HC Deb 14 July 1960 vol 626 cc1588-9
27. Sir R. Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Metropolitan Police have been authorised to import foreign dogs for police work; what limits have been placed on the number of dogs to be imported, and the price to be paid for each; how many such dogs have been imported up to the last convenient date; and what have been the total expenses involved.

Mr. Renton

My right hon. Friend authorised the Metropolitan Police to import a small number of dogs from the Continent. He was advised that this was desirable in order to improve the breeding strain of the police dog in this country. A purchasing mission recently visited Germany and bought ten dogs, which have now arrived in this country, the average price paid was £41 and further expenses of £440 were incurred, including the cost of bringing the dogs over to this country.

Sir R. Glyn

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that by the time the dogs pass through quarantine kennels the cost of procuring them is three or four times as much as the cost of procuring equivalent Alsatians in this country, of which there are about 100,000 available? Will he bear in mind that some police forces, such as that in Dorset, have had no difficulty in establishing an extremely efficient team of police dogs bought at reasonable prices in this country?

Mr. Renton

The cost of importation was undoubtedly fairly high, but it was not a lot to pay if the necessary improvement in the general standard of police dogs in this country is achieved. With regard to the experience of other police forces, I must point out to my hon. Friend that, although they have managed to obtain dogs quite cheaply, the dogs have mostly been of a lower standard than those which were imported.