HC Deb 12 May 1960 vol 623 cc618-9
40. Mr. Gordon Walker

asked the Prime Minister if he will recommend an extension of the terms of reference of the Royal Commission on the Police to cover specifically the relationship of traffic wardens to the Metropolitan Police.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir. The terms of reference of the Royal Commission could not appropriately be extended to cover this matter, which is at present before Parliament.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether, in his opinion, the terms of reference of the Royal Commission would prohibit it from considering this matter? Would he not agree that it is very important that this new experiment of traffic wardens should be carefully considered before the introduction of it, so that we run into no danger of having a two-tier police force, and that the traffic wardens in the Metropolitan Police area should be the responsibility of this House through the right hon. Gentleman?

Mr. Butler

My difficulty is that Parliament has not yet decided what the nature of the provisions for traffic wardens shall be. Perhaps later the right hon. Gentleman will put down a further Question when Parliament has made its decision. Then, I think, it would be proper to consider whether or not this fell within any such terms.

Mr. Paget

Would it be within the terms of reference of the Commission to raise the sort of question raised by Mr. Justice Diplock in the recent Pen Club case as to intimidation and protection of witnesses?

Mr. Butler

I would not like to interpret the terms of reference to the Royal Commission. I think we must leave that to them.