HC Deb 01 February 1955 vol 536 cc890-1
43. Lady Tweedsmuir

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what regulations he has made regarding the carrying of batons by the police in Scotland, and their use in controlling crowds.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

My right hon. Friend has made no such regulations; nor has he any power to make them.

Lady Tweedsmuir

Surely my right hon. Friend has the general power over the administration of the police in Scotland? As he has recently asked for a report on the use of batons by students? in Aberdeen after the rectorial installation on 21st January, may I not, therefore, assume that he has overall responsibility for policy?

Mr. Stewart

Yes, he has overall responsibility, but the question of the use of batons, or, in other words, how the police carry out their duties, is the responsibility of the local police authorities. I would ask my noble Friend to appreciate that as criminal proceedings may be raised in this matter, I would rather not speak further upon it.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that on 25th January I wrote to him on this subject and asked him to set up a judicial inquiry at which all parties affected could be represented? Will he tell the House what steps he is taking to have the matter judicially inquired into?

Mr. Stewart

I must ask the hon. and learned Member to bear with me. Criminal proceedings may be raised, and it would not be proper for me to speak further upon the matter at the moment.