HC Deb 19 June 1968 vol 766 cc1083-4
6. Mr. Spriggs

asked the Minister of Transport what will be the effect of the setting up of the new freight authority upon the transport police; what consultations on this matter have taken place between his Department and the Transport Police Federation; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Neil Carmichael)

The Transport Bill includes power for the Railways Board to enter into an agreement with the National Freight Corporation for making available to that body the services of the British Transport Police Force. But, as my right hon. Friend's predecessor explained when she met representatives of the British Transport Police Federation, it will be for the N.F.C. to decide what police services they need to enable them to discharge their responsibilities. There will, of course, be an opportunity for the Federation to make whatever representations it wishes to the N.F.C. when it has been set up.

Mr. Spriggs

Since the Transport Act could be the cause of the redundancy of about 500 police officers, why is it that no meetings or consultations have taken place since my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport met the chief officers of the Transport Police Federation in September, 1967?

Mr. Carmichael

The present position has been fully explained in correspondence that we have had with the Federation, and I can assure my hon. Friend that its views are fully understood and that it will be able to make representations later to the N.F.C. when it is set up.

Mr. Peter Walker

Would the hon. Gentleman undertake that if the officers of the Federation want talks because they are concerned about this, he will immediately grant them an interview?

Mr. Carmichael

There has, as I said, been considerable correspondence, and the position is understood between the Federation and the Department as a result of that correspondence. No precipitate action will be taken on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend. There will be no possibility of the break-up of the transport police unless there has been very full consultation.

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