§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
My Lords, the question with which this Bill deals has been before Parliament for some years, but this is the first session in which the Bill has passed through all its stages in another place, and, I may say, practically without opposition. The Bill was amended in Committee to meet the views of the Secretary for Scotland, on whom pressure had been brought to bear by the County Councils Association. The Bill, shortly, provides that no constable, not being above the rank of inspector, shall be employed on police duty for more than six days a week. There is a proviso that this Bill shall not come into force in any police area until the date has been fixed by the police authorities. There is a further proviso that in the case of a burgh or police burgh of over 10,000 population 226 the Bill shall come into force four years after its passing; and in the event of a future census showing that any burgh or police burgh has attained a population of 10,000 or over, then the Bill shall come into force in that burgh or police burgh two years after that census has been taken. Further, the police authority in any county in fixing the date for the Bill to come into force can exclude from the operation of the Bill any part or parts of the police area of such authority. I have never heard a noble Lord in this House refer to the police without adding some eulogium as to what an excellent body of men they are, and I therefore hope that your Lordships will give this Bill a sympathetic reception. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That tie Bill be now read 2ª—(Lord Sempill.)
§ THE PAYMASTER-GENERAL (LORD STRACHIE)
My Lords, in the unavoidable absence of Lord Emmott, who represents the Scottish Office in this House, I have been asked by him to say that the Government heartily approve of this Bill and support it. The Bill is to a very large extent compulsory only as regards burghs of over 10,000 population, leaving to other areas an option as to whether they will come in or not.
§ On Question, Bill read 2ª and committed to a Committee of the Whole House To-morrow.