163 STANDING COMMITTEE A Tuesday, 7th June, 1921.

[Mr. WM. NICHOLSON in the Chair.]

POLICE PENSIONS BILL.
[OFFICIAL REPORT.] CLAUSE 18.
—(Rateable deductions from pay.)

"The police authority of every police force shall deduct from the pay of every member of the force—

  • sums at the rate of two and half per cent. per annum on his pay (in this Act referred to as rateable deductions); and
  • such stoppages during sickness, and such fines for misconduct, as may be provided by any regulations affecting the force."
  • Question (12th May, 1921) again proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

    Sir FORTESCUE FLANNERY: I want to raise a question as to the time of meeting of the Committee. At the last meeting the Committee was adjourned until Thursday, and then, without any announcement properly made, and, I believe, without consultation with any Member of the Committee or yourself, the date was altered to to-day. The practical consequences of that alteration are that my hon. Friend (Sir J. Remnant), who has been in direct communication with certain prominent representatives of the Police Force, and who is fully instructed upon their wishes, is not able to be present to-day by reason of that arbitrary change in the date, although he would have been present on Thursday. I am not raising this point of Order in a captious sense, but I desire that the Police interests shall be represented by someone who has a knowledge of them at first hand, and, in the absence of my hon. Friend, I raise the point as to whether this is a properly constituted Committee, and, if it is not, I shall ask leave to move the Adjournment in order that my hon. 164 Friend may be present for the purpose of representing fully and properly the wishes of the Police Force on this subject.

    The CHAIRMAN: That is not exactly a point of Order, but a question dealing with the proceedings of the Committee. We cannot consult every Member of the Committee. The sittings must be fixed, taking into consideration the general convenience of the Committee. It is very important that, on a Government Bill, representatives of the Government should be present. The Committee was postponed the other day because there was a Cabinet Meeting, and the representatives of the Home Office could not possibly have been here. It was only at the very last moment that they found they could not be present, and if the Committee had met on Thursday morning it would have had to adjourn. I was consulted, and I fully accept the responsibility of postponing the Committee until to-day. It is unfortunate that the hon. Baronet (Sir J. Remnant) cannot be present, but we have to consider the convenience of the Committee as a whole, and of Government business rather than the convenience of a single individual Member.

    Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill," put, and agreed to.

    CLAUSE 19.
    —(Return of rateable deductions.)

    (1) Where a member of a police force, not having been dismissed or required to retire as an alternative to dismissal, leaves the force without a pension or gratuity, the police authority, except where he removes to another force in such circumstances as will enable him to reckon his approved service in the first mentioned force as approved service in the force into which he removes, shall pay him the whole of the rateable deductions which have been made from his pay.

    (2) Where a member of a police force is required to retire as an alternative to dismissal the police authority may, if they think fit, pay him the whole or any part of such rateable deductions as aforesaid, or apply the same in such manner as they think fit for the benefit of his wife or children (if any), and where a member of a police force is dismissed, the police authority may, if they think fit, apply the whole or any part of such rateable deductions as aforesaid in such manner as they think fit for the benefit of his wife or children (if any).

    (3) Where a member of a police force dies leaving no wife and no child under sixteen, the police authority may apply for the 165 benefit of any person who was dependent on him at the time of his death a sum not exceeding the amount of the rateable deductions which have been made from his pay.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I beg to move in Sub-section (2) to leave out the words "may, if they think fit," and to insert instead thereof the word "shall." I move this on behalf of my hon. Friend (Sir J. Remnant). This affects the action of the local authority which controls the police force. If a particular member of the force is required to retire, as an alternative to dismissal, the Bill as it stands gives the police authority the power of doubly punishing the constable, or it may be a policeman of higher rank. They may not only order his retirement, but may confiscate the monies which he has contributed for the purpose of pension. That would be an act of double punishment. It is bad enough for a man to be retired compulsorily from active service, with the stigma cast upon him which such compulsory retirement may involve, but if, in addition, the authority has the power to punish him by confiscating the contributions which he has made, perhaps over a long series of years, towards a pension for himself, or provision for his wife and children, or for his widow if he dies, it is a hardship for which I am sure the Home Secretary would not take the responsibility. I hope his kind heart and sound judgment will enable him to accept the Amendment.

    THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Shortt): I am sorry that my heart is not so kind, and that I have not sufficient faith in my own judgment to overrule the recommendation of the Desborough Committee. Since 1890 the question of the return of the rateable deductions has been voluntary, and although it is voluntary under the Act, it has been the practice generally to return the deductions. The Desborough Committee were of opinion that the discretion should still be maintained. The police authorities are very strongly of the opinion that the discretion can still be maintained, and 30 years' experience has shown that the police authorities can be trusted to do the right thing in the right way should any case of hardship arise. Therefore, I ask the Committee not to accept this Amendment, but rather to follow the recommendations of 166 the Desborough Committee and the desires of the police authorities. It would hardly do to allow the police officers to feel that they had an absolute right to their deductions, no matter what they might do or of what they might be guilty. There must be some discretion. Where you have a man well able, in spite of his dismissal, to keep his wife and family—

    Sir F. FLANNERY: Dismissed without character, and be able to keep his wife and family?

    Mr. SHORTT: Yes. He may very well be able to do that; but if there were any hardship on the wife and family, the discretion is, and can be, used. Therefore, I ask the Committee not to alter what has been the established practice for 30 years, and what has been recommended by the Desborough Committee.

    Amendment negatived.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), to leave out the word "wife" and to insert instead thereof the word "widow." This is a purely drafting Amendment. I am told that "widow" is the more correct way of expressing it.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move, in Sub-section (3), after the word "was" ["who was dependent"] to insert the words "wholly or mainly." There is a later Amendment to insert the words "wholly or partly," but I think that "wholly or mainly" is the fairer way of putting it. The Committee will remember that on Clause 4 the word was "wholly"; but in this case we feel we can properly ask the Committee to accept the word "mainly" as well as "wholly."

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 20 (Saving of right of dismissal and reduction in rank) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 21.
    —(Payment of pensions out of police fund.)

    (1) All payments to the members of any police force or their widows, children, and dependants under this Act, or any enactment repealed thereby, and all payments by one police authority to another under this Act or any such enactment, and all other payments which in any enactment are directed 167 to be made out of the pension fund, shall be made out of the police fund, and the pension funds of all police forces to which this Act applies shall be abolished.

    (2) The payments specified in the Second Schedule to this Act (being payments which before the passing of this Act were made into the pension fund) shall, in lieu of being made into that fund, be made into the police fund, and the assets of any pension fund abolished under this Section shall, subject to any directions of the Secretary of State, be transferred to the police fund:

    Provided that any investments standing to the credit of a pension fund shall, subject to such directions as aforesaid, continue to be held by the police authority as investments, and any income therefrom shall be paid to the police fund.

    (3) The annual sums required under the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act, 1890, as amended by any subsequent enactment, to be applied for the purpose of police superannuation in England and Scotland respectively shall be distributed amongst the police funds in England and Scotland respectively in the proportions in which those sums were distributed in the financial year ended the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and fifteen, amongst the pension funds in England and Scotland respectively:

    Provided that the apportionment of the amount so to be distributed in the case of a borough police force established since the year nineteen hundred and thirteen shall be determined by agreement between the council of the borough and the council of county in which it is situated, or, in default of agreement, by the Secretary of State.

    (4) Nothing in this Section shall affect the method in force at the time of the commencement of this Act of paying pensions in the case of the county police in the divisions of Lincolnshire, or the payments to be made into the fund out of which those pensions are paid, and for the purpose of the last preceding Sub-section that fund shall be deemed to be the police fund.

    (5) A police authority shall not in respect of any year receive any payment under this Section unless the Secretary of State gives a certificate that the management and efficiency of the police force under that authority and the administration of this Act by that force have during that year been satisfactory; and, if the Secretary of State withholds that certificate as regards any police authority, the amount which would otherwise be payable to that authority under this Section shall be forfeited to the Crown and paid into the Exchequer.

    Before any such certificate is finally withheld in respect of any police force the Secretary of State shall communicate with the police authority of the force, and that authority may address any statement on the subject to the Secretary of State; and in every case in which the certificate is withheld a statement of the grounds on which the Secretary of State has withheld his cer- 168 tificate, together with any such statement of the police authority, shall be laid before Parliament.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move in Sub-section (4) after the word "paid" ["pensions are paid"] to insert the words "and the enactments relating to that fund shall continue to apply thereto." This Amendment arises out of the curious state of things that exists in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire is divided into three parts. They have one chief constable and one superannuation fund for the three parts, but each part has its own separate police authority, and its own separate police force, and the result is, I am sorry to say, sometimes very confusing and very inconvenient. Therefore, we are endeavouring as far as possible to persuade the three joint authorities to come together and to form one Committee for the whole county. In the meantime, it is necessary to preserve the fund that exists. To-day they have a Joint Committee which deals with the superannuation fund of the three different forces, and if these words are not put in, it may very well be that their superannuation fund would be split, and each force would have to take charge of its own share, which would be very inconvenient. If I am not out of order, I will explain, the further Amendment which I have down on this Clause. If the three Standing Joint Committees are able to agree to have one Standing Joint Committee for the whole county, then the superannuation fund and the pensions will be taken over by that one body, in place of the existing Joint Committee. It is purely a local matter which requires particular provision.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made at the end of Sub-section (4) to insert the words: Provided that if a Joint Committee of the several Standing Joint Committees for the three divisions of Lincolnshire should hereafter be constituted for general police purposes, such committee shall thereafter have the management of the joint superannuation fund in lieu of the Joint Committee appointed under the provisions of Section twenty-two of The County and Borough Police Act, 1859, as amended by Section seven of The Police (Superannuation) Act, 1865.—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    169 CLAUSE 22.
    —(Power for police authority to make regulations.)

    (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any regulations made under any statutory powers of the Secretary of State, every police authority may make regulations with respect to—

  • the deductions from service for sickness, misconduct or neglect of duty; and
  • stoppages of pay during sickness and fines for misconduct; and
  • the mode in which pensions are to be paid; and
  • the declarations to be made as a condition of the payment of pensions, gratuities, or allowances payable by the authority;
  • and otherwise for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act.

    (2) Regulations made under this section shall provide for all pensions and allowances being paid, so far as practicable, in advance, except in the case of refusal to quit police quarters, or any premises owned or rented by or on behalf of a police authority or the Receiver for the metropolitan police district, or to give up any equipment, or to make any payments due to the police authority or Receiver.

    Where a person dies whilst in receipt of a pension or allowance paid in advance no return shall be required of any payments which have been made in respect of any period after his death.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2) to leave out the words "so far as practicable." There is a practical reason for the omission of these words. In practice it has been found that constables would have to wait for two months, sometimes, and for varying periods, for their pensions. Those of us who are in easy circumstances cannot realise what it means to persons like police pensioners being kept out of the use of their money even for a month or two months. The inconvenience and hardship can hardly be realised except by those who have to live on a weekly allowance. This Amendment is proposed to prevent unnecessary cases of that kind. No doubt my right hon. Friend might say that the words "so far as practicable" cover all that is necessary. But I would remind him of the dictum of a learned judge who stated, "When I am told that so and so is practically of that character, then I know that it is not really so because the word 'practically' means that it has not attained full perfection." and the words "so far as practicable" are of the same character as those men- 170 tioned in the dictum of the learned judge.

    Mr. SHORTT: The real difficulty is the first instalment. It is impossible to pay the first instalment in advance. The intention of the Bill, in the ordinary course, is that all pensions shall be paid in advance. I am willing to accept the words "after the first instalment" instead of "so far as practicable."

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made: In Sub-section (2) after the word "paid" ["paid, so far"] insert the words "after the first instalment."—[Sir F. Flannery.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 23 (Application to chief officers of police) and 24 (Application to metropolitan police) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 25.
    —(Application to City of London Police.)

    (1) In the application of this Act to the City of London— the expression "member of a police force" shall include the commissioner, assistant commissioner, surgeon and any officer of the City of London police force and any clerk or person employed in or in connection with that Force; the provisions as to the age of compulsory retirement and the age of retirement without medical certificate shall apply to the commissioner and assistant commissioners of the City of London police as they apply to a chief constable.

    (2) The court of quarter sessions to which an application is to be made with respect to a decision as to a pension, gratuity or allowance shall, in the case of the City of London Police, be the Court of Quarter Sessions for the City of London.

    (3) All pensions or gratuities payable by the Common Council to widows of members of the police force of the City of London at the date of the commencement of this Act shall as from that date be payable out of the police rate of the City of London.

    Colonel Sir JAMES GREIG: I beg to move in Sub-section (3) to leave out the words "at the date of" and to insert instead thereof the words "shall as from." This is a purely formal Amendment to make quite clear that the Bill does not apply merely to pensions then in existence, but shall apply to all pensions then in existence or arising afterwards. I believe that the Home Office has been communicated with in reference to this Amendment and sees no objection to it.

    171

    Mr. SHORTT: I accept the Amendment.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made: In Sub-section (3) leave out the words "shall as from that date."—[Sir J. Greig.]

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move a new Sub-section: "(4) The Application of this Act to the City of London police force shall not prejudice any right possessed at the date of the passing of this Act by any member of that force." This Amendment is necessary to safeguard existing rights and interests. Under the Bill some persons may become members of the police force who were previously in the service of the Corporation, but not members of the police force, and the object is to safeguard any interest which they may have at present.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clause 26 (Application to first police reservists) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 27.
    —(Application to policewomen.)

    This Act, in its application to members of a police force who are women (hereinafter referred to as policewomen), shall have effect subject to the following modifications:—

  • No provision relating to pensions, gratuities, or other payments to or for the benefit of the widow or wife of a member or ex-member of a police force shall apply to the widower or husband of a policewoman:
  • No allowance or gratuity shall be payable in respect of any child of a deceased policewoman during the lifetime of the father, except where the police authority is satisfied that he cannot support or neglects to support the child.
  • Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move, after the word "effect" ["have effect subject"], to insert the words "as from the date of their appointment as members of the police force." This Amendment will require as its complement the other Amendment to this Clause standing in my name providing that a policewoman who has not been entitled to a pension up to the present, and who will become entitled to one under this Bill, shall, if she chooses to pay back the arrears of rateable reductions, be entitled to count the whole of 172 her service since she was first appointed. The object is to give a privilege to policewomen of which they can avail themselves or not as they choose.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: My hon. Friend (Mr. Ormsby-Gore) has put down an Amendment, in Sub-section (2), to leave out the words "or neglects to support." I understand that my right hon. Friend is willing to give the matter consideration on Report, and I will not move the Amendment now.

    Further Amendment made: At the end insert a new Sub-section: (3) A policewoman shall not be entitled to reckon as approved service any service before the passing of this Act unless she pays to the police authority a sum equal to the aggregate rateable deductions which would have been made from her pay if this Act had applied to her since the commencement of her service.—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 28.
    —(Application to existing members of police forces and existing pensions.)

    (1) This Act shall apply to members of a police force who were serving as such at the commencement of this Act, but—

  • the scale of ordinary pensions prescribed by this Act for members of a police force shall not apply to any person who became a member of a police force before the first day of July, nineteen hundred and nineteen, and was serving as such at the commencement of this Act, unless within three months after the passing of this Act he gives notice in writing to the police authority of his desire that those provisions shall apply to him, and where no such notice is given the scale of ordinary pensions applicable immediately before the commencement of this Act shall continue to apply as though this Act had not been passed; and
  • the provisions of this Act as to the age of compulsory retirement shall not apply to any member of a police force so serving unless and until he has completed the period of service prescribed by the pension scale applicable to his case as necessary to qualify him to retire without a medical certificate and receive a pension for life at a rate equal to two-thirds of his pay at the time of his retirement.
  • (2) A member of a police force who was serving as such on the first day of September, nineteen hundred and eighteen, or who, having while serving in a police force been 173 called out as a reservist, or entered or re-entered, enlisted or re-enlisted in any of His Majesty's naval, military or air forces for the purposes of the war, was on the said date serving in any of such forces shall, for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to pensions and gratuities to widows, be treated in the same manner as though he had joined the force after the said date and completed five years' approved service.

    (3) The provisons of sections eleven to seventeen, inclusive, and sections twenty-one and twenty-two of this Act shall extend so far as applicable to all pensions, gratuities, and allowances, whether granted before or after the commencement of this Act.

    (4) Nothing in this Act shall affect the right or any member of a police force to reckon as approved service any service which he was entitled so to reckon at the date of the commencement of this Act.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move in Sub-section (1, a) after the word "person" ["any person who became"] to insert the words "other than a policewoman." This is to ensure that when a policewoman comes under the terms of this Bill, and there is an alternative scheme of pension which police constables subscribing will be entitled to choose if they are more beneficial, the policewoman who gets a pension for the first time shall come under the scale provided in the Bill.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move in Sub-section (2) at the beginning, to insert the words "The widow of." The intention is to make plain that where the widow has a pension under the Act of 1918, she shall be entitled to the increase which has been provided.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: If not too late, I would like to move on behalf of my hon. Friend in Sub-section (1, a), after the word "the" ["given the scale"] to insert the word "maximum", so that the paragraph would read "where no such notice is given the maximum scale of ordinary pensions," and then I propose later on to move to omit the remainder of the paragraph.

    The CHAIRMAN: We have already passed from Sub-section (1), and that matter will have to come forward on the Report stage.

    Further Amendment made: After the word "treated" ["be treated in"] in- 174 sert the words "whether her husband died before or after the passing of this Act.—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 29 (Police areas and authorities) and 30 (Act to supersede local Acts) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    CLAUSE 31.
    —(Interpretation. See 1890.)

    For the purposes of this Act,—

  • The expression "total disablement" means total loss of earning capacity in any employment, and in the case of partial disablement the degree of disablement shall be based upon the degree to which earning capacity is affected taking into account the nature of the disability and the extent to which it would prejudice the capacity of obtaining and continuing in employment:
  • Any injury suffered by a member of a police force:
  • whilst on duty or whilst on a journey necessary to enable him to report for duty or to return home after duty; or
  • whilst not on duty in the performance of some act which he is bound as a constable to perform; shall be deemed to have been suffered in the execution of his duty:
  • Any injury intentionally inflicted, or incurred in the performance of a duty involving special risks shall be deemed to be a non-accidental injury.
  • Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move in Sub-section (1) to leave out the words "taking into account the nature of the disability and the extent to which it would prejudice the capacity of obtaining and continuing in employment." This is a drafting Amendment to get rid of superfluous words.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1), to add the words "and all the other circumstances of the case."

    The CHAIRMAN: All the words after "affected" have been omitted under the previous Amendment, so that this Amendment will not read.

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move, in Sub-section (2 b), to leave out the words "he is bound as a constable to perform," and to insert instead thereof the words "is within the scope of a constable's ordinary duties." 175 The object of this Amendment is to make clear the privileges which we wish the Act to provide, and that a constable, where he is not on duty and something occurs and he is bound to take action because he is a constable, shall in that case have the privileges of this Clause. I have been advised that the words, "is within the scope of a constable's ordinary duties," meet the case better than the words in the Bill.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Further Amendment made: At the end of Sub-section (2, b) insert a new paragraph. "(c) in consequence of some act performed in the execution of his duty."—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    Clauses 32 (Application to Scotland and Ireland) and 33 (Short title, commencement and repeal) ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    NEW CLAUSE.
    —(Special provisions as to fire brigade and fire police.)

    (1) Where any local Act or Order contains provisions as to a fire brigade or fire police the Secretary of State may frame and submit to Parliament a Provisional Order repealing or modifying such provisions so as to bring them into harmony with the provisions of this Act, and he may by such Order unite any existing fire brigade pension fund with a police fund, and may make any other adjustments as may appear necessary to him in order to give effect to this Act.

    (2) A Provisional Order under this Section shall be of no force unless and until it is confirmed by Act of Parliament, but when so confirmed shall have effect with any modifications made therein by Parliament.

    (3) If, while the Bill confirming any such Order is pending in either House of Parliament, a petition is presented against any Order comprised therein, the Bill, so far as it relates to that Order may be referred to a Select Committee, and the petitioner shall be allowed to appear and oppose as in the case of Private Bills.

    (4) All costs, charges, and expenses incurred by the Secretary of State in relation to any Order under this Section shall be defrayed by the authority applying for the Order.—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Brought up, and read the First time

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move "That the Clause be now read a Second time." This is merely a method of drafting. The new Clause is intended to incorporate the provisions of former Police 176 Acts. The Committee will agree that legislation by reference is highly inconvenient. This is designed to avoid that.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    Clause added to the Bill.

    The CHAIRMAN: Next on the Paper is a new Clause standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Ladywood Division (Mr. Neville Chamberlain): "(1) Where a constable in a police force is entitled to retire on a pension without a medical certificate, but continues to serve in the force, the police authority may, if they think fit, direct that he shall be entitled, on retiring at any time thereafter, to receive a pension not less in amount than that to which he would have been entitled if he had retired instead of continuing in the force, and in such case the right to receive on retirement such pension shall not, while the constable continues to serve in the force, be liable to forfeiture, except in the cases in which a pension when granted is liable to forfeiture under Section fourteen of this Act. (2) Before giving any such direction, and every year thereafter, the police authority shall cause the constable to be examined by some duly qualified medical practitioner, and, if on any such examination it is found that the constable is not physically fit for further service, the police authority shall not permit him to continue to serve in the force. (3) Where such a direction is given, any extra pay which may be granted to the constable in consideration of his continuing to serve after becoming entitled to retire on pension shall not be reckoned in the calculation of the amount of pension or gratuity awarded, and no rateable deductions shall be made from such extra pay under Section eighteen of this Act."

    Mr. SHORTT: I will consider that on Report.

    FIRST SCHEDULE.
    PENSION SCALE.
    PART I.
    MEMBERS OF A POLICE FORCE.

    (a) Ordinary Pensions.

    1. On retirement with twenty-five years' approved service or over.—Such proportion of the annual pay as is specified in scale number 1, set out in the subjoined table.

    2. On retirement with ten years' approved service or over with medical certificate.—Such proportion of the annual pay as is specified in scale number 2, set out in the said table.

    (b) Special Pensions.

    3. On total disablement from an injury received in the execution of duty 177

  • if the injury is non-accidental, such proportion of the annual pay as is specified in scale number 3 of the said table;
  • if the injury is accidental, such proportion of the annual pay as is specified in scale number 4 in the said table;
  • if it is not possible to determine definitely whether the injury is accidental or non-accidental, such rate intermediate between the rates prescribed in the preceding paragraphs (a) and (b) as the police authority may determine.
  • 4. On partial disablement from an injury received in the execution of duty.—Such proportion of the pension applicable in case of

    TABLE. Scales of Pensions.
    Completed years of approved service. Proportion of Pension to Pay on Retirement.
    Scale No. 1. On retirement with 25 years' approved service or over. Scale No. 2. On retirement with 10 years' approved service or over with medical certificate. Scale No. 3. On total disablement from non-accidental injury received in execution of duty. Scale No. 4. On total disablement from accidental injury received in execution of duty. Scale No. 5. On partial disablement from non-accidental injury. Scale No. 6. On partial disablement from accidental injury.
    60ths. 60ths. 60ths. 60ths. 60ths. 60ths.
    1 or less 45 30 20 10
    2 45 30 20 10
    3 45 30 20 10
    4 45 30 20 10
    5 45 30 20 10
    6 45 30 20 10
    7 45 30 20 10
    8 45 30 20 10
    9 45 30 20 10
    10 10 45 30 20 10
    11 11 48 32 21 11
    12 12 48 32 22 12
    13 13 48 32 23 13
    14 14 48 32 24 14
    15 15 48 32 25 15
    16 16 51 34 26 16
    17 17 51 34 27 17
    18 18 51 34 28 18
    19 19 51 34 29 19
    20 20 51 34 30 20
    21 22 54 36 32 22
    22 24 54 36 34 24
    23 26 54 36 36 26
    24 28 54 36 38 28
    25 30 30 54 36 40 30
    26 32 32 57 38 40 32
    27 34 34 57 38 40 34
    28 36 36 57 38 40 36
    29 38 38 57 38 40 38
    30 or over 40 40 60 40 40 40

    PART II.
    WIDOWS AND CHILDREN.

    (a) Widows' Pensions.

    6. Widow's ordinary pension.—The pension shall be— if her husband was a constable, sergeant, or sub-inspector at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £30 a year.

    178

    total disablement as the degree of disablement bears to total disablement:

    Provided that the penson shall not be leas than such proportion of the annual pay as is specified, if the injury was non-accidental, in scale number 5 in the subjoined table, and otherwise in scale number 6 in the said table.

    (c) Gratuities.

    5. On retirement with medical certificate with less than ten years' approved service.—The gratuity shall be an amount equal to one-twelfth of the annual pay for each completed year of approved service, or, where a member of a police force has not completed one year of approved service, an amount equal to the rateable deductions which have been made from his pay.

    if he was an inspector (including sub-divisional or chief inspector) at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £40 a year. if he was of a higher rank at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £50 a year.

    7. Widow's special pension.—The pension shall be equal to one-third of his annual pay at the time of his death or retirement.

    179

    (b) Widows' Gratuities.

    8. The gratuity shall be of such amount as the police authority shall determine, but not exceeding one-twelfth of her husband's annual pay for each completed year of approved service, or, where he had not completed one year of approved service, the amount of the rateable deductions which had been made from his pay.

    (c) Children's Allowances.

    9. Member of a police force or pensioner dying us the result of non-accidental injury received in the execution of duty.—The allowance in respect of each child who has not attained the age of sixteen shall be an annual allowance, up to the time that child attains the age of sixteen, at the rate of one-fifteenth of the annual pay; and if he leaves no widow or the widow dies before all the children attain the age of sixteen, the allowance may be increased up to two-fifteenths of such pay in respect of each child under sixteen; but in any case the aggregate amount paid in any year by way of children's allowances when added to the widow's pension, if any, shall not exceed two-thirds of such pay.

    10. Member of a police, force dying from any other cause or pensioner dying as the result of accidental injury received in the execution of his duty.—The allowance in respect of each child who has not attained the age of sixteen shall be an annual allowance up to the time that child attains the age of sixteen at the rate of—

  • £10 in the case of a person who was a constable, sergeant, or sub-inspector at the time of his death;
  • £12 in the case of a person who was an inspector (including a sub-divisional or chief inspector) at the time of his death;
  • £15 in the case of a person who was of a higher rank at the time of his death;
  • Provided that the aggregate amount of such allowances in any year shall not exceed £30, £40 and £50 in the three cases respectively; but if he leaves no widow, or if the widow dies before all the children attain the age of sixteen, the actual and aggregate allowance may be increased by fifty per cent. above the sums hereinbefore mentioned.

    (d) Children's Gratuities.

    11. The gratuity shall be an amount not exceeding one-sixtieth of the annual pay for each completed year of approved service, or where he had not completed one year of approved service not exceeding one-sixtieth of the annual pay, so that the total amount of any gratuity or gratuities granted to the widow and children does not exceed one-twelfth of the annual pay for each completed year of approved service, or, where he has not completed one year of approved service, the amount of the rateable deductions which had been made from the pay.

    PART III.
    GENERAL RULES.

    12. The same person shall not be entitled, unless expressly so provided in this Act, to 180 a gratuity in addition to a pension, or to both an ordinary pension and a special pension.

    13. A gratuity shall be paid in one sum, except that in special cases it may be paid by instalments if the police authority consider that it would be to the advantage of a widow or children to do so; and a child's allowance or gratuity may be paid to a guardian or trustee if the police authority consider that it would be to the advantage of the child to do so.

    14. If the widow of a member of a police force was at the time of his death living apart from her husband (not having been deserted by him), a pension or gratuity shall be paid to her only if the police authority are satisfied that he regularly contributed to her support; and the amount of a pension shall not in such a case exceed the amount which her husband contributed.

    15. The widow and children of a pensioner shall not receive any pension, allowance or gratuity unless the marriage took place before he left the police force.

    16. The pension of the widow of a member of a police force to whom a gratuity has been granted on retirement shall be payable as from such date after his death as the police authority may determine, and the pension of the widow of a pensioner shall be payable as from the end of the last period in respect of which her husband's pension was paid.

    17. The payment of a widow's pension or the balance of a widow's gratuity shall, if at any time she re-marries, be suspended, but in the event of her again becoming a widow, shall be resumed on proof to the satisfaction of the police authority that her circumstances are such that the pension or balance of gratuity is necessary for her support and that she is of good character and deserving of bounty out of public funds.

    18. A widow's pension or the balance of a widow's gratuity shall be payable only so long as she is of good character.

    19. In calculating any pension, gratuity, or allowance for the purposes of this Act, "annual pay" means annual pay at the date of death or retirement as the case may require:

    Provided that—

  • where a member of a police force at the date of his retirement or death holds a rank to which he has been promoted within the three preceding years, his annual pay at the date of the retirement or death shall be deemed to be the average annual amount of pay received by him for the said three years, instead of the annual amount actually received by him at that date, so, however, that the pension, allowance, or maximum gratuity payable shall not be less than if he had continued in his former rank; and
  • where the pay at the date of death or retirement was weekly pay the amount of the annual pay shall be deemed to be fifty-two times the amount of the weekly pay.
  • 181

    For the purpose of the foregoing provisions of this rule the following only shall be recognised as ranks in a police force, that is to say, chief constable, assistant chief constable, superintendent, inspector, sergeant and constable:

    Provided that in Scotland the rank of lieutenant, in the Metropolitan police the ranks of commissioner, assistant commissioner, and deputy assistant commissioner, and in the City of London police the ranks of commissioner and assistant commissioner shall also be so recognised.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I beg to move in Part II, paragraph 6, to leave out the words:

  • if her husband was a constable, sergeant, or sub-inspector at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £30 a year.
  • if he was an inspector (including sub-divisional or chief inspector) at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £40 a year.
  • if he was of a higher rank at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £50 a year.
  • and to insert instead thereof the words:
  • if her husband was a constable at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £45 a year.
  • if he was a sergeant or sub-inspector at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £50 a year.
  • if he was an inspector (including sub-divisional or chief inspector) at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £65 a year.
  • if he was of a higher rank at the time of his death or retirement, at the rate of £100 a year.
  • The new words are practically the same as those proposed to be left out, except that they would increase the rates of pay which qualify for the widow's ordinary pension. That is to say, that £30 is increased to £45, that £50 shall be the limit for a sergeant, that there shall be £65 a year for an inspector instead of £40, and £100 a year for the higher ranks instead of the £50 stated in the Bill. The advantage to the widows, if these alterations are made, is obvious, and I hope the Home Secretary will see his way to agree to them. The desire of the police force. I believe, is more to provide handsomely for their widows, having regard to the danger of their occupation, than merely to provide for themselves in their old age.

    Mr. SHORTT: I am sure every one would wish to make the pensions as generous as possible, but one must have regard, and I ask the Committee to have regard, to the taxpayer and the rate- 182 payer who provide the bulk of this money. The increase proposed, although not very great, is substantial. The existing pensions for constables and sergeants are £26 under the 1918 Act, and it is proposed by the Amendment to raise them to £30, for inspectors to increase them from £32 to £40, and for the higher ranks to increase them from £40 to £50. That will, of course, mean a very considerable increase in cost to the taxpayer and to the ratepayer, because the taxpayer pays half the police expenses. I am advised by those who have examined the proposal actuarially that if the Amendment is passed it will mean something approaching £500,000 a year additional cost. Much as I should like to do so, I do not feel justified in asking the Committee to accept this burden now. We know what is the position of ratepayers at the present time. Even if it was proposed to add to the contributions paid by the men, those contributions would have to be very substantial and the men would not consider them for a moment. There was a proposal that certain alterations should be made in widows' pensions and an additional £22 a year was suggested. That was considered by the Central Committee of the Police Federation, and when they found what the amount of contribution by the men would be they at once said they would have nothing to do with it. I am afraid it would be impossible to get such a sum as £500,000 a year without a very substantial contribution, and that the men themselves would reject.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I would make a suggestion. In the case of a former Amendment, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary stated that before the Report stage he would confer with the hon. Member for Ladywood (Mr. N. Chamberlain) on the Amendments of which notice had been given. My right hon. Friend's objection to this Amendment is based mainly upon the supposition that the police force generally would not be willing to levy themselves more heavily in order to provide for these larger pensions. I think my right hon. Friend's surmise may not be, and I am advised it is not, well-founded, but there will probably be time between now and Report to ascertain how far the members of the police force would be willing to co-operate by levying them selves more heavily, and if the Home 183 Secretary will kindly undertake to confer with the hon. Member for Holborn (Sir J. Remnant) and myself upon this point in the interval, I shall ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

    Mr. SHORTT indicated assent.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    Amendments made: In Part II, paragraph 10, after the word "death" ["sub-inspector at the time of his death"], insert the words "or retirement."

    After the word "death" ["sub-divisional or chief inspector) at the time of his death"], insert the words "or retirement."

    After the word "death" ["a higher rank at the time of his death"], insert the words "or retirement."—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Mr. SHORTT: I beg to move, in Part II, at the end of paragraph 11, to insert a new paragraph:

    "(e) Dependant's Gratuities.

    12. The gratuity shall be an amount not exceeding the amount of the rateable deductions which have been made from the pay of the member of the police force."

    An Amendment was accepted to Clause 4 empowering the police authority to pay a gratuity to the dependant of a police constable, and this is to make provision for the amount of the payment that may be made under that Amendment.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I beg to move, in Part III, to leave out the words: "(a) where a member of a police force at the date of his retirement or death holds a rank to which he has been promoted within the three preceding years, his annual pay at the date of the retirement or death shall be deemed to be the average annual amount of pay received by him for the said three years, instead of the annual amount actually received by him at that date, so, however, that the pension, allowance, or maximum gratuity payable shall not be less than if he had continued in his former rank; and " The meaning of those words as they stand in the Bill is that if a constable is promoted and dies within three years of his promotion, the pension which he received will be based, not upon the rank that he held and the pay that he was receiving at the time of his death, but will be based upon the average of three years. In other words, you promote a 184 man in his life-time and you revoke the promotion at his death. Surely that is a state of things quite unknown anywhere except in the police force. If a man is promoted and receives a higher rate of pay, until he has done something wrong or his health fails, or some other cause arises, he should enjoy that rate of pay. On what ground, except the ground of economy, which governs everything nowadays in the alarm of the Government, is it suggested that a constable or man of any rank should, as regards his dependent, revert to an earlier and less important rank and rate of pay at his death?

    Mr. SHORTT: This is not a new thing at all. It has been the law from 1890 to the present day. It may be that three years will be too long, but it is necessary to have some time, because you must, unfortunately, guard against promotions just before retirement, which are not bonâ fide promotions, but are made merely for the purpose of ensuring a higher pension than a man has properly earned. That is the danger to be met by these words. It may be that the time, three years, might be discussed, and I shall be very happy to discuss it with the Mover of the Amendment and the hon. Member for Holborn (Sir J. Remnant) if they wish it.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: Make a suggestion new.

    Mr. SHORTT: I cannot.

    Sir F. FLANNERY: On the understanding that this question will be discussed with a view of reducing the period of three years, and very substantially reducing it, I ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

    Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

    Mr. PERRING: Will the Home Secretary tell us whether, when the Bill refers to "male," it refers also to "female," having in view the fact that there are now women constables? I am afraid there will be complications if it only means a man and no reference is made to a woman.

    Mr. SHORTT: It means both.

    Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

    Second Schedule ("Sums to be carried to Police Fund") and Third Schedule ("Police areas and authorities") agreed to.

    185

    FOURTH SCHEDULE.
    ENACTMENTS REPEALED.
    Session and Chapter. Title or Short Title. Extent of Repeal.
    2 & 3 Vict. c. xciv. An Act for regulating the Police in the City of London. Sections 11 and 12; in section 13 the words "any wounds or injuries received, or;" section 87.
    37 Vict. c. xciv. The City of London Police Act, 1874 The whole Act.
    52 & 53 Vict. c. cxxvii. The City of London Police Superannuation Act, 1889. Sections 2 to 8; section 10; sections 13 and 14.
    53 & 54 Vict. c. 45. The Police Act, 1890 Sections 1 to 21 (inclusive), 22 (1) and (2), 30 to 32 (inclusive), 35 and 36, and the First Schedule.
    53 & 54 Vict. c. 67 The Police (Scotland) Act, 1890 Sections 1, 2, 4 to 24 (inclusive), 25 (1) and (2), 27 to 29 (inclusive), 31 and 32, and the First Schedule.
    56 Vict. c. 10 The Police Act, 1893 Sections 3 to 8 inclusive.
    57 & 58 Vict. c. vii. The City of London Police Superannuation Act, 1894. The whole Act.
    6 Edw. 7. c. 7 The Police (Superannuation) Act, 1906 The whole Act.
    8 Edw. 7. c. 5 The Police (Superannuation) Act, 1908 The whole Act.
    9 Edw. 7. c. 40 The Police Act, 1909 Section 5.
    10 Edw. 7. and 1 Geo. 5. c. 10. The Police (Scotland) Act, 1890 (Amendment) Act, 1910. The whole Act.
    1 & 2 Geo. 2. c. lxxxiv. The City of London (Various Powers) Act, 1911. Section 25.
    8 & 9 Geo. 5. c. 51 The Police (Pensions) Act, 1918 Sections 1, 2, 3, and 5.
    9 & 10 Geo. 5. c. 46 The Police Act, 1919
    10 & 11 Geo. 5. c. xxvii. City of London (Various Powers) Act, 1920. Section 6 and section 13 (3). Section 11.

    Amendments made: in 53 & 54 Vict. c. 45, leave out in Column 3 "21 (inclusive), 22 (1) and (2)," and insert instead thereof "22 (inclusive)."

    In 56 Vict. c. 10, insert at the beginning of Column 3, "Section 1, Sub-section (3) of Section 2, and."—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

    TITLE.—(A Bill to Consolidate and Amend the Law respecting the retirement, pensions, allowances, and gratuities of members of Police Forces in Great Britain, and their widows and children.)

    Amendment made: Leave out the words "and children," and insert instead thereof the words "children and dependants."—[Mr. Shortt.]

    Question, "That this be the Title, as amended," put, and agreed to.

    186

    Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill, as amended, be reported to the House."

    Sir F. FLANNERY: I want to thank my right hon. Friend for the concessions he has promised, and to assure him that my hon. Friend (Sir J. Remnant) and myself and some others will seek the earliest opportunity, if he will kindly give us notice, of conference with him. I hope we shall be able to arrive at a conclusion with his consent which on the Report stage will command the support of the House. I am sure we all desire only to seek fair terms for the police force whose contentment and efficiency are of such vital importance to the country.

    Question put, and agreed to.

    The Committee rose at Six minutes after Twelve o'Clock.

    187

    THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS ATTENDED THE COMMITTEE:

    Nicholson, Mr. William (Chairman)

    Barker, Mr. George

    Barrand, Mr.

    Bigland, Mr.

    Bird, Sir Alfred

    Cape, Mr.

    Denniss, Mr. Bartley

    Du Pre, Colonel

    Edgar, Mr.

    Flannery, Sir Fortescue

    Gray, Major

    Greig, Colonel Sir James

    Johnstone, Mr.

    Mills, Mr.

    Morison, Mr.

    Munro, Mr.

    Murray, Dr.

    Norris, Colonel Sir Henry

    Parkinson, Mr. Allen

    Perring, Mr.

    Rodger, Mr.

    Sexton, Mr.

    Shortt, Mr.

    Yeo, Sir Alfred

    188