HL Deb 09 May 1873 vol 215 cc1710-1

asked whether it was the intention of the Government to introduce a Bill for establishing a system of pensions or superannuations for the Scottish constabulary? He believed that the case of the Scottish constabulary was peculiar, for they were the only police force in the three Kingdoms for whom no means of pensions or superannuation had been provided. There was no doubt at all events that the Metropolitan police, the Irish police, and the English county police were so provided for, and he could never understand why a similar provision had not been made for the Scottish. He had before drawn their Lordships' attention to the singular fact that in the Act which regulated the Scottish constabulary, no provision was made for pensions or superannuations. Subsequently the subject had been repeatedly mentioned in that House. In 1868 their Lordships appointed a Committee to inquire into the subject of the police. That Committee came to the conclusion that provision for pensions and superannuations was very desirable. Nothing, however, was done, and he had been asking questions on the subject very regularly up to three years ago without getting a satisfactory answer until on the last occasion the noble Earl (the Earl of Morley) replied that the subject was under the favourable consideration of the Government. Still, nothing was done; and he was now informed by good authorities that the men who had remained content under the expectation raised by this answer, were becoming dissatisfied, and that it was becoming more and more difficult to obtain recruits for the force. He trusted the noble Earl would be able to give a favourable answer to the Question he had put.


said, the Government were of opinion that such a system as that referred to in the Question of the noble Earl was one to be desired. All the materials had been collected with the view to the introduction of a Bill for the superannuation of the English and Scotch police, and he believed the Bill had been actually drafted; but, unfortunately, the Government were so pressed for time, and had had so much business on hand in the last two or three Sessions, that they had found it impossible to bring the measure under the notice of Parliament. In the present Session the question of local taxation was under discussion, and as in that taxation there was a serious item for police charges, it would be impossible to propose any provision for superannuation out of local rates.

House adjourned at half-past Five o'clock, to Monday next, Eleven o'clock.

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