HC Deb 27 April 1950 vol 474 cc1115-6
27. Mr. Henry Brooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the grievance felt by men who joined the Metropolitan Police between 1919 and 1921 under a contract entitling them to full pension after 26 years' service, but are now denied full pension unless they complete 30 years' service; and, having regard to the principle that the Government should act like a good employer, if he will remedy the injustice done to these men in having their pensions rights worsened without their consent.

Mr. Ede

I have given close personal attention to the representations made from time to time on behalf of the officers who joined the Metropolitan and other police forces between 1st July, 1919, and 28th August, 1921, and who were affected by the new scales of pensions introduced by the Police Pensions Act, 1921, but I have not felt able to propose legislation altering in this respect the provisions of the Statute passed by Parliament in 1921. The Oaksey Committee, who considered similar representations made on behalf of these officers, reached the conclusion that it would not be practicable to reopen the question.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Does tile right hon. Gentleman admit that there has been a breach of contract?

Mr. Ede

I was not responsible for what happened in this House in 1921. My own view is that these men were, in fact, hardly treated, and I have spent a great deal of time, in personal consultation with the Police Federation, in trying to work out a scheme that would be just, and which I could commend to the House. But I was forced to reach the same conclusion as the Oaksey Committee that, at this stage, owing to the number of men who have retired, died, and other things, it is quite impossible to reopen the question.

Sir H. Williams

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that the grievance arose not in 1921, but in 1946, when he was responsible?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir, it did not arise then. By that time successive Governments had, from time to time, had to face this question, and reached the same conclusion as I have reached.

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