HC Deb 14 December 1967 vol 756 cc613-4
21. Mr. Bitten

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will advance the review date of 1st April, 1968, for the pay of principal probation officers in order to provide an early opportunity of establishing a more suitable career Structure in the probation service.

Mr. Taverne

No, Sir. The review date has been agreed by the Joint Negotiating Committee for the probation and after-care service.

Mr. Biffen

In order to mitigate the disappointment in the probation service on account of that Answer, can the hon. and learned Gentleman confirm that it is the anxiety of the Home Office at the earliest possible moment to have a pay structure fully commensurate with the responsibility now being placed on the probation service?

Mr. Taverne

That is a matter for the negotiating committee. It is that committee's responsibility and not merely ours. A separate review of supervisory posts in the service is now in progress and has already resulted in an improvement of promotion prospects.

Mr. Tinn

Will my hon. and learned Friend look favourably at any suggestion by the negotiating committee for the introduction of one or more additional grades of probation officer, as that might provide more attractive promotion prospects?

Mr. Taverne

It would be wrong to anticipate what the joint negotiating committee will recommend.

Mr. Deedes

Will the hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind the considerable strain which will fall on the service in the spring with the provisions of the Criminal Justice Bill, and the crucial importance of keeping the service up to strength?

Mr. Taverne