HC Deb 09 July 1942 vol 381 cc914-5
12. Mr. William Brown

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will take steps, in conjunction with county and town police authorities, to ensure uniformity of treatment as regards men called up for the Army in respect of balance of civil pay and retention by wives and families of police houses unless the houses are required for police purposes, respectively?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I believe that most police authorities make an allowance to supplement Service pay, but the matter is, by law, one for their discretion and I have no power to require uniformity of treatment. The occupation of police houses is also a matter for local arrangement and I have no doubt that, so far as the requirements of the police service permit, sympathetic consideration is given to the wishes of the wives and families of men who are serving with the Armed Forces.

Mr. Brown

Short of possessing powers at the Home Office to ensure that uniformity, is it not possible for the Minister to exercise some influence on local government authorities to ensure that we avoid the present anomalies, which are giving rise to a good deal of discontent?

Mr. Morrison

I think that if the House leaves the local authorities with discretionary powers, the Minister cannot very well coerce them, but I understand that this matter will shortly be considered by the Police Federation, and I shall be prepared to consider whether I can usefully take any action in the light of any representations which the Federation may make.