§ Sir P. HASTINGS
I beg to move to leave out the Clause.
This Amendment is regarded by those on this side of the House as the most important Amendment to the whole of this Bill. The Home Secretary has shown, by what happened just now, that he agrees that this is not a party Bill at all. It is a matter of our criminal law. I hope that he will deal exactly the same with this Clause as he did with the last Amendment which was discussed on Clause 18. This Clause raises the right of the police to take power from magistrates for what I may call a universal search, which will affect people who may not be criminals at all, but may affect anyone. I think that I am right in saying that I know of no precedent for a power in this form. It is a complete innovation. The House knows there are many cases under our law where specific crimes are dealt with by Acts of Parliament and the magistrate is given the power to issue a search warrant in the case of certain specific crimes in order that the police may have certain facilities for executing their duty. But this is a Clause which to many of us really is shocking, and for this reason.
It is true that by some Amendment in the name of the Homo Secretary it is to be narrowed, but as originally drawn this Clause permitted anyone, for whatever reason he thought fit, to apply to a magistrate and state upon oath that he had reason to believe that a criminal offence was going to be committed by someone, and thereupon the magistrate had power to grant a warrant to the police to enter the premises of anybody, not the proposed criminal or any anticipated criminal, but anybody, and search any person on the premises and search the premises and take away any property. Stated in that form it is an absolute innovation in the law of this country, because whether ill or well founded no one doubts for a moment that no policeman could now come into the house of a man not guilty of a crime and search the premises merely because someone else had alleged that a third person might be 156 going to commit an offence, and in some form or other the house in which the person is searched should have some connection with the suspected offence. It is true that the Home Secretary has sought to narrow down this Clause by saying, first, that the person making the application must be a police officer of high standing. He also agrees that the person may not be searched, but the vicious element in this Clause is undoubted.
The only possible argument which I have heard at any time in support of this Clause is this, that if it is possible to search premises when a crime is committed it is better to search the premises in order to prevent crime being committed. Stated in that form it is an attractive proposition, but after all you might as well say that if the police thought that anybody was going to commit a crime, and satisfied the magistrate by evidence, the magistrate might have power to authorise the police to take that person and examine him at the police station. If these powers are given we are bound to see where they would lead. Take what this Clause might embrace, because cases of that sort are so serious that it is necessary to discuss them. It will be quite possible to have a law dealing with particular sorts of cases, but take the case of some threatened trade dispute. I am not speaking of an unauthorised strike, or something which is condemned by the country, but a real question between the workmen and the masters in a large trade.
It frequently happens, if passions become aroused, that persons may be charged with unlawful assembly or riot. and in any single case of a large industrial dispute, which had lasted for some time, it would be perfectly open and proper for a police officer, if a certain crime were anticipated to go to the magistrate and say, "I have reason to believe that in a certain district these men are making combinations which may be called unlawful assemblies," and thereupon the magistrate would have the power, and probably the duty cast upon him, to cause all the persons connected with the dispute, who might be the responsible leaders, searched by the police, and their property taken away, and the police would have no option, if they saw anything at all which might be connected with this prospective 157 or possible disturbance, but they would be bound to seize all the documents connected with a large number of different people who had nothing whatever to do with the matter, but who, on the other hand, might be people concerned with bringing about good relations between the parties.
How can it said to be in the public interest that powers like those should be given to the police now, not powers in connection with a person who has been guilty of anything at all, but merely because the police say that there is possible ground for suspecting that an unlawful offence may be committed by somebody, and though the person in the House-may have no connection with it at all, yet the police think that some information may be discovered if they go to the houses of three or four persons in various parts of the country and search under a warrant? The Home Secretary will agree that this ought not to be a political matter, and if there is no intention of a political nature surely it can be left to a free Vote of the House, and those who voted on the last Amendment would vote again on this. For hundreds of years past one of the things most boasted about in our country has been that this thing is not permitted. In every other country in the world it is permitted, but we have always boasted that it is not permitted. What justification is there now for starting such an innovation?
How can it be understood by anybody if after to-night this is put forward not as a free Vote? But, as the Home Secretary has told us, this is not a political Measure. This is a pure question of the administration of justice, and therefore, for some reason which does not appear, it is now thought fit to introduce this Clause. It is fair to say that this Bill in greater part has been before another place under another Government. This Clause is new. It has been introduced by this Government, as far as I know, without a word of reason to explain what has occurred within the last 12 months to make the Cause necessary. I appeal to the Home Secretary, if he means what he says—that this is not a political Measure, but merely one affecting the administration of justice— to leave us now, as he did before, to go into the Lobby and freely to vote there as we think best.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
I admit that this is a very important Clause of the Bill. It is one which those who advise me in the administration of criminal law are very anxious to have passed It has no reference to political matters. The Clause was put in at the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions, in order to help what is the primary object of all criminal law, namely, that the criminal should be the more easily brought to justice. That is the sole object of the Bill. I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken will agree that that is a very proper object of the criminal law, provided, of course, that you do nothing that interferes unfairly with the freedom and liberty of the subject. A good deal has been said about search warrants. The hon. and learned Gentleman did not tell the House that there are already 36 Statutes under which search warrants can be granted. They deal with such matters as dangerous drugs, obscene publications, larceny, forgery—I need not give a list of them. The idea of the search warrant is, therefore, no new thing in criminal law. About two years ago there was a Committee presided over by Mr. Justice Talbot, and upon that Committee sat the right hon. Member for West Swansea (Mr. Runciman), who sits and votes with the Liberal party in this House. The following was the decision of that Committee:The law as to search warrants is, we are advised, very fragmentary. It is, for the most part, to be found in Acts of Parliament passed from time to time to deal with particular matters considered to be specially urgent; and the result is that there are many cases at least as grave as those provided for, in which no power of the kind exists. The Acts also vary as to the conditions under which warrants are issued, and as to the authority which may issue them. We suggest for consideration whether, in all cases in which the commission or intended commission of an indictable offence is reasonably suspected, there should not be under proper conditions a power of search. It might possibly be thought convenient to take the opportunity of making the laws of England and of Scotland uniform as to this matter.There are already all these various Acts of Parliament under which different kinds of search warrants can be issued. When a felony is about to be committed a police officer may enter without a warrant. Suppose that an indictable offence is "about to be committed." 159 There are several cases where the "about to be committed" condition comes in under the present law. It is not a new proposal. It is merely a proposal to make this provision apply to all criminal cases. Under the Indictable Offences Act, Section 21, a justice may issue a warrant to search the premises of any person suspected of having in his possession any instrument capable of or intended for the making of counterfeit coin.
§ Sir W. JOYNSON-HICKS
The offence really is the making of the counterfeit coin. That is the real offence. It is a technical offence, I agree, to have a machine for making counterfeit coin in one's possession, but the real crime is committed when the machine is put into operation and the counterfeit coin is made. Similarly under the Forgery Act, 1913, Section 16, a search warrant may be issued in the belief that a person has any implement intended to be used for forgery. Under the Malicious Damages Act a justice may also issue a warrant to search any premises in which any implement or explosive substance is kept for the purpose of being used to commit a felony. I am asking the House to realise that there is in existence this power for a magistrate to issue a search warrant to find out whether there are compromising instruments in the possession of the person against whom the search warrant is issued. Under the Official Secrets Act passed in 1911 a search warrant may be issued on reasonable suspicion that an offence is about to be committed. There you have practically the exact words of this Clause. They are already embodied in an Act of Parliament, and where a magistrate is satisfied that an offence is about to be committed he may, in that case, issue a search warrant. There are all these different classes of search warrants.
I am asking the House to give this power to the justices, and I have quoted the view of the committee in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Swansea himself concurred. I am not a criminal lawyer, but am advised by those responsible for the administration of the criminal law in this country that this power would be of considerable help 160 towards the prevention of crime, and it is the prevention of crime that we want to achieve. If we have reasonable suspicion that a man is going to commit a crime and if by a search warrant we can go in and get hold of the implements which he is about to use—if for example, we can get hold of the poison which a man has stored up for the purpose of committing a murder, it is better to do so than to wait until the murder has been committed. That is really the object of this Clause. When we were in Committee upstairs the right hon. and learned Gentleman the ex-Attorney-General and the right hon. and learned Gentleman the ex-Solicitor-General put various cases to me and suggested that it was not fair that warrants should be granted in such cases. I ask the House to remember that the warrant can only be granted when the magistrate is satisfied. It seemed to be suggested that because a policeman applied to a magistrate for a warrant the magistrate was therefore bound to grant him one. Nothing of the kind. There must be, in the first place, an information made upon oath and the magistrate must be satisfied that a crime is about to be committed before he can grant the search warrant. In the next place, the complaint was made that it was not fair to issue such warrants on the application of a police constable. I want to do what is fair, and I will meet the right hon. and learned Gentleman opposite. I will agree that a warrant should not be issued except on the sworn statement of a police officer of the rank of inspector or above that rank.
Then we were told in Committee that it was a very great hardship that we should search the person of an individual, and that it is a new idea in English criminal law. Very well, as I said in Committee, I will waive that and will withdraw from the Clause the right to search the person. In fact, any single point that is really of definite hardship in this Clause I have offered to meet; I have offered to put in any Amendments, and if the House will look at the Order Paper following the particular Amendment now being discussed, they will see no fewer than three Amendments to be moved by myself in order to make the Clause more in accordance with the views of the party opposite. I agree that, if possible, the criminal law of this country should never be altered. The right hon. 161 Gentleman has told us that this power is in existence in nearly every country in the world, and I do not know that we are so admirable in all our undertakings and laws that we are never to consider, at all events, what other countries deem to be necessary with the primary object of convicting a criminal of crime, and I am advised that this is a Clause which is to be found, as the right hon. Gentleman said, in the jurisprudence of country after country on the Continent of Europe. [An HON. MEMBER: "This is the most law-abiding country."] It is a very law-abiding country, but crime is not unknown in this country. There are a very large number of crimes committed in this country, and, unfortunately, a very considerable number of crimes which are not prosecuted and convicted.
Hon. Members may have read that book that came out the other day by Sir Basil Thomson, who has a very startling list of crimes where the criminal could not be found, and where there was no prosecution at all, and that is by no means a satisfactory position of affairs. After all, while we want to be fair in the administration of justice and to give the criminal himself the utmost chance to go before a jury to try whether or not he is guilty, we do want—I say it advisedly—to do our utmost to see that, where a crime has been committed, or is about to be committed, the criminal should be brought to justice, or, if possible, the crime should be prevented. That is the object of this Clause, and I hope the House will pass it. I have tried to be very conciliatory in regard to the earlier stages of the Bill—I have tried to meet hon. Members opposite in every possible way—and I hope on this occasion the House will give me this Clause, which is so much desired by those who are far more intimately concerned than I am in the administration of justice.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
If I had known that this Clause was in this Bill, the Government would have proceeded less rapidly with the Bill than they have done. I do not think the Home Secretary and I agree on many questions, but I always imagined that he was as keen as I am on the traditions of Great Britain as opposed to the Continental traditions. He is known, rightly or wrongly, as an opponent of alien immigration into this 162 country; yet here he is guilty of accepting an alien idea and implanting it in British jurisprudence. I gather from him that this Clause is not his Clause, but that he has accepted it from Sir Archibald Bodkin and Sir Basil Thomson.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
You quoted him as an example of the way in which crimes fail to be discovered, but, in the first place, may I point out that this Bill has been introduced before? I think it was introduced by the Labour Government, and this Clause was not in the Bill then. If Sir Archibald Bodkin had thought it was desirable that this Clause should be embodied in our jurisprudence, why did he not recommend it to the Labour Government? I can tell you why he did not. He did not because he knew very well that the Labour Government would not have tolerated a Clause such as this, which can be used for political purposes. The right hon. Gentleman has given us a list of 36 Acts altogether, list after list of dimes in which the police already possess this power of search. He did not tell us how many of the undiscovered crimes in Sir Basil Thomson's book were crimes where this right of search was already possessed by the police, but I imagine it would be a considerable number. Everybody knows that if there is any special crime, either you have already power to search, or this House would give powers to search, but we are naturally suspicious of a Clause like this imported into this Bill at the last moment, not put in a Bill which was drafted under the advice, I presume, of exactly the same people last year, but put into a Bill this year at a time when the Government are deliberately creating a new class of crime. If this is not intended for political purposes, then we ought to have an Amendment down specially to exclude those cases of political crime with which we are now so familiar.
Let me give the light hon. Gentleman an illustration of what this Bill enables the Government, and, above all, Sir Archibald Bodkin to do. In the year 1912, I remember very well what were known as the "Don't shoot" prosecutions. There was a railway stoker, I think, who went down and distributed to the troops at Aldershot a leaflet urging 163 them not to shoot their fellow-workers during the coal dispute. For that he got put into gaol. He got the matter from some obscure publication and printed it at his own expense. He was sentenced. Then various papers like the "Hudders-field Worker," the "Labour Leader" and, I think, the "Herald," in order to show that this prosecution by a Liberal Government in that case was an iniquitous interference with the liberty of the subject, deliberately reprinted that leaflet in their columns, and asked the Government to prosecute them if they dared. Not only that, but a great number of us deliberately embodied statements in that leaflet in letters which we sent to the Press, and in speeches which we made in public, calling upon the Government to prosecute us if they dared to do so. They did not, of course. The prosecutions broke down, and Tom Mann and the other people were let out of prison. But if this Clause goes through, it will give the right hon. Gentleman the right to search my house. Goodness knows what they would find! It gives the Government the right to search your house if Sir Archibald Bodkin does not like you. The magistrates all belong—well, not all—I am afraid it would not be difficult to find a magistrate who would agree with a policeman to search my house, and I think we could find Labour magistrates who would agree to search your houses.
The whole point is this; Are we going to give to the Government, who are now undertaking political prosecutions ominously similar to the "Don't shoot" prosecutions, powers to search, not the houses of criminals, but the houses of everybody who believes in freedom of speech, and who tries, therefore, to support these people who are prosecuted? The right hon. Gentleman made a specially strong point—I think he must know it was entirely beside the mark— when he said: "Is it obviously not better to prevent crime than to punish crime when it has been committed?" Good Heavens! If you are going to follow that out as a principle, that the prevention of crime is to be the sole guide of any Home Secretary, then you are going to put into prison anyone who may commit a crime! There must be some 164 measure of what the Government is prepared to do in order to prevent crime.
Everybody knows that the fixing of those bounds is as to how far you are prepared in order to carry out that certain principle, in order to stop crime. That is one of the questions which are continually being considered, not only by Home Secretaries, but by every responsible statesman. Here you are going beyond the bounds of what custom has set in this country and the wisdom of our ancestors has established. You are interfering with individual liberty—I admit in the interests of the prevention of crime-but you are going further than Governments in the past have ventured to go in order to achieve that result. It is all a question of how far you ought to go. The Home Secretary says that in the case of non-political crimes you can always get, or you already have, these powers of search. I would go further. I would point out to him, and to the House, that in oases of emergency when there is a general strike that the Emergency Powers Act has been passed. Under that Act you also have the powers of search given by this Clause. There is a Clause in it which gives the police the right to search, exactly, in fact, the rights given by this Clause 31. All that the Government is asking for is that in the case of political crimes, when there is no emergency, they shall have these powers of search. I do protest against the House giving any Government such a right at this time of the night, when it has been clearly sprung upon the House at a moment's notice. It was before the House in Committee upstairs. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] But then, as I understand it, when the Bill was there the Government held out large hopes as to taking out the suspicious elements, or dropping the Clause altogether.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Then so much the worse. The right hon. Gentleman might have known about this Clause in the Bill. The hon. and learned Gentlemen opposite who were on that Committee might have known all this; but I am quite certain that the country as a whole outside has not the faintest idea that the Government were contemplating undertaking such powers as to prevent an 165 Englishman's home being his castle in the most complete degree possible. If there is one thing an Englishman does cling to is the idea—which would appear really to be quite fallacious—that he can' prevent the police going into his house unless he has committed a crime. Here, without the public knowing, you are giving these powers so that any police officer can go to a magistrate, and get powers, not only to enter a man's house but to go through the whole of a man's papers, search his house, and carry away those papers. That is what British citizenship has come to! There was in Brussels during the last week or so a perfect example of what happens abroad. The Belgian Government, acting under powers exactly similar to these now called for by the Government, searched the lodgings of M. Palme Dutt, and we heard wonderful accounts of the discoveries they made. As a matter of fact, I believe that M. Palme Dutt has been released, because they found nothing. We do not want to import the methods of the Continental police into this country, and the Government doing it, though they may carry it in this House, are, I am absolutely certain, acting contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of people in this country.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
I wish to oppose this Clause which I regard as one of the most pernicious proposals of which even this Government have been guilty. I notice that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are very much amused at any protest against this kind of legislation. It is often argued that we on this side are continually emphasising class distinctions. I would like to know whether they would be quite so hilarious if a Labour Government were bringing in a proposal of this kind at a time when there was great agitation outside the House against the Socialistic programme of that Government. I am quite certain the attitude of mind of hon. and right hon. Gentleman would be entirely different. The argument of the Home Secretary is a most extraordinary one. He says "Because we have got this power in so many cases, let us have some more of it." That seems to me an extraordinary doctrine, especially in view of the statement repeatedly made that there is no politics in this at all. I do not accept that statement. I am 166 not charging anything dishonourable to the right hon. Gentleman or his advisers, but I am perfectly certain in my own mind that whoever suggested it had at the back of their minds the fact that trade unions, Socialist societies and individuals would be likely to be discussing plans for a general stoppage; and as I understand the Government spokesman in the Courts to-day, it is now going to be held that any of us who encourage a general stoppage, any of us who encourage a general strike, any of us who emphasise the class war, are going to be treated as persons guilty of illegal action. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear!"] Very well, I understand that and so can any of us who are holding Socialist branch meetings or trade union branch meetings.
This fact has also to be taken into account, that in the last 30 years we have had introduced into this country the Continental gentleman known as the agent-provocateur, the gentleman who goes around egging people on. I marched in East End processions during the unemployed agitation two or three years ago, and I had men in plain clothes on each side of me, and they were whispering to me as I marched along, "Is it not very nearly time we stopped this b— marching up and down and did something?" [Laughter.] It is all very well for hon. and learned Gentlemen to guffaw about it, but I am stating facts. I am an ordinary sort of person, and if I had listened to these two gentlemen I might quite easily have been in the midst of a kind of a riot, and these two men would have been the men who would have given evidence against me as the person who had led the riot. At my age I hope I have arrived at the age of discretion. The point I want to make is that this same gentleman could quite as easily be egging on men to get what would be considered illegal resolutions discussed and drafted, and when the particular moment arrived for the search there would be this incriminating evidence.
I notice there is a great deal of incredulity amongst hon. Members opposite upon this point, but I happen to have been the victim of one search, although it appears to be a matter causing great mirth. All I can say is that I should very much enjoy living during the time when we shall be living under a Socialist 167 regime, and I should enjoy seeing hon. Gentlemen opposite treated in the same way in which they are treating the working classes to-day. The levity with which hon. Members are treating an important matter of this kind shows how far we are removed from the old tradition of British freedom and liberty. The idea is not now that the Englishman's home is his castle, because if men meet in an ordinary room in association with their fellows they are open to the attacks of agents-provocateurs, and they are open to having people sent to make searches. I have been present twice on occasions when the police have made searches. I have the greatest faith in the police, but the manner in which searches are carried out for political reasons are perfectly scandalous. In both cases I have no knowledge of what was being taken away or what evidence the police might have procured to be used against me and my friends, and they simply bundled the stuff up and went away with it. No body of men ought to have the right for any offence to go into a man's home or office or into any premises he frequents and profess to find any evidence unless such documents are tabulated in front of the person who is going to be accused in order that there can be no question as to what has been taken. I am certain that this Clause is the thin edge of the wedge of the American system of "framing up." This proposal means the manufacture of bribes and evidence.
§ Mr. LANSBURY
It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to shake his head because he may be innocent and he may not know where he is going, but if he will only read how labour people are treated in America he will understand that this is the beginning of that system, and it is leaving it entirely open to the police and these agents-provocateur to put away anyone. If any such Clause as this is allowed to go through it should be safeguarded so that no search should be allowed to be made except in the presence of the person who is going to be charged and every document seized should be catalogued and signed. That is only elementary justice, and the manner in which this Clause is drawn is most slipshod. The right hon. Gentleman made a very great 168 deal of play as to this only being done after sworn evidence before a Justice of the Peace.
I happen to be a Justice of the Peace. You will probably think it a very terrible thing that I am, but, as I understand it, a police constable or a police inspector can come to me and lay an information, and I am to sign a warrant authorising a search in somebody's house. Certainly that would be the case outside the County of London. I do not think that that right out to be given to one individual justice, especially in these days, because, in spite of the fact that you have county committees and all the machinery for recommending the Lord Chancellor who should be appointed justices, I am not going to be so stupid as to say or to believe that political feeling and political argument do not come into the business. It would be very easy for prejudiced Justices of the Peace to get their political opponents dealt with under this Clause.
The right hon. Gentleman said the business of this Clause is to prevent crime, and that that is much better than dealing with crime after it has been committed. We all agree about that, but what we disagree about is as to what is crime. I am a criminal in the eyes of some people because I advocate certain principles. I am a person that ought to be put away and taken care of. [Laughter.] You forget I think exactly the same about you. You see the point is that I do not want to have the power that hon. and right hon. Gentlemen wish to get under this Bill. I am perfectly certain that the Clause as it stands is one which may be used—and I cannot see any other reason for it—and will be used only for political purposes. The right hon. Gentleman quotes Sir Basil Thomson, a gentleman for whom I ought to have some sort of pleasant memory as I have of Sir Archibald Bodkin. Both these gentlemen are much more interested in hunting down, in the first case, Suffragettes and Bolshevists, and to-day the present Public Prosecutor seeks to employ the sharpest minds of Scotland Yard to chase a handful of Communists up and down the country. If these brilliant men who go to public-meetings and hide themselves under the platforms of Communist conferences were engaged in their proper work of detecting crime, I think Sir Basil Thomson 169 would not have been able to write the kind of book he did. The fact is, during the last 30 or 40 years, the police force, certainly in London, has been used, not for the purpose of putting down ordinary crime, but, first of all, of creating political offences, and then chasing the people they thought guilty of them. That is the sole reason why you have not had so much success as in other days.
I do not believe many members of the House have read this Clause, except those who are on the Committee upstairs. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Colonel Wedgwood) is one of the most diligent members of the House, and he has proved to-night that he did not know there was such a clause as this in the Bill. I wonder whether hon. and right hon. Gentlemen really do understand that this Clause says that if a justice is satisfied by information on oath—and it is a very iniquitous proposition because you go to a Justice in his home, not in a Court, and there is just the Justice and a policeman, and when you know that I am a Justice of the Peace you know what Justices of the Peace are, that they are only common or garden people, nothing extraordinary about them, people open to the same sort of feeling, and passion, and hatred, and like and dislike as anybody eke. One single Justice, who may dislike me, may get a policeman, and between them they can have my house searched. Someone on the other side of the House said that they did not mind being searched, because they had nothing to be ashamed of. I do not know that I have either, and we have a couple of Airedale puppies that might make it difficult for the searchers; but when I remember the manner in which these searches of which I have spoken were carried through, I do not want my wife and children to be alarmed by men marching in for no reason at all to search my house, and I do not want them to have the opportunity of leaving evidence about or collecting evidence that was not there. I do not think that anyone has quite realised how easy that is, and until one has gone through the experience one really does not realise it. I must say that 170 until I went to prison and was before a magistrate and before a judge, I did not realise what a terrible sort of flummery and tomfoolery it all was. It is because I know what a search is that I am taking up the attitude I am taking up here tonight on this Clause. I think the House ought really to be seized of what this Clause really consists of. It says:If a Justice"—I repeat that it is one Justice—is satisfied by information on oath"—I suppose it is on the oath of an inspector—that there is reasonable ground for suspecting"—you are to be searched on suspicion, and on "reasonable ground." Who is going to decide what is a reasonable ground? Everyone knows that, when you come to argue with certain people as to what is reasonable and what is unreasonable, there is any amount of room for differences of opinion, and this seems to me to be a most extraordinary way of providing for such tremendous power—that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an indictable offence has been or is about to be committed"—it is not that an offence has been committed. There is to be no sort of evidence that the man has committed an offence, but only that somebody thinks he may have committed one, or is going to do so. I am quite sure that many an hon. and right hon. Gentleman opposite would cheerfully say that many of us on these benches were going to do something wrong, if we have not done it, and that, therefore, our places would be quite rightly searched—he may issue a search warrant authorising any constable or other person named in the warrant "—I would like to know what sort of other person it is to be. Is this a new kind of super-bureaucrat that is going to be invented, or one of those brilliant young men whom the hon. Member for the City recommended to enlist in the police the other day, or one of the M.I.C. on his master's business, about whom we have heard—at any time or times to enter"—he may come in in the day or in the night, or he may go into a man's house 171 when he is not there. I repeat seriously that the planting of evidence on people is quite easy under this Clause. They are to go to a man's home or office whether he is there or not, at any time of the day or night.
§ It being Eleven of the Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.
§ Debate to be resumed To-morrow.172
§ The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.
§ Whereupon, Mr. SPEAKER, pursuant to the Order of the House of this day, proposed the Question, "That this House do now adjourn."
§ Adjourned accordingly at Two Minutes after Eleven o'Clock.