HC Deb 26 January 1944 vol 396 cc675-6
28. Mr. Oliver

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that workmen in the employment of his Department who volunteered for and are discharging police duties under his Department are not allowed to present their grievances through their established trade union to the Lords Commissioners; whether he will cite the authority for this prohibition; and whether he is aware that unnecessary friction and dissatisfaction is being caused as a result of it.

Mr. Alexander

I assume my hon. Friend refers to the Admiralty Civil Police. This is a disciplined force, and in matters of discipline and promotion in accordance with precedents followed in other police forces, it is not permitted that representations should be made by an Association on behalf of members of the Force. All members of the Admiralty Civil Police have the right to represent their grievances to the appropriate authorities through their superior officers. On general questions affecting the Admiralty Police, its members may make representations through their Police Association, where one exists. I am not aware that this position has occasioned friction or dissatisfaction, but if my hon. Friend will send me particulars of any difficulties which have occurred, I shall be glad to look into them.

Mr. Oliver

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his Department does in fact differentiate with regard to these men who have volunteered for police duties as compared with other Government Departments in regarding them as falling within the provisions of the Police Act?

Mr. Alexander

No, but all the disciplined police forces of the other Departments follow the general precedent I have intimated to-day, but if there is a special case in which a grievance has arisen I will be glad to look into it, and if necessary to discuss it with my hon. Friend.

Sir Robert Young

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the pre-war machinery for settling these grievances is still functioning?

Mr. Alexander

I could not answer that specifically without notice. I have answered with regard to the situation since the beginning of the war.

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