best we can do in the circumstances.