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Foreign Languages

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 15 June 1922

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14.

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the number of foreign visitors who now come to London, any inducement is given to men of the Metropolitan Police Force to learn foreign languages; and whether he has considered the desirability of some badge being worn by policemen on duty in London streets who can speak one or more foreign languages similar to what is now done in some Continental cities?

A number of men in the Force have a knowledge of one or more foreign languages, and it is not considered necessary to hold out any special inducements to others to acquire such knowledge, as it would be of small use to them in connection with their general duties. I am afraid that the suggestion that linguists should wear badges in a city such as London would only result in such men being almost fully employed as interpreters to the detriment of their proper duties.