HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1503-5
39. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the nature of the duties attached to the position of Commandant of the Scottish Police College.

Mr. T. Fraser

The Commandant's main duties will be to organise training courses for the various classes of students at the College, to arrange for the services of suitably qualified instructors and lecturers, to supervise accounting and other arrangements, and generally to ensure that the College is an efficient establishment. In organising the College and its training courses he will be working in close association with an Advisory Committee of which the Chairman is H.M. Inspector of Constabulary and the other members are police officers representative of all ranks of the Police Service.

Mr. Hughes

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us whether this post has been given to an Air Vice-Marshal with no experience of police duties and what steps are being taken to instruct this officer in the nature of his duties before he starts instructing the rest of the police force?

Mr. Fraser

My right hon. Friend answered a Question last week in which he set out the reasons why he had appointed this individual. He had been selected by a selection board which was very representative; he set out the nature of its representativeness in his answer last week. He had no reason to decline to appoint this person, who seems to be eminently suited to the duties which have been assigned to him.

Mr. Scollan

Are we to take it that this is a new policy of the Government and may we now expect a Chief Constable to be placed in charge of the R.A.F.? Obviously it is a case of square pegs in round holes because they have got influence.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that, in view of the fact that this officer has obviously, through his long training, all the qualifications required for this post, this is a very suitable appointment?

Captain Marsden

May I ask the hon. Gentleman if this appointment was influenced by the fact that the appointment of a military officer in command of the English school has proved such a very great success?

41. Mr. William Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of the applicants for the post of commandant of the Scottish police training centre had police experience in England; and how many in Scotland.

Mr. T. Fraser

Of the applicants eleven had police experience in England, seven had police experience in Scotland, and one had police experience in both countries.

Mr. Ross

Are we to take it that no policemen in Britain possess the qualifications necessary for such a post and that in future we can expect the higher branches of the Police Force in Scotland, if not in England, to be chosen from the preserves of ex-Service personnel?

Mr. Fraser

It would be quite wrong to make any such assumptions.

Mr. Willis

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is considerable dissatisfaction with the fact that none of the people who had previously been considered fit to act as heads of training colleges were given these appointments, and that such actions are very discouraging to the police force?

Mr. Ross

Could the Joint Under Secretary say what effect he thinks this will have on police recruitment, which at present is disappointingly slow?

Mr. Fraser

None at all, I should think.