§ 50. Mr. Parker
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the shortage of male probation officers in the Becontree division; and whether he will take steps forthwith to increase the salaries of ordinary probation officers and the differentials of supervisory officers to meet this national need.
§ Mr. Renton
My right hon. Friend is aware of this shortage and much regrets it. On the recommendation of the Joint Negotiating Committee for the Probation Service, the salaries of all probation officers were increased last March with effect from 1st October, 1958. and no further increase is contemplated at present.
§ Mr. Parker
Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that in the Becontree division a great many boys have been sent to approved schools, although the magistrates would much prefer to place them on probation, merely because there are not enough probation officers in the area? This is a very unsatisfactory position, as well as being very expensive.
§ Mr. Renton
I agree that the position is unsatisfactory, and I am glad to be 1175 able to tell the hon. Gentleman that 56 men will have completed their training as probation officers by the end of this year. The needs of the Becontree division, and the fact that great opportunities for service arise there, will be brought to their attention. One cannot predict whether they will prefer to go to Becontree rather than elsewhere.