HC Deb 19 October 1966 vol 734 cc202-3
29. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking, in the public interest, to increase the strength of the police force in Scotland; and if he will make a statement on the matter, in view of the better prospects which are offered in Canada.

The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. William Ross)

Recruitment is at a high level, but this year it has been exceeded by wastage. Wastage is therefore the problem and this is being studied by the Police Advisory Board for Scotland.

Mr. Rankin

While wastage is recognised as a problem, is my right hon. Friend convinced that the inducements to enter the police forces in Scotland are sufficiently attractive, in view of the fact that a salary commencing at £700 a year rising to £900 at the maximum does not compete with the wages offered in other industries? When the time comes, will he be prepared to reconsider the salary situation in Scotland?

Mr. Ross

The salary situation may well be a factor, and that is a matter for negotiation and examination. The causes of wastage may go more into the conditions of service, and already we have received recommendations from the Board. We have taken action on some in relation, say, to weekly leave, annual leave, the shift system and the rest of it. We have other items which are presently being discussed and considered. These are some of the matters that probably affect life in the service.

Mr. Speaker

Will the right hon. Gentleman return to the Chair when he is answering Questions?

Mr. Monro

Notwithstanding his answer, surely the right hon. Gentleman should make every effort to give the police in Scotland rates of pay which are related to the exceptionally fine service that they provide?

Mr. Ross

Yes, indeed.

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