HC Deb 11 April 1946 vol 421 cc2075-6
29. Mr. Corlett

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his attention has been called to requirements by the chief constable of the North Riding of Yorkshire that the wives of constables should cease to be teachers and should refrain from offering themselves as candidates for local authorities; what authority the chief constable has to make these requirements; and if he will advise the chief constable not to interfere in the private concerns of these and any other women who are not in the employment of the police authority.

Mr. Ede

After representations from the Home Office the Chief Constable withdrew his requirement that the wives of constables should give up their employment as school teachers. As regards the case of the constable's wife who offered herself as a candidate for election to a local authority, the Chief Constable was asked for an explanation as soon as the facts came to my notice. He has informed me that the lady withdrew her candidature as the result of an intimation to her husband from the local superin- tendent that it was considered imprudent for a constable's wife to be a member of the rural district council of the district in which her husband was serving as a constable; the Chief Constable added that he himself would have offered no objection if the matter had been put to him officially.

In both cases serious errors of judgment were made to which it is right that public attention should be called, and I am glad to have this opportunity of making it clear that such interferences with the private actions of constables' wives are not warranted by Police regulations.