HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 cc2259-60
13. Mr. Eric Fletcher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is now in a position to announce the constitution and terms of reference of the committee to inquire into the pay and conditions of the police.

Mr. Ede

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have appointed the following committee to inquire into this matter: Chairman, the right hon. Lord Oaksey; members, Miss Zoe Freeman, Mr. C. N. Gallie, Sir Alexander Ramsay, Professor D. R. Seaborne Davies, and Mr. J. Sullivan. The committee's terms of reference are to consider, in the light of the need for the recruitment and retention of an adequate number of suitable men and women for the police forces of England, Wales and Scotland, and to report on the pay, emoluments, allowances, pensions, promotion, methods of representation and negotiation and other conditions of service.

Mr. Fletcher

While the House will welcome that appointment, may I ask my right hon. Friend, in view of the depleted strength of the police, of the conditions which exist, the difficulty in getting recruits and the increasing duties that devolve on the police, whether he will ask this committee to make its report as soon as it possibly can?

Mr. Ede

I am bringing to the notice of the committee my sense of the urgency of the matter, and I have no doubt that they will have it in mind.

Mr. Tiffany

How many members of the committee will have close knowledge or any experience whatever of the conditions into which they will have to investigate?

Mr. Ede

I think the chairman is well known. Miss Freeman is chairman of the Feltham Juvenile Court; Mr. Gallie is a former general secretary of the Railway Clerks' Association—

Sir T. Moore

Has he knowledge of the police?

Mr. Ede

—and a former member of the T.U.C. General Council; Sir Alexander Ramsay is a director of the Engineering and Allied Employers' National Federation—[HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] —Professor Seaborne Davies is professor of common law at Liverpool; and Mr. Sullivan is a member of the Transport and General Workers' Union, and this year's chairman of the Scottish T.U.C. [Laughter.] For this task we want persons of wide general experience; and, in view of the willingness of this lady and these gentlemen to undertake' this work, I greatly regret the way in which their names have been received.