HC Deb 12 March 1964 vol 691 cc810-1
Mr. Brooke

I beg to move, in page 24, line 41 to leave out from "shall" to "in" in line 43, and to insert: regulate the procedure for reaching agreement on a recommendation to be made by the Council or the purposes of subsection (4) of this section and shall include provision for arriving at such a recommendation by arbitration". The Amendment gives effect to another promise which I made in Standing Committee—to see whether the Clause could in any way be amended to meet the known view of the Police Federation which was conveyed by hon. Members of the Standing Committee. The Police Federation felt strongly that the wording of the Clause ought to recognise that in practice the main purpose of the Police Council of Great Britain is that of reaching agreement by negotiation.

We have devised the Amendment. I am in a position to tell the House that it is entirely acceptable to the Police Federation It overcomes the difficulty, of which we were all conscious in Standing Committee, that it would be awkward to put into an Act of Parliament all the detailed procedure and functioning of the Police Council, because that would render it inflexible, and it might be as the years went on that it was desired by the parties to the Police Council to improve their procedure in some way. But I very much hope that the House will agree that we have met in the Amendment both the views expressed in Standing Committee and the legitimate desire of the Police Federation to have it rather more fully set out.

Sir F. Soskice

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for having changed the original form of the words as they appeared in what is now Clause 45. Genuine anxieties were felt by the Police Federation, and they were fully discussed in Committee. The Secretary of State has fully implemented the promise which he gave. I am grateful to him.

Mr. Paget

I do not understand why my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Newport (Sir F. Soskice) thanks the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary ought to have thanked us, for we have taken a great deal of trouble to improve his Bill. Why should we thank him?

Amendment agreed to.