HC Deb 01 February 1962 vol 652 cc1281-2
36. Sir J. Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he intends to move the House to amend the Sessional Order to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police now that traffic signals have been installed in Parliament Square; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The traffic signals will be switched off and the junctions will be controlled by police officers up to midnight on any day when the House or its Committees are sitting. If the House is sitting late, the junctions will continue to be controlled by the police until the House rises and for half an hour thereafter. I see no occasion therefore for an amendment of the Sessional Order.

Sir J. Duncan

In thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he can say how much police manpower is being saved by the installation of these traffic lights?

Mr. Butler

I should want notice for the exact figure, but it clearly affords a considerable help.

Mr. Grimond

Will the Home Secretary make inquiries whether this practice is now of much value or is deemed necessary? It is not observed. In any

Following are the figures for the Metropolitan Police District for 1961:

event, there is a passageway under the road and I have never heard of a Member of Parliament being prevented from attending to his duties by being held up on the crossing. If it is necessary for the better movement of traffic to have traffic lights, might we not forgo this privilege?

Mr. Butler

No. I think that the Sessional Order is best observed by the compromise arrangements which have been reached with the Metropolitan Police.