HL Deb 11 October 1909 vol 3 cc1067-8


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


Your Lordships will see that this is a Bill which brings together various small amendments which are required with regard to the police force of London. The first two clauses contain provisions with regard to the additional revenue which is required to meet the charges arising from the grant of one day's rest in seven and from the growth of the superannuation charge. Clause 3 provides for the payment of a fourth Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, and Clause 4 enables the provisions of the Superannuation Act to be applied to the clerical staff. Clause 5 amends the existing law in the direction of providing for increases in the existing scale of pensions and allowances to widows and children of constables killed in certain circumstances. I trust your Lordships will be willing to give this Bill a Second Reading.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(Earl Beauchamp.)


Before this Bill receives a Second Reading I must point out one matter which the noble Earl omitted, and that is the reference in this Bill to Scotland. Your Lordships will see that this really does not come within the scope or title of the Bill. The Bill is an Act to amend the Metropolitan Police Acts, and to make better provision for the widows and children of constables who lose the r lives in the execution of their duty. The only inference from that is that it is limited to those constables. There is not a word said about Scotland in the Bill, and it has absolutely eluded the notice of the Scottish county councils and everybody in Scotland. The Scottish Police Acts are separate Acts affecting Scotland only, and I cannot imagine anything more inconvenient than to introduce into a Bill dealing with the Metropolitan Police a clause which deals with the Scottish Police. I believe that the Royal Burghs have already called the attention of the noble Lord the Secretary for Scotland to this and represented the inconvenience of it. They said that they had only just discovered that this provision existed in the Bill. It seems to me wholly beyond the scope of the Bill, and I dare say when we are in Committee I may have to call your Lordships' attention to this matter.


I do not propose to occupy your Lordships' attention more than a moment. Your Lordships are aware that the London County Council are by far the largest contributors to the Metropolitan Police, and I wish to say on their behalf that it is their conviction that the very large extra charge involved will be borne cheerfully so far as it affects the ratepayers. On the other hand, the Home Secretary has admitted that on certain points affected by this Bill the London County Council and the ratepayers of London have some claim on the Government, and I dare say at a later stage of the Bill the noble Earl will allow me to address a few words to him on this matter.

On Question, Bill read 2a and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.