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Coronation Stone (Protection)

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 27 March 1952

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17.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what duties the police officers, now employed on precautionary measures to prevent the removal of the Coronation Stone, were employed before being ordered to take up these duties; and what was their weekly salary.

Police officers employed on duties of this character would normally be drawn from those employed on ordinary beat, patrol and protection duties. As they would change from day to day it would not be practicable to state in detail what their salaries were and in any event it would be undesirable to publish such details as would indicate the scale of precautionary measures which the Commissioner of Police may from time to time see fit to direct.

Is not the Home Secretary aware that there is considerable perturbation in Scotland about the very big expense this may incur, and does he not agree that that expense would be unnecessary if the stone were removed to Scotland for safe keeping? Is he also aware that there is an elaborate electrical system installed in Westminster Abbey which makes people who closely inspect the stone get in touch with Scotland Yard, and that constituents of mine will not now go to Westminster Abbey for the quiet meditation for which it is noted?

I am sorry about the perturbation that arises in the breasts of the hon. Gentleman and his constituents, but I think that if these are the least of their worries, they are greatly to be congratulated.

Would my right hon. and learned Friend also bear in mind that there is considerable perturbation in the minds of those who move among the underworld of London concerning the precautions taken to protect the Crown Jewels also?

RECRUITMENT OF MEN TO THE POLICE SERVICE
December, 1951, to February, 1952As at 29th February, 1952
RecruitmentWastageIncrease (+) or decrease (-)Authorised EstablishmentsActual strengthsDeficiencies
Counties, Cities and Boroughs1,215564+65151,89346,4795,414
Metropolitan Police Force295189+10619,68515,6424,043
Total1,510753+75771,57862,121

*9,457

Sunderland Borough Police Force44Nil24322617

* Includes 304 seconded or serving overseas.