HC Deb 01 May 1963 vol 676 cc1044-5
2. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the disparities between the salaries and conditions of service of probation officers in different parts of Great Britain, and that their removal was recommended by the Morison Report on the Probation Services; and what steps he intends to take to have them removed.

Mr. Noble

I am aware of the Morison Committee's recommendations on this subject. I cannot yet add to the reply that I gave the hon. and learned Member on 10th April, but the decision of the industrial Court is expected shortly.

Mr. Hughes

Is not the right hon. Gentleman ashamed to continue to inflict these wrongs upon these probation officers—officers who are doing just as good work as, if not better work than, probation officers elsewhere and who deserve just as high remuneration? Will he look into this matter with a view to seeing that justice is done to these Scottish probation officers?

Mr. Noble

I welcomed the finding of the Morison Committee that the work of the probation officer is essentially the same throughout Great Britain, but I cannot anticipate the decision of the Industrial Court.

35. Mr. Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he proposes to introduce legislation to implement recommendations of the Morison Committee proposing changes in the present administration of the probation service in Scotland.

Mr. Noble

Following consultation with the interested bodies, I have decided, after very careful consideration, that I should not take a final decision on the future administration of the Scottish probation service until I can also consider the effect of other developments in the field of social work in the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders.

Meanwhile I am considering what steps can be taken to improve the service without legislation.

Mr. Hutchison

Could my right hon. Friend say what kind of steps they are? Do they involve salary alteration or alterations of conditions of service, or what?

Mr. Noble

The salary alterations will have to wait till the Industrial Court has given its decision, but things like provision of premises for the probation service can be done without legislation.