BNC Text K76

House of Lords: hearing. Sample containing about 9424 words speech recorded in public context

6 speakers recorded by respondent number C651

PS5PB X m (Motterstone, age unknown, member of parliament, no further information given) unspecified
PS5PC X m (Rippon, age unknown, member of parliament) unspecified
PS5PD X m (Macintosh, age unknown, member of parliament) unspecified
PS5PE X m (boyd-carpenter, age unknown) unspecified
K76PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
K76PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 120301 recorded on 1994-02-15. LocationGreater London: Central London () Activity: Unknown

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [1] Would be suitable by anybody's standard whether locally or by er centrally don't volunteer either because they find working with councillors and local officials [...] particularly in recent years when local authorities have become much more party political and that's been a pity, or the suitable people are too busy running their own businesses.
[2] There are of course exceptions of those who are neither councillors nor magistrates er and are prepared to do these jobs, but there aren't very many in relation to er the numbers of people that would be required for this sort of task and there are many other activities for which there are required, like school governors who like helping on various health bodies and er they haven't got the time to do them all, and if they have, they probably aren't suitable, because I have to my Lords that a lord of people who volunteer for these sorts of tasks and I have experience of them aren't people that locally we would like to have sitting on these various bodies and we have to discourage them one way and another.
[3] So I have to say that though I at this moment very close to this in the smallest county of England I have also had experience in three other major counties in mainland England er and I have found the same experience the difficulty of finding people who will even be councillors or magistrates, let alone these other jobs that the er that the er Home Secretary seeks to find.
[4] ... My Lords in any case, the best arrangements if we have to have these extra people would be to have a number appointed er but encouraged by th the police authority itself.
[5] If the police authority was invited to co-opt people to add to their numbers, making sure that the majority still stayed with the councillors, then I don't think one should have too much objection to it, but if it's to be done in this er this way of central er of central allocation er in the form of the answer to the question to my noble friend Lord Lyle from my noble friend the Minister on the 17th of January which the Noble Lord, Lord Carrigan made reference in which these people are to be er ... i i it staggers me my Lord, I have to stop for the moment, it staggers me the er the insolence, the insolence of the Home Office in writing down job descriptions and personal profiles for people that are going to function locally.
[6] If anybody wants to know whether people are right to perform the local duty
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [7] Hear!
[8] Hear!
Motterstone (PS5PB) [9] they don't want to have some er official or or some management consultant who's eager to get a job and get extra money paid for him by a dumb government department, if those people are going to tell us what sort of people we want on that ... on police authorities, I think it is total insolence and I trust that whatever happens to this Bill that that answer that was given on the 17th of January is removed and replaced by something else, if it has to be replaced at all.
[10] My Lords to come back to what it said at the end, and this is what the Noble Lord, Lord Carrigan mentioned, it talks about one of six regional short listing panels.
[11] Now six regions in the whole of England and a an and Wales and the Isle of Wight er but were separate from you, er
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
Motterstone (PS5PB) [12] six regions to cover that vast area, how can they know what it's like in Cornwall if the region is run from Bristol?
[13] How can two people have a management consultant really know what's going on and what the right sort of people to have for er supplementing the th the police authority are?
[14] This is absurd My Lords.
[15] When I had occasion to talk to the Home Secretary about this, I asked him about this and he said oh, we want it to be local and I said you mean local not region and he said yes, local and I hope my noble friend who was there will remember that when he comes to decide whether this region things ever going to get a running.
[16] I trust, I trust that if there's going to be any question of names coming forward to be a approved locally, not selected, I hope not selected, that they will be er they'll come from the local level at which the police authority actually functions and not from other counties without that particular area ... and so My Lords, I would suggest er that er ... the best step to go for is er Lord MacIntosh's Amendment Number Five and his er supplements and I would suggest My Lords that Amendment Number Twenty is resisted by your Lordships because it talks about one half of the members shall be members of a relevant council and I suggest above all My Lords that Amendment Number Twenty Seven is cast into outer darkness.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [17] Hear!
[18] Hear!
Rippon (PS5PC) [19] My Lords i in the eighteen months I've been privileged to be a Member of Lordships House, I've often asked myself what our functions are.
[20] I simply say that on the debates we've had on the Policing Bill, I've learnt what the functions of your Noble House is all about and the speech that's just been made from across the Chamber from me, sums up entirely my views on the matter, and I say to your Lordships House that on the basis of experience as Northern Ireland Secretary when one is a Home Secretary for a province and there's a ... number of people in this House who've had a job to do including the Noble Lord, The Noble Viscount Whitelaw who set the tone of the way we all proceeded, I accept that, the one of the things we had to do there was bring democracy back to policing and the primary force of policing is taking a long time to do and that here as Home Secretary, everything I learned there was, stop the growing centralisation and the weakening of the police authorities and police force and this Bill does exactly that ... But now one of the questions I've asked myself and it's the only point because all the points have been made that I really want to ask the Government is what are these appointees for?
[21] Whatever numbers there are what are they for?
[22] We've had a ... an expose if that's the right word of the method of appointing them, but from my own experience in my own area, where are they going to come from, what functions are they going to carry out?
[23] Well now I've been clearing my mind on the role of the Chief Constable ... a and of the Police Committee.
[24] What is for sure on the basis of a judgment made in nineteen sixty-eight when my Noble friend Lord Callaghan of Cardiff er was Home Secretary, it was made quite clear that no Minister of the Crown can tell a Chief Constable, can tell him he must or mee no or must not keep observation on this place or that.
[25] I wonder whether that has been carried out to the letter on one or two occasions in the last ten years.
[26] He must or must not prosecute this man or that, nor can any police authority tell him so, the responsibility is on him, he is answerable to the law alone.
[27] So whatever else My Lords, these appointees might they're going to do, it will not be telling the Chief Constable what to do.
[28] Their knowledge of the area may be slight, it may be greater than perhaps we think, but they will not be able to tell the Chief Constable what to do and that is the glory of our system.
[29] It's against the system in Continental Europe, it's against the system I saw in the occupied West Bank when I went out with the police last year and what I saw in South Africa a fortnight ago when I went out w with the police there i i i into the shanty towns and so on.
[30] In our experience the Chief Constable is independent and subject to the law.
[31] What are these appointees to do?
[32] What are they supposed to do?
[33] So, I had a look at the powers of the police authority and they're restricted to financial and administrative responsibilities and if I took that argument further, of course the Chief Constable has to take that into account.
[34] Now it's on the financial and administrative side that I suspect that the Home Office is concerned about ... and I believe they've gone the wrong way about it.
[35] What I learnt as Home Secretary, unlike myself as Home, Home Secretary, with a police department, with the inspectorate, you having a backing, the local police authorities do not.
[36] It is time that they had a backing.
[37] If we need people with financial experience and managerial experience, then appoint them to the local to the Police Committee, given them a job to do, they're the ones that are should advise the Chief Constable and the Police Committee as to whether they're spending the right of money on computers and are using it properly, not whether they're using them operationally correctly.
[38] So let's sweep aside this idea of appointees because the Home Secretary of the day and his predecessor and the Home Office and the inspectorate feel that the police authorities are not doing a proper job, give them the tools to do a pres proper job.
[39] I was talking to someone in the Federation the other day, the Police Federation, trying to tease out this idea a and they said ... the sort of a permanent Under Secretary.
[40] Well that's getting near it, but not members of the police authority who are in and should have the role of non-executive directors.
[41] I appeal to the Government to think again, this is going down the wrong road, we do not need these appointed, these appointees appointed by the Home Office and they know how it's done, they know this new method, but there is the list of the greater the good, and if there's ... of course there will be a bias one way or the other arising out of the very method by which it is done.
[42] We do not want this My Lords,th the th the appointed members system will be wrong, it will be against the whole trend of policing as the Noble Lord Harris spelt out from eighteen thirty-five.
[43] I appeal to this House to reject th this th this method that the Government is putting forward, it is wrong and that's the function of this House.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [44] Hear!
[45] Hear!
Macintosh (PS5PD) [46] The important debate in my opinion that we shall have this Committee stage and it is for that reason and also because for four-and-a-half years which I think is regarded as a very long time, I was answerable for police affairs er with the Home Secretary in another place, as the Noble Lord, Lord Callaghan will remember, many years ago, it goes back to January nineteen fifty-eight when I became Under Secretary and he was political advisor to the Police Federation and we very rarely disagreed I'm happy to say.
[47] I agree with what my Noble Friend Lord Motterstone has said about this and also [...] with what my Noble friend Lord Rippon has said.
[48] It is of vital importance to the successful operation of the police that they should have the co-operation of the public and they're much more likely to get it if democratically elected representatives of the public are well represented indeed in the majority at least on the police authority.
[49] Without that, public confidence in my opinion is not as good as it should be.
[50] I also consider that in view of their experience in the courts, the er the magistrates on the police authorities have a vital part to play.
[51] Now My Lords, we have a [...] of amendments on o on this subject, really there is [giggle] a great scope for confusion.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [52] Hear!
[53] Hear!
Macintosh (PS5PD) [54] And I'm going to make a suggestion to my Noble friend Lord [...] he has heard all the erm views ... which are critical of the Government's approach and I would not have thought that he had much hope in the division lobby as [...] quite frankly.
[55] Therefore I suggest to him that he should give an undertaking to do two things ... er first that he should do two things.
[56] First to give an undertaking that he will consider this matter very fully and in consultation with the Home Secretary between now and the report stage and secondly, that his consultation will extend across Your Lordships House, because I do think that in the light of the discussion which we have already h had there is a consensus emerging among Your Lordships which had will be worth my Noble friend following up.
[57] Now having said that in, in er as a general I hope helpful suggestion, may I just make one or two comments about matters on the in the Government amendments which [...] .
[58] I agree with the Noble Lord, my Noble friend Lord Motterstone about an Amendment Number Twenty Seven.
[59] It is phrased in a most unusual way.
[60] If your Lordships would look at sub-section one, the members of the police authority are referred to in section three A er or one B or er one A-B of this Act, shall be persons appointed by the Secretary of State from a list of persons compiled in accordance with an Order made by the Secretary of State.
[61] Now I've never seen a provision like that put forward for legislation before.
[62] Er Noble Lords er know a good precedent erm y you just [...] but I've never seen one before ... and erm ... so far ... of course perhaps I'm being unfair as there hasn't been the opportunity to do so, but so far we have had no explanation from the Government as to how that list i it is proposed shall be compiled
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [clears throat]
Macintosh (PS5PD) [63] but how ever it is compiled it would run contrary to the principles which my Noble Friend Lord Motterstone and my Noble Friend Lord Rippon have already stated and would [...] stated in all parts of the House.
[64] Therefore er I, I do feel that there's a the Government have a very great difficulty over this matter, I'm a keen and sympathetic supporter of the Government as all My Lords know, but on this occasion I do think that we would be entitled to ask them to think a again and to do so on this matter.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [65] Hear!
[66] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [67] Lords I rise to support ... the Amendments move by Lord MacIntosh of Haringey ... which I believe are fundamental to the future policing of this country.
[68] May I first say that I am sorry in fact that local authorities and police authorities are being separated in the way clause two proposes.
[69] I was brought up in the days of the old Police Acts.
[70] As an Assistant Chief Constable I was serving a pr ... er I'm sorry [...] in the line of a city watch committee in Birmingham.
[71] I was subsequently Chief Constable of the combined Sheffield and Rotherham Police Force which whilst a joint committee, still regarded so very much as serving the two separate authorities and finally I was Chief in a Metropolitan country, with a county council and a police committee and I'm quite sure that the police were much more sensitive to the needs and the wishes of their local communities when you were sitting at one of those, not necessarily police committee meetings, but the county council meetings, when they discussed the minutes of the police authority.
[72] You certainly knew what they thought about the way you were going about your job as Chief Constable.
[73] ... But I accept and understand that there are ... some feelings today that the old system dated back from those Victorian days as it did, is in need of reform and should be brought up-to-date.
[74] Indeed, the first moves in this direction occurred in 1986 of course, when as Noble Lords will recall the Metropolitan counties or at least their county councils were abolished and police authorities were created for the same areas as freestanding corporate bodies.
[75] They precept on the constituent district councils and they receive direct grant from Government and the problems encountered in Derbyshire where the county council reduced the budget approved by the police authority have been quite eliminated and that My Lords is the only reasons that I have been able to trace so far ... for amending the law as this Bill proposes.
[76] Nothing else need to have been done to overcome the current problems which the Home Secretary has been facing in the last year or two.
[77] These Metropolitan County Councils erm I beg Your Lordships pardon, these Metropolitan County Authorities are composed entirely of councillors, representative districts and magistrates.
[78] I believe they have proved to be responsible bodies, who have worked well with their Chief Constables and the local authorities their members represent and they are proud of the forces they are providing.
[79] They differ from the authorities now being proposed in that the local authority representatives currently are clearly in the majority and I have no doubt My Lords that the authorities in consequence see their loyalties lying towards the district councils and the communities that they represent.
[80] In turn, the district councils regard the police forces they provide as their police ... an extremely important factor when considering the reduction of crime.
[81] There is considerable evidence to show that it is partnerships between the various departments of local authorities, voluntary agencies and the police working together which are most likely to curb crime and improve the quality of life in c in local communities.
[82] If that is to happen however, I believe My Lords that it is essential that local authorities should feel that they have a real contribution to make in the policing of their areas.
[83] Equally I believe that local communities too must feel that the police are [...] to them if they are to give the positive help which the police need to successfully detect and prosecute the criminals who prey on them.
[84] I suggest that is not likely to happen however if the police authorities come to be regarded as accountable to Whitehall, rather than the Town Hall.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [85] Hear!
[86] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [87] And I suggest also that it is a very valuable discipline for the police to have to say to themselves when deciding policy matters, I wonder what they will think about this at the Council House.
[88] Whitehall is much too remote to create that same sensitivity.
[89] I am not persuaded either My Lords that the inclusion of nominated members with special skills will add very much to the police authorities decision making, bearing in mind the experience already there, which has been referred to earlier in this debate.
[90] Indeed I wonder whether they will have the time to perform all the many tasks taken on by police authority members, including lay-visiting of police cells ... attending national committees on a number of subjects or local consultative bodies, there's a whole list of duties and responsibilities which members of police authorities undertake.
[91] Certainly the minimum of one-and-a-half days per month envisaged by the Home Office as being all that will be required, it seems to me to be very wide of the mark.
[92] I agree with the Lord [...] of Aberdale that it is vital for the elected representatives on the police authority to be clearly seen to be in the driving seat of the committee.
[93] It is a view I believe which is held by everyone connected with policing at local level and additionally, the continuation of the tripartite system with its essential checks and balances on the activities of the three parties involved and My Lords that is the real importance and value of the tripartite system that depends on the local authorities being seen to be in the driving seat.
[94] I therefore support Amendment Numbers Five, Eight and Eleven moved by Lord MacIntosh of Haringey.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [95] Hear!
[96] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [97] My Lords, I very much hope that my Noble friend Lord Fellows, the Minister will feel able to ... er take the advice of my Noble friend Lord Wrenton er for a particular er and it is not quite the same reason as his.
[98] Er My Lords I do not see within this [...] of amendments the answers that we want, I see two or three narrow misses.
[99] We have to answer an er your Lordships are in danger of getting into the mood of treating this debate as a [...] charge with a single issue to be decided on a single voter.
[100] We have actually four questions and three subordinate questions which we were addressing and only one of them has been resolved so far and that is whether the Chairman of the Police Authority should be appointed by the Home Secretary or by the Authority and we are I think all have to agree that it should be by the latter.
[101] But My Lords the next question is should the membership of the Authority be as it traditionally has been or should it contain some members recruited from a wider constituency.
[102] Now the Noble Lord, Lord Merlyn Reece and one or two other have argued against that, but I think on the [...] Your Lordships would feel that there should be a wider constituency, that being so should these recruits be secured by co-option, by appointment, or by some other way.
[103] My Lords, er the principle of co-option has been described as by a number of Your Lordships as an extension of principal of democracy, but I call on my experience not as er of a year as er Minister for the Police under my Noble Friend Lord Whitelaw, but my three years as Minister for the Prison Service er and er in that er service, there was erm in each prison a Board of Prison Visitors and I observed during that time that the membership of the prison population was becoming increasingly black, but that the membership of the er Boards of Prison Governors was remaining stubbornly white and I er ... put it, I made it then that I thought there should be something to redress this balance er ... the system is as it were a supervised co-option, the local er Board makes a proposal and the Minister approves or doesn't, but also I had to refuse five successive of proposed co-options of white members to an all-white prison board for a prison which was predominantly black in population because it was alleged there were no suitable black people available.
[104] My Lords,i in effect I had a Power of Appointment and in effect it was very badly needed.
[105] Er I therefore think that there should be a process by which the Secretary of State can be involved in getting people on to the police authority, but My Lords should those erm er people be in a position at any time to be the majority or the predominant voice on the authority.
[106] Now the Amendment that has been proposed for this and [...] and the Noble Lord, Lord [...] erm Amendment erm ... I think it's Eleven, yes, er proposes something of this nature, but it doesn't like co-option.
[107] My Lords, I don't think co-option is satisfactory under these circumstances er I think my erm th the Noble Lord has a good route er has a good number but a bad route and that my Noble Friend is in the position to propose a good route er if he will get the right number.
[108] I don't see that in any combination of these Amendments, I very much hope that my Noble Friend will come back at the report stage with our grateful thanks for having found a process which will produce a body of co of o of appointed members on the police authorities of a position to influence but not to determine his policy and that should be an a position, I agree with my Noble Friend, Lord Motterstone subordinate to that of the magistrates.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [109] My Lords, I er apologise first of all that I was not able to hear some of the earlier speeches in this Debate ... erm but it does seem to me a most interesting Debate and I have to confess that I always become slightly uneasy er when the great and the good, and I suppose we should collectively cast ourselves in that role of being the great and good of the establishment are all of one view and I wonder whether it is necessarily right ... and so I begin to question er whether your Lordships enthusiasm for many of these amendments and their attack upon the Government's proposals is necessarily as soundly based as we might think if we just listen to casually to it all.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [110] I think ... I think My Lords, I think my Lords if I may say so
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [111] [...] he's only been f here for half of the Debate, under those circumstances since he can't have heard all the arguments, it's a bit rich for him to call us casual.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [112] Hear!
[113] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [114] My Lords, I didn't mean no offence in, in that matter.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [115] but, but I think we should be just a little careful ... in accepting this cavalry charge as it has been described too easily.
[116] Let me put it this way, and I think this may please the Noble Lord MacIntosh, there are moments when this House is in danger of being too conservative.
[117] I think that we should accept ... th that this island in which we live is in effect becoming smaller day-by-day, as it is becoming more and more open [...] er we should accept that its population is becoming perhaps with the assistance of a little advice from myself from time-to-time, rather more mobile than it used to be ... and ... I must say that ... we should I think all accept and I'm sure we do that criminals do not have any particular respect for local authority boundaries ... er indeed the existence of the motorway system er despite the M25 does encourage mobility of crime and criminals to a very great extent.
[118] I think too that we should reflect upon who it is ... that receives the blame er when policing falls below the standards which we would all think appropriate.
[119] We seldom read in the tabloid press local police force fails ... er we may frequently read in the local press in the tabloid press rather, that the Home Secretary has failed ... and yet what we seem to be saying is that we believe that all the responsibility should be local, all that responsibility, all the blame when things go wrong should go to the Home Secretary.
[120] I have some sympathy for the Home Secretary in these matters, he is not an Officer of State who over-occupies the position for whom I normally have a great deal of sympathy I must confess, er but on this occasion I do have some sympathy.
[121] I think we tend to forget that we are willing to trust ... the Lord Chancellor ... and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who in recent years has most usually doubled as the Chairman of the Conservative Party ... a very dubious appointment no doubt in the minds of many er of er your Lordships House.
[122] Those too have been doubled and we are we trust them to appoint the magistrates upon whom we praise such responsibility and on whom we shall have such great praise.
[123] ... Er we trust if the post is doubled in the way it has frequently been in recent years and indeed was in my case, the Chancellor of the Duchy in brackets also as the Chairman of the Conservative Party to maintain the dignitary of the magistracy to make sure that there is a firm balance amongst magistrates who are appointed.
[124] In terms of er political views, or even those who have no political views, of ethnic make-up and everything of this kind ... and yet now it seems that at a time when our police forces above all, need to move into the present day and prepare themselves for the challenges of the crime and the criminals at the end of this century and into the next century, we seem to have some misgivings ... about giving the Home Secretary the powers which are placed in this Bill.
[125] I do not believe those powers would be of use My Lords ... I er take the view that they would not have been abused by past Home Secretaries, no not by men like ... the late Tutor Reed or the Noble Lord Jenkins or the Noble Lord Callaghan, they would not be abused today ... by my Right Honourable Friend Mr Howard, I doubt if they would be abused by Mr Blair should he at some time become Home Secretary and I think we're becoming slightly attached to an artificial argument ... that somehow or the other there is great respect for the local authorities, but which is not extended to the National Institutions of Government and to the Home Office and the Home Secretary.
[126] I doubt if that is so ... I think to some extent we may be in what we are saying and doing, feeding the current [...] which says that nobody in national politics could conceivably be honest or decent or competent in any way whatsoever, that to be a Member of the House of Commons or to be a Member of the Government is somehow to have the mark of [...] put upon them.
[127] I think we would be wise to reflect a little longer and to think that perhaps the Government is not so far wrong in what it is saying and I have to say finally My Lords that I never in my public life, or indeed in my private life have met anybody who has said to me ... that their attitude towards their local police force has been in any way influenced by the fact that the members of the police authority were or weren't democratically elected.
[128] I think that is an absolute fantasy ... and I think that it is er perhaps going too far in our denigration of members of local authorities to think their attitude towards their police force would be in any way changed, were some of the members to be appointed from a list which had been drawn up by the Home Secretary.
[129] I think if I may say so My Lords, we're becoming slightly over-excited.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [130] My Lords, before the Noble Lord sits down, perhaps I could ask him to remember, he was saying s how, how splendidly the Lord Chancellor and the Chancellor of the Duchy appointed magistrates and I entirely agree, but they appoint them, not from a list that they've constructed themselves, they appoint them because the keepers of the roles for respective counties propose names to them which they very carefully er selected by the very special and an an and complicated process of of er of er of of examination of people whose names come forward, I find in my case that only one-third of the people whom I interview for this purpose with my Committee er are the ones which I've I [...] propose.
[131] That's quite different from Amendment Number Twenty Seven.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [132] I, I take My Noble Friend's point indeed, but I think nonetheless er that er I have to say that there is a degree that we put it this way of understanding of how the process works rather more informally than the manner in which my Noble Friend has put it.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [133] My Lords, I right in support I rise and support of Amendments Five, Eight and Eleven in the name of Lord MacIntosh of Haringey.
[134] As a Magistrate I think I ... should advise the Noble Lord, Lord Tebbit, that most crime is indeed local based, despite the prevalence of bicycles in this upwardly mobile society of ours.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [135] As a member of a police authority, I welcome the fact the Government has withdrawn its earlier ill-judged proposal, that authority Chairman should be appointed by Home Sec by the Home Secretary and that the size of authority should be standardised [cough] but the other main thrust of the Government's proposal remains, namely the balance and composition of authorities and these points are of the gravest constitutional importance.
[136] Firstly balance, how can it be right that in future authorities, [...] future authority should be evenly balanced between elected and non-elected members.
[137] As My Noble Friend Lord Allen has already pointed out today, suppose two elected members are ill or on holiday, and natural enough assumption taken over the years, are important decisions to be taken by that authority in such a situation?
[138] It seems far to reconcile with any concept of a local democracy ... and what exactly is wrong with the present composition of authorities.
[139] I sit on an authority ... they are very tiresome at times ... they make mistakes at times ... rather like Governments My Lords ... but at the end of the day that surely is what democracy is all about isn't it?
[140] I'm not against the concept of co-opted members and I believe that they could add a useful dimension to any authority's work, but apart from the obligatory brace of businessmen and I accept the Right Honourable and Noble Viscount Lord Whitelaw's phrase and I quote powerful reference to a broad approach and new ideas and a fight against crime, but apart from the ... the brace er, er of such business people, they should surely come from representative sections of those communities which the authorities serve.
[141] For example I can see a good case for a local headmaster being a member of the authority, representing educational concerns or for some representations say from significant ethnic groups within the area, but these can be identified and appointed by the authorities themselves, whose local knowledge will lead to far more accurate selection than Whitehall or Whitehall inspired sources.
[142] Perhaps unsurprisingly the Government remains coy about firstly who really is going to pick these appointees for consideration by the Home Secretary?
[143] Is it to be the Lord Lieutenant ... of the County?
[144] Is it to be the Chairman of the Local Chamber of Commerce?
[145] Is it to be er a local representative of the C B I?
[146] And secondly, and very much wrapped up in the same point with this, they're also coy about the sort of people they're looking for.
[147] It really won't do to talk airily about businessmen and business women as if emergency pools of these super-executives exist all over the country, ready to plug the numerous gaps left by the incompetence of Noddy and know-nothing councils that are councillors and magistrates.
[148] Erm I must confess to doubting whether such a pool of talent exists and I share the views er of the Noble Lord, Lord Motterstone who in a very powerful and commonsense speech made this point an and a number of other ones, but I have to say that what I do think exists is the temptation to create posts for friends of the Government, a process of which has been going for far too long ... and I mem and I wonder if er members on the other side would defend this position as my Noble Friend Lord Allen said earlier, quite sincerely if, say, another party were in power ... before when such a time arrives it will then be of little avail for them to run around complaining, for they will have sown the seeds of their own dissatisfaction.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [149] Hear!
[150] Hear!
boyd-carpenter (PS5PE) [151] My Lords, er, er, er no doubt that all of your Lordships have throughout the last hour and forty minutes felt a great deal of sympathy with the Noble Earl Lord [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [152] Hear!
[153] Hear!
boyd-carpenter (PS5PE) [154] since he came to our Lordships House with some very [...] and has had to sit this thing ever since then with one exception er to speeches deeply and seriously critical er of the [...] proposals er coming from Members of your Lordships House mostly with vast experience of the subject matter former Secretary's er er former Chief Constable er and er so many others and I arise only to put one point to you ... if my Noble Friend decides to resist these amendments, it seems to me [laughing] I may be wrong [] but it seems to me overwhelmingly clear that they will be carrying against him and they will be put into the Bill which will be very considerably altered and amended, some of your Lordships may think improved, but certainly drastically altered and I wonder whether er my Noble Friend thinks that really would be helpful from the point of view either of the pr future progress of the Bill, or the position of the Government.
[155] Er I very much hope so er that my Noble Friend will recognise what does seem to be the prevailing view in this House on, on your all quarters and all parties and [...] er and will indicate that on most of the points of controversy, not just the [...] but most of them, the Government is prepared to think again, he may even feel that it might be prudent to defer further consideration of the committee stage of this Bill er after today's sitting er er for a little time and when discussions could and should take place between those who hold different views and er his own very considerable power conciliation er could be used.
[156] I therefore put it to him that he has really now er a definite choice, he can seek to resist most of these amendments and I haven't a slightest doubt they'll be put into the Bill er the Bill will be drastically altered thereby er and when it goes back to another place nobody quite knows er wh what will happen to it, or he can use his very considerable powers of conciliation er by taking a little time for further consideration.
[157] At any rate some of these points I speak as one who was as your Lordships know is on the whole a fairly [laughing] loyal supporter [] of the Government.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [158] Hear!
[159] Hear!
boyd-carpenter (PS5PE) [160] but I I I ... I'm very much obliged too.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
boyd-carpenter (PS5PE) [161] See that I carry your Lordships [...]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
boyd-carpenter (PS5PE) [162] er and therefore for that very reason do not like to see the Government going in for a whole series of embarrassing defeats er and erm getting into very grave difficulties with an important Bill and I therefore arise only to ask my Noble Friend er at the last minute would like to consider very seriously erm a conciliatory reply of whether accepting er the amendments with er or er or some of them er with er er er view to their reconsideration or asking those who propose them to ... defer them from to from today's sitting, there's still further sittings ahead, but whether he was prepared to ask them to give him a chance to reflect without incurring serious Government defeats to reflect further on whether further amendments cannot and should not be made.
[163] My own humble advice to him and I d do it [...] humility, because he's a very experienced Minister, [...] be very wise and I think serve the interest of the Government in which he's a member, if he has opted the latter course.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [164] My Lord [...] Minister
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [165] Minister.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [166] My Lords,M My Lords [...] er th the er I think it might be helpful if I were to make a an intervention at this moment, it wouldn't stop my Noble Friends er from making it er er an intervention later, later on.
[167] My Lords erm ... I was deeply appreciative of er the my Noble Friend, Lord Boyd-Carpenter insofar as he said that he felt sympathy for me.
[168] I think that was the first person who said and I wasn't aware that anyone else [...] felt it
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [169] But the fact that my Noble Friend was kind enough to express it er I found was er nectar for myself.
[170] My Lords I I'm [...] to say that this is of course erm a very controversial area and it is quite frank that it should be controversial too.
[171] When my Noble Friend er produced the Bill of the first er er case and it went er came to secondary reading, your Lordships did explain in no uncertain terms of the various matters about which your Lordships were concerned.
[172] Er my Noble my Right Honourable Friend did take account of that and he did agree that hereafter the appointment of the Chairman should not be an appointment made by the Home Secretary, but that shou he should be one made by the full authority and that has I'm glad to say met with ... with approval.
[173] There was also then great concern that the appointment of erm ... er of independent members ... apparently was seen as a way of my Right Honourable Friend or anyone who then er held the office of er Ho Home Secretary would actually put in his own [...] .
[174] That was a very real concern and my Right Honourable Friend has er tried to allay that concern by saying all right, er we we will have er an independent body of people who will undertake this selection and they will er off offer a short list o of candidates er to the Home Secretary to appoint, but [...] the Noble Lord, Lord Callaghan er of Cardiff said that er that this was taking powers through the s to the Home Secretary increasing his powers enor enormously and actually of course if anyone is going to be appointed as an independent [...] member, somebody's actually got to do the appointing.
[175] Doesn't matter whether it's the er whether it's the person who does the short list or whether it's the Home Secretary himself or whether it's the other members of the authorities such as the Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh would prefer in his amendment.
[176] Somebody's actually got to do the appointing if you have the, the er er er i i independent members and I don't think it's u is unreasonable for my Right Honourable Friend to say that the Home Secretary should do that er provided that he is not seen to have been taking an overtly political view.
[177] Quite frankly My Lords, if there are forty-one constabularies throughout the c country e excluding the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police, any for instance fifty people were a applied and they may well apply because plenty of people have already done so, you would be talking about a list of some two thousand people it's quite impossible to think that my Honourable Friend would know all these two thousand people therefore carefully select party hats who might themselves not actually have applied anyhow.
[178] So I think that what he has done is to try and meet the concerns which your Lordships have ... have expressed er i in second reading [clears throat] My Lords er I did think if I might say so with the greatest of respect for the Noble Lord, Lord Harris of Greenwich whom I admire en enormously and not for er only for his views which erm depending upon what the views are er that it depends upon my extended admiration
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [179] but also of course for the way in which he always put it.
[180] We did get through some pretty hot language, erm he did say that this would destroy the tripartite system and he quoted me and said that I said it was a system which was the end of the world.
[181] That's perfectly true, it is a system of the end of the world and my only consc my only complaint is that I don't think that what my Right Honourable Friend is suggesting is in fact a destruction of the tripartite system.
[182] He said it would be politicise police forces and he said that this vote would be a momentous decision because it w th the Bill will do grievous damage to policing in this country and we must remove the repugnant decisions from the Bill, but I alw I did think actually that was fairly extravagant language.
[183] What are we actually talking about?
[184] We are talking about the tripartite system, the Home Secretary, the Police Authority and the Chief Constable.
[185] That as it were milkman's stool with three legs and each of them has a certain amount of power and it is a question of the adjustment of that power and it is not the [...] of the power to my Right Honourable Friend, the Home Secretary and yet when things go wrong, and they do, in police forces and in local auth police authorities, what happens, people turn round to the Home Secretary and say what are you going to do about it.
[186] I had it the other day over s some occasion when I had to go on some t television and the reporter said what's the Home Secretary gonna do about it.
[187] Well actually this is a matter for the police authorities and despite the fact that the Noble Lord, Lord Callaghan had said this is a centralising measure and er and a number of other Noble Lords have, have said er s similar things, what my Right Honourable Friend is trying to do is to give down to local authorities more power, more responsibility and not to keep that r responsibility to himself.
[188] Now My Lords I realise that some of your Lordships say well that's not gonna happen, but if if I could ... come to one other point My Lords, where I think there is fairly, fairly universal a agreement ... and that is on the whole smaller organisations work better and if you have a police authority for instance of thirty or forty people, that's not a very handy body of people to work with and if it's smaller it is better.
[189] Well quite obviously if you are going to curtail something like that, some of those who had been on the police authorities will now find that they are not on the police authority and therefore that causes understandable anxiety and therefore rumpus.
[190] If on top of that you say well let us have some independent people to some others who were elected councillors will find that they are not also on the police authority and that causes problems.
[191] But My Lords the idea that independent people is news [...] nonsense for the last thirty years so we've had independent people on the police authorities by the [...] of the magistrates and there's nothing new in that.
[192] What we were trying to say is there is actually a place and my Right Honourable Friend thinks that there is and indeed so do I, for people to contribute to the problem of policing in their locality who haven't necessarily for one reason or another and my Noble Friend Lord Whitelaw said, decided not to erm be on the police authority, maybe they haven't had time, maybe there hasn't been their, their particular [...] but nevertheless they do know and they do care about their locality and they have got a er er a contribution to make and we think that that would actually improve the local the police authorities, provided that they are not in an overwhelming position and that is the reason why we've suggested that eight erm t er, er, er o of a police authority of sixteen, eight should be councillors in the majority, five should be independents and three should be er er er magistrates ... and My Lords and then of course the complaint was ah, but then some people may not be properly represented and the number ought to be larger.
[193] My Right Honourable Friend has taken that point and said yes, he agrees, that there will be circumstances when the police authority ought to be larger ... erm er and er that he would agree to that.
[194] If you accept the amendment of er Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh, he would say it set an upper and a lower limit o o of the size of erm o of police authority and the chances are then that the number will gradually i inflate so that it's always the highest number, that is that is obtained.
[195] My Lords ... er ... the ... the er [sigh] th the point r really abou about all this I think is a fairly, a fairly simple one that we are agreed I think in general, that police authorities are better if they are smaller and the real point that is concerning er N
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [cough]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [196] Noble Lords is whether my Right Honourable Friend i is taking too much er er power to use an unpleasant word and I think actually a wrong word er i in the appointment of those who have been selected by a different and an independent system.
[197] Noble Lord, Lord Callaghan says and I might say so, slightly mischievously, well after all he's going to appoint the appointers and [...] going to make the short list, short list for the Right My Right Honourable Friend to appoint, but of course somebody's got to appoint the appointers and er that would be done by the by my Right Honourable Friend, but that doesn't mean to say for goodness sake that they're in his pocket.
[198] My Lords erm I'm, I'm in a, a difficulty over this, because I think that er I er er [...] your Lordships [...] much.
[199] The difficulty is I want to try and be helpful erm er ... er my Right Honourable Friend has, has made a number of conceptions and we have er put down in my name a number of these amendments to the Bill in order to try and meet those very concessions and those the anxieties which your Lordships have ... have expressed.
[200] I equally don't want to sail into something that is er pretty undesirable and as my Noble Friend Lord Boyd-Carpenter says if we do that then almost certainly ... I don't know I may be completely wrong, I've got enormous faith in the my Right Honourable from my Noble Friend the Chief Whip and even more f faith in all my friends beh behind me whom I know will er go in, in the right direction because they think [...] so erm superb, but My Lords er ... I would obviously like to see whether there is any way in which we can ... bridge this divide.
[201] Now I dunno whether it is possible, it may well be that it isn't possible er my Right Honourable Friend has er certain views and er and er as my Noble Friend Lord erm Lord Rippon said, it's very difficult to make erm major er ... very difficult to make radical alterations without actually causing some anxiety somewhere.
[202] Now, erm my Right Honourable Friend is very keen to see these alterations which we ha which he has proposed erm become erm to to take effect, because he thinks that they are right and because a great deal of effort has gone into get it right.
[203] Equally, My Lords it is very important that we should try and see if there are ways in which we can meet the anxieties of Noble Lords.
[204] Now it seems to me in some respects the gulf is pretty wide and therefore can only do that if Noble Lords are good enough to try and sort of meet the divide.
[205] I'm quite happy to see if we can what we can do, I can't guarantee that my Right Honourable Friend will take a different view, but I'm content to see what we can do and report if your Lordships think that that is suitable, but if we were to do that My Lord, I think it would mean [clears throat] erm er ... it would mean that all these amendments which are grouped together should not in fact be, be put t to the vote, I mean that means ever er er all your Lordships because I don't think it would be very fair if I were to say that I would move mine and the Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh were c to come along and move his [...] amendment and mine meanwhile has gone down the drainpipe and I don't think that that would be particularly funny, but the Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh I'm sure wouldn't do such a dastardly thing like that!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [206] I hope!
[207] Er, er so I I I'm prepared to try and see if [laughing] if we can meet [] the anxieties or at least some of them.
[208] I can't give any guarantee whatsoever that we will, but at least we will try and if that were to meet with your Lordships approval, then er I would be content to go on that basis.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [209] Hear!
[210] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [211] My Lords er that clearly is a very serious contribution to the Debate which has to be taken very seriously indeed, er an but I before er responding directly to the er er invitation from the er Minister, I, I just want to summarise very briefly what I think has been the outcome o of this Debate.
[212] We have had erm apart from er the er ... er apart from the Minister himself, we have had fourteen speeches.
[213] Of those fourteen speeches er ... er ... er only the Noble Lord, Lord Tebbit who was only here for half of the Debate has supported er er the idea that there should not be a local authority majority on the Debate.
[214] In on the erm er the police authority the Noble Viscount Lord Whitelaw was silent on this issue.
[215] Er on the issue as to whether there should be co-option or appointment of additional members er only again Lord Tebbit, Lord Whitelaw and Lord Payton tacitly because of his amendments er have supported appointment rather than co-option.
[216] In every other case, Noble Lord er, er, erm there were then three Noble Lords, er Lord Wrenton, Lord Elton and Lord Boyd-Carpenter who urged this question [laughing] on the Government [] er Lord er Elton specifically er er er preferred appointment to co-option er but he also preferred erm a local authority majority on, on the poli police authority.
[217] If I, if I may then just ex expand that very very briefly, er we have er ... er Lord, Lord Whitelaw's silent on the local authority majority but in favour of appointment.
[218] Lord Payton in favour of a local authority majority, but moving amendments er in favour of appointment.
[219] Er Lord Allen in favour of co-option and a local authority majority.
[220] Lord Harris in favour of a er a local authority majority er and co-option.
[221] Lord Rippon in favour of a local authority majority and co-option.
[222] Lord Callaghan in favour of a local authority majority and co-option.
[223] Lord Motterstone in favour of a local authority majority and co-option.
[224] Lord Mervyn Rees in favour of a local authority majority and corrupt and co-option.
[225] Lord Knights in favour of a local authority majority and co-option.
[226] Er Lord Elton in favour of a local authority majority.
[227] Lord Tenby in favour of a local authority majority and c and co-option.
[228] My Lords, under those circumstances it is quite clear that the thinking which the Minister has offered us has got to cover those particular issues
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [229] Hear!
[230] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [231] It has got to be explicit that the issue of a local authority majority and of co-option rather than the appointment is on the agenda for discussion between now
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [232] Hear!
[233] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [234] and er report stage and I invite the Minister to confirm that er that is that is the position and that the Government will not enter any discussions with a closed mind on those issues.
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [235] Hear!
[236] Hear!
Unknown speaker (K76PSUNK) [237] My Lords, I think if I might say so that the Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh is being slightly unfair and slightly hard over that.
[238] What I have said that I would do is to consider what your Lordships have said to see if there is any way in which we can meet the problem.
[239] [...] Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh was going to say, well now you've got to do this and you've gotta to that and you've got to do the other.
[240] You can't start like that, I'm prepared to consider the matters which have been suggested by your Lordships th this afternoon to see if there is a way in which we can er meet that point.
[241] Of course I heard I've heard all the arguments about co-opting, but I'll tell the Noble Lord, Lord MacIntosh this that who's going to do the co-opting, those who are already on the police authority [end]