§ Before making a search under this Act, the person about to make it shall call upon two or more respectable inhabitants of the locality in which the place to be searched is situate to attend and witness the search.
§ The search shall be made in their presence and a list of all things seized in the course of such search and of the places in which they are respectively found shall be prepared by the person making the search and signed by such witnesses, but no such witness shall be required to attend the court as a witness of the, search unless summoned by it.—[Mr. Mallalieu.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 4.19 p.m.
§ Mr. MALLALIEU
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
Perhaps the House will allow me, in moving this new Clause, which stands in the name of myself and my hon. Friends, to remind it that, this Bill provides that upon a warrant issued by two justices police officers may enter the house of a person if they suspect that he has in the house documents or other articles which may go to prove that he has committed an offence under under the Bill, that is, that he possesses documents which, if circulated among members of His Majesty's Forces, might cause them to be seduced from their duty or allegiance to His Majesty. The object of the new Clause is that when there is a search of any premises for documents which may be considered to come within the Act, as it will then be, there should be present certain neutral parties, as it were, who are not representatives either of the police or of the person whose house is being searched. I think the House will quickly realise the immense importance of allowing police officers to enter the private houses of subjects. It has been done before, as the House knows well, but in my submission it has never been done except for very grave considerations. It is an exceedingly serious matter that anybody's house should be broken into, if necessary by force—that is suggested in this Bill—and the proposal which I and my friends are 48 putting forward is that somebody should be present to see that fair play is done.
It is not only in the interests of the individual whose house is being searched that we are putting forward this new Clause. It needs very small intelligence to see that if there has been a search of any premises it is perfectly easy for people to say afterwards that things have been taken away by the police, as it is also perfectly easy to say that the police have actually planted incriminating documents or articles in the house. In either case, obviously a great deal of damage will be done if such allegations are made. This Clause would protect the police from such accusations, which we all believe, of course, would be false, but which may be made, and which may do a great deal of damage whether they are false or not. This suggestion, or a very similar one, was made in Committee upstairs, and it was then pointed out by the right hon. and learned Attorney-General, and also by the Solicitor-General, that the proposal was fantastic, unpractical and unprecedented. In my suggestion, if it would do good we ought to adopt it, even though it were unprecedented, but I am going to show that the identical proposal which I am now making is already in operation in the Indian Criminal Procedure Code, and has been for 40 years, so that it is quite impossible for representatives of the Government to come forward and describe the proposal as fantastic and unprecedented. This identical Clause is in the Indian Criminal Procedure Code of 1898, and I hope, therefore, that the Law Officers will give it very serious consideration.
One of the reasons advanced against the Clause by the Attorney-General was that apart from being unpractical it was not needed. He said that the police do not do this sort of thing and that we ought to trust them. If that be so, may I suggest that it would not do very much harm to have the Clause in the Bill? In any case, as I have been pointing out, it does not matter whether the police do these things or not, but what matters is that people may say they do them, and, therefore, from the point of view of the police, the Clause ought to be accepted. Another slight objection which was advanced in Committee by the Solicitor-General was that we could not force independent persons to go into the 49 house with the search party and witness the search. In my submission that is completely disposed of by a later amendment to the Indian Criminal Procedure Code. The suggestion is that the police should call upon two independent inhabitants of the neighbourhood and take them with them to the search to witness it, to make a list of the things taken and the places in which they were found. At the end of the section, as it now reads, in the Indian Criminal Procedure Code there is actually a provision which says that the courts may issue an order in writing to witnesses to be present at the search and to act as witnesses. Therefore, I submit that every single objection which was urged against this proposal on behalf of the Government when it was considered in Committee is absolutely 'invalid, having regard to the provisions of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code.
The Law Officers poured scorn upon the necessity for having independent witnesses present when a search was taking place. Upstairs, I ventured to quote a passage from that celebrated judgment by Lord Camden, which has been quoted again and again, and which bears upon this particular point, and I am going to quote it again, because it shows that over a long period of years those responsible for administering justice in this country have realised how important it is, no less in the interests of the police than of the person whose house is being searched, that there should be somebody present to see what is taking place, so that no misunderstandings can arise. Lord Camden said with regard to the warrant then under consideration, which was a slightly different warrant, though not different in any way that is of practical importance:The warrant is to be executed by the messengers in the presence or absence of the party, as the messengers think fit, and without a witness to testify what passes at the time of the transaction; so that when the papers are gone, as the only witnesses are the trespassers, the party injured is left without proof. If the injury falls upon an innocent person he is as destitute of remedy as the guilty, and the whole transaction is so guarded against discovery that if the officer should be disposed to carry off a bank bill"—exactly the case I make here—he may do it with impunity, since there is no man capable of proving either the taker or the thing taken.50 In my submission the representatives of the Government have no right to suggest that this Clause is fantastic and unprecedented and unpractical when such a great authority has pointed out the necessity, in his view, for having some such provision in the law. It is entirely practical, because it has been in operation for some 40 years not only in India but in some other parts of the Empire where the Indian Criminal Procedure Code also runs. I submit that this new Clause could not conceivably do any harm and in all probability would do very great good, and that it is just the sort of thing which that great authority Lord Camden pointed out should be in any Bill conferring the power to enter the private houses of individuals. Our laws should be as free from such entries as it is possible for us to make them.
§ 4.31 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I support the proposed new Clause with a very great deal of pleasure on behalf of myself and my colleagues. We are discussing at a very early stage of these proceedings what is perhaps the heart of the Bill, and something which has aroused a great deal of fury in the country. If this Bill goes through in its present form, one thing that will be certain is that the old proverb that the Englishman's house is his castle will be dead and buried, and we shall have no further right to use it. The Mover of the Clause is asking for a very simple thing. If a man is to be subject to representatives of the law walking into his house, going to any part of it and examining what they like and taking what they like, the very least that can be done for the person who is so assailed is that he should have the right to claim that witnesses must be present to testify as to what has been taken by the officers.
The hon. Gentleman has pointed out that Lord Justice Camden, in that famous case somewhere about 1765, was very explicit on the point. It is not my business to read law, but during the recent discussions on this matter my education in that direction has been improved, because, like a good many other laymen, I have been reading the accounts of State trials in connection with this matter. The thing that has astounded me is that a Lord Chief Justice of this country in the 18th 51 century should have had a more acute sense of liberty than the present Government. One of the chief things to which he paid attention was the right of search and the conditions under which that right was used. Lord Justice Camden said words to the effect that if officers can walk in and take possession of your house, break locks, break open cabinets, read private letters and documents or anything else they like, and after doing so have the power to take those things away, and if something like that was to be the law in England a man had better live among savage people. I should not put it so strongly myself, but the least that we in the 20th century can do is to be extremely careful in regard to matters which affect the liberty of citizens.
The hon. Member made a point which I will underline, and that is that the person whose house is entered is not necessarily guilty; he has to be found guilty by a court. The strength of the objection to this Clause all the time has been that the most innocent person is just as likely to be the victim of an invasion of his home as the most guilty person. We hold that it is absolutely necessary, if a person whose house is searched is to have any protection at all, that there should be witnesses to take a note of the articles that are taken, and of the things that are found upon his premises. The House should remember that the search is not to be any kid-glove affair. An officer does not come and knock at the door and ask if he can search the house. The searchers simply walk in, and they do not ask if certain documents are there, but they search the whole place through from top to bottom to find incriminating documents. The persons who search the house are not limited to taking certain kinds of books or pamphlets, and they do not need to go only to the bookcases or to private boxes where leaflets and pamphlets may be kept; they have the power to search the most secret places in the house, to handle and read any documents they like and to carry away the most private documents of the persons who live in the house. During the discussion in Committee, the Attorney-General agreed to a number of Amendments which made some difference to the Bill, but he did not agree to anything which altered the vital and fundamental principles to which 52 objection has been taken. He accepted certain safeguards, but he did not accept any Amendment which made the slightest difference to the more fundamental side of the proposals. One of my hon. Friends says that the Attorney-General will do so to-day. I hope that the genial appearance of the right hon. and learned Gentleman is indicative of what he is going to do when he comes to speak on this Clause.
The House and the Attorney-General should take note of the fact that the right of search is being granted for the first time, so far as political opinions are concerned. The Attorney-General may say that political opinions are not really involved, but that is the whole question which is in dispute. The right of search in matters of political opinion is being granted for the first time, and matters that have been held almost sacred in this country are being ridden over roughshod. The House must bear in mind that not only is the person whose house is searched innocent until he is proved guilty, but that after his house is invaded he has no means of redress or of compensation by way of a claim for damages. During the discussions in Committee, the Attorney-General rather slurred over that matter in a sort of attempt to say that the person whose house was invaded had some kind of right of compensation. So far as I can gather that is not so. It is certain that the average poor man or woman has not the wherewithal to claim damages. It does not matter what is done to their house or how much their property is damaged, how much of their property is taken away or however private that property may be; they have no redress once the property is taken away. It is asking very little that some person or persons should be present as witnesses as to what is taken in order to safeguard the person whose house, has been invaded and who, in the long run, may be proved innocent. We shall go into the Lobby in support of this new Clause if the Attorney-General does not see his way to accept it.
§ 4.43 p.m.
§ Mr. TINKER
I support the new Clause for two reasons. The first is that it protects the citizen when a search is made of his house by providing someone to verify his statements as to what has been taken. The proposal of the Bill is a new feature in our civic life, and if the 53 Bill passes we should give all the protection we can to people who may be affected by it. The second reason is that if I were a member of the Government who are pressing forward this Bill, I would do all I could to protect the police officers. Everyone knows that when a police officer makes a statement in a court of law there is a certain amount of prejudice against him, because there is always a feeling that he is misrepresenting the real position. When he states in court what has been found in a house during a search, there is always a grave doubt as to whether his evidence is truthful. If he produces articles which he says he found in the house—
§ Mr. TINKER
There have been cases where articles have been produced in court, and it has been denied that they had ever been in the house. That is one of the reasons why I support the proposed new Clause. It will protect the police officer as well as the householder. I should have no hesitation in calling in two people. I do not say that they must be "respectable" citizens, because there are degrees of respectability. The word "citizen" covers all degrees of respectability, and I should be prepared to trust to getting two persons to suit the occasion. The point that I would urge upon the Government is that at least, if it is their intention to press forward this Measure, as I take it it is, nothing ought to prevent them from giving every possible protection to the two parties concerned. The police officer may not like his job; probably he will not like his job; but he will have to carry it out, knowing all the time the feeling of bitterness that the citizen will have against him, and I would like to see some protection provided for him by checking whatever he takes. The citizen also will desire to be protected by the knowledge that, whatever articles may be taken, at least it will be verified that they have been there and can be got back when the case is over. To my mind this is a perfectly fair Clause, and there ought to be no difficulty in accepting it in all quarters of the House. I do not know whether there will be any argument as to its causing a lot of trouble to bring in additional persons, or as to who will pay them, and so on, but on the face of it this proposal would provide protection 54 for the two parties concerned. To my mind it is worth accepting, and I shall certainly support it.
§ 4.47 p.m.
§ Mr. MOLSON
I hope that the Government will give this Amendment consideration. I have been very much impressed by the argument which has been put forward that it is not only necessary to safeguard the person whose premises may be searched against wrongdoing on the part of the police, but also to protect the police against the charge, which is frequently made in other countries, that they are acting under the influence of superiors, and that on some occasions, in order to obtain a conviction, articles can be "planted" where searches are to be made. I feel that it is very well worth while, in the interests of justice in this country, that every safeguard that is possible should be given against any suspicion of that kind growing up in people's minds. I see that the Home Secretary is here. I need hardly remind him that only a short time ago we were called upon in this House to pass legislation in order to carry out very sweeping reforms in the City of London Police, and that only a short time before that, during the time of Lord Byng—
§ Mr. MOLSON
Quite right: I mean the Metropolitan Police. Only a short time before that, when Lord Byng was Commissioner, there were cases which resulted in convictions in the courts, and which showed that, in spite of the fact that, as we all know, the vast majority of the police are entirely to be relied upon, there had been occasions where police officers had been corrupted. Therefore, if it is possible in this Bill to provide a further safeguard, I hope that the Government will be prepared to do so. I understand that the attitude of the Attorney-General is that the Government must obtain the powers which this Bill will give them. Those of us who support the Government are quite willing to give them those powers, but we do ask that everything that can be done shall be done to make certain that the Bill, when it becomes an Act, will not lay the way open to any abuse.
§ 4.50 p.m.
§ Mr. JANNER
In rising to support my hon. Friend's Amendment, I would ask 55 the Attorney-General to consider that the question here is not merely whether one is going to believe the word of the police officer or not, but something very much more important, which in my view justifies my hon. Friends and myself in asking for an Amendment of this description. In normal circumstances a search in itself is confusing, but in circumstances of this nature, when you get police officers searching for something with the nature of which they are not conversant, and looking through all sorts of papers trying to find some kind of evidence to indicate that the person whose house they are searching is in possession of certain kinds of documents, it is quite conceivable that, in the confusion which will arise, the police officer himself, quite honestly and without any intent to deceive anybody at all, may not form an accurate opinion of what has happened, and consequently, when called upon to give evidence, may give evidence of a strictly correct nature as far as he is concerned, as I believe it would be in the majority of cases, but yet at the same time may not be in a position to give coherent evidence as to what took place at the time when the search was made.
This is a very important departure. I do not think that any Member of the House will disregard the importance of the departure in respect of the granting of search warrants, and there is a tremendous amount of feeling throughout the country; it is no use anyone denying it. From the point of view of the argument of those who are supporting the Bill, let us say that it is unjustified, but that feeling does prevail, and in this case it is not only necessary to do justice if the Bill is to be placed on the Statute Book, but it is necessary to appear to be doing justice in the fullest sense of the word. Consequently, I think that, if those right hon. Gentlemen who will deal with the legal aspect of the matter will look at it from its proper angle, they will agree that every protection should be afforded, if the Bill be passed—many of us here hope that the Government will abandon it after they have heard the arguments, and I am sure there will be many arguments in that direction—for the sake of those good citizens who are upset about the matter.
There is a tremendous number of good citizens who are anxious to see that jus 56 tice is done—for the sake of argument I will speak of "good citizens," so that there may be no difference of opinion as between those who are opposing this Measure and those who desire to further it—and those good citizens are disturbed. Here is an opportunity for the granting of a concession which will at least enable people to be satisfied that, when a search takes place, independent persons will be present who will have an opportunity of saying something about how the search was conducted. Moreover, it would make those who are conducting the search more cautious about removing certain property which they have the power to remove at the present time. For example, they may take letters without knowing whether the contents of those letters justify their being taken or not. They may say that they have reasonable cause to believe that in certain letters words were used which might be an incitement, but, if someone else were present, they would look at those letters and would be more cautious not to remove anything which was not either directly or indirectly conducive to this type of agitation among the Forces.
The police do not take any objection to this. For example, when persons are present at an identification parade there is no question of casting a slur upon them. My right hon. Friend knows very well that, when there is a question of identification, citizens can be asked to come forward, and they do so on many occasions; and not only are they present, but they subject themselves to the somewhat crude performance of having various types of headgear and so on placed upon them, and being put in a row with the person against whose liberty some step may be taken. Nobody objects to that. The police do not object to it; the citizens do not object to it; they think it perfectly right that a man, before his liberty is interfered with, should have the opportunity of independent people being present and the right to every protection, so that no mistake shall be made. Apart from the arguments which have been brought forward by my hon. Friend, I think the Government will appreciate that, if they can see their way to make a concession in this regard, people will at least believe that everybody is going to have a fair opportunity in the matter, and that the police will not be tempted to deal unceremoni- 57 ously with packages and articles which have no possible connection with anything in the nature of sedition or the spread of dissension, but that such things will, as in the past, be honoured by not being removed; and the citizen will be able to realise that the search will be conducted under the supervision of independent persons, and to have the satisfaction of knowing that any evidence which is tendered at a later stage in regard to the search is not only reliable in the sense that it represents the truthful opinion of the person giving it, but in the sense that it represents the actual facts of what took place. I would ask, therefore, that this Amendment should be made in the Bill.
§ 4.58 p.m.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
In supporting this Amendment, I must confess that I gathered from the earlier discussions in connection with the Bill—I was not a member of the Committee—that the Government were determined to withdraw the Bill from the House altogether, and I am sorry that they have not done so rather than attempt, as some speakers have said, to make the Bill presentable and satisfactory to the general community. I do not think that, whatever form the Bill make take, it will ever be satisfactory to any reasonable, intelligent and progressive man or woman in this country.
I do not care whether a man is regarded as respectable or not. I think that all are entitled to the utmost consideration from the State, and, if a person is regarded as not being respectable, there is all the greater necessity for seeing that there is no loophole for justice not being done to that person. On the question of search, I think it is highly desirable that a complete inventory of any things that are taken by the officers of the law in the execution of their duty should be taken in the presence of two citizens—I do not go the length of saying "two respectable citizens," because there might be a difference of opinion in this House as to who were the respectable citizens. I am sure that very often respectability is simply a question of not being found out. I noticed that the hon. Member for Dunfermline (Mr. J. Wallace) was lecturing his division recently, and was describing Members of this House. He described the Clyde group. He had some hard things to say 58 about me, and I do not think he would believe that I was a respectable citizen who ought to be entrusted with the task of taking an inventory of that kind.
§ Mr. JOHN WALLACE
If I may interrupt the hon. Member for a moment, I pointed out, in what he has dignified with the title of a lecture, that there was no one in the House who was more assiduous in his attendance to his Parliamentary duties than the hon. Gentleman.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
He said I had attained a notoriety which most Members of the House would desire to avoid. He also said that the only thing that distinguished me from my two colleagues was that I was more careful about my personal appearance than the other two. But that by the way. I desire to associate myself with the protests that have been made and to support the Amendment. I might be one of those who will come within the scope of the Bill, because I assume that revolutionary agitators are the people aimed at, though I seldom take part in written work. But I have documents in my house which I should not like officers of the Crown to examine or to take away. There is one letter especially dear to me that I received in 1930 from the Prime Minister commending me to the electors of Shettleston. In that letter he gave me a very fine character. It might be given in evidence in my defence when the time came. He also spoke, in that vague way in which he generally speaks, like a sort of Mr. Facing-Both-Ways, of the great Socialist plans that they had in store. I value that document and should not like to lose it, because the Prime Minister is the only person who has given me a very fine character in the whole of my life. The document is certainly valuable to me and at some future stage in the history of the country it might fetch a high price.
It is the duty of the Attorney-General not only to present the case for this Bill but to show reason and justification for the action that is proposed in it. I have read carefully the declarations of right hon. Gentlemen and supporters of the Government, but I have never yet seen a case made out which could be taken as a reasonable defence of the Measure at all. The Government seem to me to be aiming at keeping power rather by force than by reason, and I fail to understand 59 why the soldier or sailor should not have the case presented to him and should not get to know the truth of certain actions that he is asked to engage in. We are asking that in the search there should be witnesses present. Documents can go astray. I have regularly attended the courts in Glasgow, because I have. found it an interesting study both of criminals and of procedure, and from time to fine I have heard of documents being misplaced or lost in transit. There ought to be a complete inventory of documents, and the officers ought to be responsible for every letter seized. According to the statements of the Attorney-General, there will be no redress for any damage that may be done in the house. An innocent person's house may be searched from cellar to attic. Everything in the place may be examined, every article displaced and damage may be done, children may be taken out of their beds and the beds ripped open in the search for documents, because very often searches of that character are made in a clumsy and sometimes a ruthless way. I saw two searches carried out in Glasgow, and I certainly should not like my family to be subjected to the terror to which these families were subjected.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
They were searching for stolen goods, but even in searching the house of a criminal there should be the utmost consideration for the innocent victims, the family and the children, who may be ignorant of and are generally antagonistic to the criminal activities of the father.
§ Mr. RADFORD
I ask only because I gathered that the hon. Member and others claim that the right of search is something entirely new, whereas it has been quite common in the case of obscene literature and other cases.
§ Mr. McGOVERN
I do not think anyone has ever claimed that it is new to search a house, but this is certainly a startling departure from previous practice. It is giving power to a small minority which, in my estimation, no Government ought to possess. You ought to be able to prove that a person has in his possession things that he ought not 60 to have, or that he has criminal intentions, before you proceed to his house. You take power to go to the house on the word of one or two individuals who may be biassed and stupid, and nothing may be discovered. This is such a startling departure that I am satisfied that the citizens generally, independent of political outlook, would resent power of this kind being placed in the hands of the Government. This is not an isolated case. Step by step there is a growing machinery of Fascism, not going through terroristic methods as in Germany, but the Government and the ruling classes, taking time by the forelock, are taking powers that they have not previously had, so that when the moment comes they may be able to close down the democratic institutions of the country. I could go back to the time when the Government came into power and show how step by step this is leading to a complete state of Fascism by bringing machinery into operation which will ultimately take powers out of the hands of local and national assemblies and place them in the hands of a small dictatorial few.
This power of search is an abominable thing to come from the man who is the nominal leader of the Government, who himself has been pursued ruthlessly because of his declarations and his penned articles in the past. In view of the revelations in connection with the late War, it would be a good thing if appeals were made to soldiers to mutiny and to refuse to carry out orders, because on my reading of the memoirs of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs (Mr. Lloyd George) I can only assume that the people who led the youth of the country during the War were guilty of colossal incompetence and almost criminal tendencies because of the loss of life during that War, when we had over 400,000 men needlessly sucked into bogs and quagmires, false information was given to the Government of the day and faked documents of every kind were presented. Instead of the boot being on the foot of the person who incites the soldier, it ought to be on the foot of the person responsible for these criminal acts and, instead of monetary grants and titles, some of these people should have had the High Court and the firing squad. While I reserve the right to present a true case to soldiers, sailors and airmen by the written or spoken word—
§ Mr. HOWARD
Why does not the hon. Member go to the electors in order to get his political opinion supported? Why not rely upon the ballot box?
§ Mr. McGOVERN
The hon. Member surely realises that the soldier is still an elector. I do not see why the "Daily Mail" and National Government broadcasting should be indulged in and the soldier should be able to hear those opinions and not hear the appeals of Socialists or Communists who desire a different state of society. To me this is an obnoxious measure in every Clause. If I were a Tory, I should be against it, because it is simply sounding the death-knell of the present Government among intelligent electors. It shows that they have no faith in reasoned appeal, that they are afraid of the soldier, sailor or air-man getting to know the truth, afraid of his getting to know why he is asked to engage in industrial disputes and why he is asked to take part in war. Documents may be circulated telling him the truth, and the ruling class must use dictatorial power in order to suppress that information. The Attorney - General, as the representative of the Government, cannot stand at that Box and put up a reasoned case for the Bill. He would simply say, if he were honest, that he was afraid that if an appeal were made and the soldier knew the truth he would refuse to carry out the orders given to him by the ruling classes in 99 cases out of 100. I stand not only for the protection of the person in the home, but for the protection of innocent victims. The Government ought to accept the Clause, if they intend to go on with the Bill, and guarantee to the individual who might be facing a term of imprisonment the utmost protection the State could give to see that in so far as its laws are concerned, no injustice is done.
§ 5.16 p.m.
§ The SOLICITOR - GENERAL (Sir Donald Somervell)
I hope that I may have the general approval of the House if I confine my remarks rather more closely to the subject matter of the new Clause than did the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern) in the speech to which we have just listened. Everyone agrees that it is desirable that searches by the police under this Bill when it becomes an Act, or under any of the other existing Acts, should be conducted 62 reasonably and properly. I am certain that my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will agree that anyone will be performing a public duty in bringing to the attention of this House any case where, in conducting a search, there has been aggressive, unreasonable or unfair action. It is deplorable if, as the hon. Member for Leigh (Mr. Tinker) suggested—and it is an anxiety with which I would like to associate myself—there are people with so little respect as to be capable of making unjustified accusations against the police as to what may or may not have taken place at a search.
I wish to deal with the Clause which, I can assure the hon. Member for Doncaster (Mr. Molson) and other hon. Members, has had my sympathetic consideration, and I wish to give my reasons to the House why the Clause cannot be accepted and why it is not a good one. The hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Mallalieu), in moving the Clause, referred to certain epithets which I used and applied to a different proposal which he moved upstairs, and seemed to. think that he was called upon to do so by saying that this proposal was contained in the Indian penal code. He went on to show that the proposals in the Indian penal code are different in that they contained a provision, not in his new Clause, which is necessary to make it work. The Clause on the Paper is obviously unworkable, as my hon. Friend admitted. Before making a, search under the Act, the person making it shall call upon two or more respectable inhabitants. Anyone can call upon two or more respectable inhabitants, but suppose they will not come? I think the House will remember a passage in one of Shakespeare's plays, where Owen Glendower says:I can call spirits from the vasty deep," and Hotspur replies:Why, so can I; or so can any man:But will they come, when you do call for them?We are entitled to apply the same principle to my hon. Friend's respectable inhabitants. The new Clause says that two or more respectable inhabitants shall be called upon to take part in the search, but it makes no provision for their being compelled to do so. Therefore, if the thing was to be workable there would have to be some subsequent provision.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
It works because people are willing to come. [An HoN. MEMBER: "Say it again."] I will say it as many times as hon. Members like. This is to be a condition of the exercise of the legal powers of search. If people do not go on identity parade, the law does not break down. You can have your evidence apart from the identity parade.
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
No one has yet tried, but I should think that it would be exceedingly difficult, and a matter of the utmost repugnance to ordinary citizens of this country to be compelled to go into the house of someone in their locality and assist at a police search. I know that our dislike of unnecessarily prying into other people's affairs would make this duty one which would be very repugnant, and one very much out of accord with our legal system. It may be that in India such machinery works. Indian life and village responsibility, we all know, are very different, and it may be that there is something in Indian social life which makes it acceptable. We, after all, have to deal with our own people in this country, and I cannot imagine anything more repugnant to ordinary people than being asked to leave their ordinary vocations, jobs or business in order to take part in this matter.
§ Mr. ISAAC FOOT
The hon. and learned Gentleman said just now, "If these two witnesses or residents were called upon to assist in the search," but if the two witnesses are called upon to see that there is fair play for the persons searched—and that is all that is suggested here; not to assist, but to see that there is fair play—can he then state that that would be an odious duty which the older citizen should not be called upon to discharge?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
They have to be present and sign a list drawn up by the person making the search, and I should think that that would be a very repugnant duty. [AN HON. MEMBER: "What about serving on a jury?"] I 64 have yet to learn that serving on a jury is an objectionable form of service. Surely a jury is empowered to sit in a judicial capacity under one of the ancient institutions of our country and to assist the Court in performing a necessary if unpleasant duty. There is necessity for asking a further question. It does not seem to us desirable in the interests of the person whose premises may be searched that two inhabitants of the locality should have the opportunity of seeing his premises searched: It may be that one may have to be searched, if one has either committed a crime or is in suspicious circumstances—a search by the recognised authorities of the police. If they do anything wrong, their act can be challenged in the ordinary way in this House or elsewhere. It surely comes down to the point of view of the person whose premises are searched, that two of his neighbours should be there seeing his papers, seeing his house, according to the description, turned upside down, and seeing what he has got on his premises. There is the further point. Suppose something comes to light of a private character unconnected with the offence alleged. If there is any improper disclosure of anything of that kind by a police officer, it can be raised and dealt with by ordinary disciplinary methods. There can be no control over respectable inhabitants, who will have a complete view of all documents and articles on the premises during the course of the search.
For various reasons, we do not think that the idea embodied in the proposed new Clause is a good one. We sympathise, as everyone must, with the desire that searches, whether they take place under this Act or under any other Act, should be properly conducted. There may be arguments which may be relevant at later stages as to whether this Bill does or does not deal with political opinions, but I will leave that out for the moment. I do not think that it could be suggested that there is any reason why the police conducting searches under this Bill would be any more likely to act in an oppressive or unreasonable way than under any other of the Acts under which power of search is given to the police. I do not say that complaints as to the exercise of that power are nonexistent, but I think that complaints are negligible. The proper place in 65 which to have them brought up is in this House, and the very adequate safeguard which has worked in the past shows that these searches should be properly and fairly conducted to give the minimum of dislocation and upheaval. Strong feeling exists in every party in this House that in so far as the Executive acts, it should not be overstrained or used in any oppressive way. For those reasons we think that the idea embodied in the Clause will be unworkable. The form is bad, and we believe that the proper safeguard for the object the Clause has at heart does not lie in any special machinery of the kind.
Miss RATH BONE
Would it, not meet the difficulties the hon. and learned Gentleman has brought forward if, instead of two citizens of the locality, a magistrate were asked to assist at the search? Will the hon. and learned Gentleman give at least some assurance to the Movers of the Clause that he will consider the matter in that sense?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL
That matter was discussed upstairs, but it is not before the House now. This is a police matter. They have to do it, and they have to bear the responsibility. They should do it. I will add what I intended to say on this Clause and which, I think, is relevant, at any rate, as to the general question raised by speakers in this Debate, that we intend to accept an Amendment which stands later on the Order Paper, on page 1904, Clause 2, page 2, line 20, which provides that if a search is to be conducted in the absence of the occupier it shall be the duty of the police to give him notice that the search has taken place.
§ 5.31 p.m.
§ Mr. ISAAC FOOT
I should like to ask whether the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General will not give further consideration to this matter. I did not gather from the Solicitor-General's reply that he objects to the general claim that is made as embodied in our Clause. I think that he sees the danger. At any rate, he will appreciate that it is a danger that has been spoken of by those who have held the highest position in the legal history of this country. A danger that was apparent to Lord Camden is a danger, I am sure, that will not have escaped the mind of the Solicitor- 66 General. The hon. and learned Gentleman has not met the suggestion that these dangers were pointed out in times of high controversy and in the history of a most famous discussion that took place in the, latter part of that century.
I should like to know whether my hon. Friend on my left was right in putting Lord Camden in this connection in association with the proposed Clause. If so, the case has not been met. If Lord Camden, who held high office at a time of great importance in our history, made that statement, then that case has not been met by the Solicitor-General in his reply. I understand that his case is that whatever may be said for the Clause, it is unworkable. In that case, is it riot his business to try to make it workable? We heard yesterday from the Prime Minister that concession after concession had been made by the Attorney - General in a desire to meet the very urgent objections that have been made in the House and throughout the country. If there were that desire then to meet, criticism, why has it not been shown to-day? Are we to understand from the Front Bench that there is something wrong in the principle now submitted? If so, let -them say so. That has not been suggested in the course of the speech of the Solicitor-General. All that we have been told is that the proposal is unworkable.
Why has not more attention been paid to the suggestion made by the hon. Lady the Member for the Combined English Universities (Miss Rathbone)? What is the objection to a magistrate coming in if two or three respectable householders in the district are not to be asked? It was hardly a worthy argument on the part of the learned Solicitor-General that the magistrate is engaged in judicial duties. The magistrate is engaged very often in administrative duties. Three parts of his time and activities are concerned with administrative rather than judicial duties. He is -called in for a multitude of things relating to the ordinary affairs of every-clay life. Why cannot he come in, or why cannot someone holding some such position come in to see that the procedure which everybody looks upon as being a most regrettable necessity, a thing that is abhorrent to our general conception of social life in this country, is properly carried out? Why cannot some provision of that kind be made? It 67 is not unworkable. If it were unworkable, then we submit that, with all the resources at their disposal, the Government, if they desire to secure this extra protection, could make the scheme workable.
The Solicitor-General said that we need not trouble about the Clause, and that if anything is done wrong the matter can be brought up in this House. Is the time of this House to be occupied with such cases? It may be that the hon. Member who represents the locality may take a view quite contrary to the position occupied by the man whose house is searched. Let us suppose that there is some awkward man, some unpopular man whose house has been searched. He may be a man of extreme opinions. It is the man of extreme and awkward opinions that we have to defend. A man who brought the greatest amount of force to bear upon English politics said that in times of high controversy it is the obnoxious man, the suspected man who needs the protection of the law. You do not need the law to protect the respectable men, because generally they have all the other resources of society around them. You have to have a law which protects the man who is obnoxious and suspected in his district. When a man who has angered everybody, including all the respectable classes in his town, by his extreme speech, is called upon to go through this experience, it may be very difficult for his Member of Parliament, holding an entirely different view, to sympathise with him to the extent of raising the matter in this House.
§ Vice-Admiral TAYLOR
Does the hon. Member suggest that a man because of his speech may have his house searched? That is not in the Bill. The Bill says:If two justices of the peace are satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable ground of suspecting that an offence under this Act has been committeed,they may grant a search warrant, but not for what the man has said.
§ Mr. FOOT
I am sorry if I did not make myself clear. I do not suggest that there could be any search warrant consequent upon a man making an extreme speech. What I said was that a man might be given to extreme speech and to putting an unpopular view, and as such 68 might make himself unpopular; just the sort of man that his Member of Parliament might not be very anxious to help.
§ Vice-Admiral TAYLOR
That would not constitute anything that would permit of his house being searched.
§ Mr. FOOT
I think that what I said was clear to the House. I do not want to confuse the issue. Is the Front Bench satisfied that there is adequate protection for the man who has been improperly treated or unfairly dealt with in relation to a search of his house, in that he may have the matter raised on the Floor of this House? The man may not know what measures he ought to take in that respect. That means depending upon the chance of getting support. The protection ought to be in the Measure itself. It is suggested by the Solicitor-General that the two members of the public would not be inclined to help, that they might be called upon but, like "spirits from the vasty deep," they might not come when called.
We are not making a proposal that is something new in history. It is a proposal which is being experienced in other countries, and if it acts there, why cannot it be done here? Is it not fair to assume that when two members of the community are called upon to see that fair play is done to one in their district they are likely to come in? If two householders were asked by the police to assist them in the objectionable course of searching a man's house, they would, and probably most of us would, stay outside. I should not be anxious to respond to any such call, but if it were put to two householders that they should come in and see fair play done to a man, and they came in with full authority as representatives of the public, there would not be that reluctance that is feared by the Solicitor-General. If he is satisfied that we could not satisfactorily work, such a provision, then it is his business, if he thinks that we are dealing with a substantial point, to suggest in what way the machinery can be improved.
69 Hon. and right hon. Members on the Front Bench must realise that the objection in relation to search is an objection that is in the very bones of the English people. It goes back to times from the controversies of which have sprung many of the liberties that we enjoy to-day. Air. Gladstone on one occasion said that we had to look upon John Wilkes as the great champion of English liberty, although he was not himself a very delightful personality. He was, however, a man who stood for English liberties, and the controversies that rang about his name are associated with some of the liberties that we enjoy to-day. The hatred of search is an essential English hatred. It is something that is part of our history, and if the Government intend to establish these methods of search, then they ought to be done in circumstances that will rob the procedure of the objection that most people feel to it.
We have not made an obstructive proposal. We have made a suggestion which was discussed upstairs. I believe the general proposal was dismissed upstairs as being impracticable. It is a fair answer to say that what we suggest has worked in different parts of the world, and we feel that our case might better have been met by some suggestion to make workable what may be difficult. If that had been done, it would have been more in line with the claim that the Prime Minister made at the luncheon festival yesterday. Why should that atmosphere disappear as soon as the Trocadero company dispersed? Let us have that atmosphere to-day. If the Clause had been accepted there would have been a chance of the Government getting their Bill through without high feeling.
§ 5.43 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL (Sir Thomas Inskip)
I can assure the hon. Member that there will be no high feeling on this side of the House. We shall try to meet the various Amendments with argument and reason, and if we cannot be so happy as to convince hon. Members opposite, it will be our misfortune. We think that we have very good reasons and we shall advance them, I hope, without any heat. The hon. Member has said that the objection to the search warrant Clause is in the very bone and blood of himself and his party. [HON. MEMBERS: 70 "Of the English people!"] Of the English people. May I say that in Clause 25 of the Betting and Lotteries Bill there is a search warrant Clause which has the same effect as the one in this Bill? I did not observe the hon. Member expressing his indignation on the Second Reading of that Bill against that particular Clause. I have observed that the hon. Member and Members of his party have allowed some two months to pass without putting down any Amendment to Clause 25. I do not know why it is so much more dangerous to search a man's house for documents which show that he intends to seduce the members of His Majesty's Forces from their loyalty than it is to search a man's house for a football betting slip. Let us consider this question without any mock heroics. The hon. Member says that this proposal is the same as that which was suggested in Committee. I must point out to him that he is at fault, and his hon. and learned colleague is also in error.
§ Mr. ISAAC FOOT
I never made any such statement. I was not a Member of the Committee. I understood that the matter was discussed upstairs.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I do not want to misrepresent the hon. Member, but I understood him to say that this matter, meaning substantially the same proposal, was discussed upstairs. That is the point I want to make, and I will submit it to the House so that hon. Members will be able to judge whether the statement was well founded, because the hon. Member has taunted the Government with saying that the proposed new Clause is unworkable and has suggested that it is the duty of the Government to make it workable. I am entitled to say, I think, that the people who have put forward this Clause cannot taunt the Government with not doing their work for them. The proposal which they put before the Committee upstairs was quite different in substance, although it dealt with the same point. Their proposal upstairs was that the magistrate or justice of the peace signing a warrant should appoint somebody as the representative of the person whose house was to be searched. The hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Mallalieu) has told us that his idea was that these two respectable inhabitants of the locality should be selected neither as representing 71 the police nor as representing the person whose house was to be searched, but as independent persons to see that everything was in order.
His proposal to-day is not the proposal which was before the Committee. Anybody can see that the proposal that a magistrate should appoint a sort of representative of the person whose house is to be searched is quite different from a proposal to bring in two independent persons to see that fair play is done, as arbiters between the police and the other person. That is the proposal now put forward. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot) says that it is the duty of the Government to put it into shape. I do not take that view of the Government's duty. If we think that a particular mischief exists, it is no doubt the Government's duty to try to meet the mischief, but I do not agree that there is any mischief to be met. And I will say why. It is easy to suggest, rather vaguely and without any particular evidence, that the police are not to be trusted in these matters—
§ Mr. MALLALIEU
I did not suggest any such thing. I was particular to say that other persons might suggest that the police were not to be trusted.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am glad to hear the disavowal of the hon. Member that there is no aspersion at all on the police.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The hon. Member for Colne Valley thinks that the police are to be trusted, but the hon. Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Maxton) does not think they are to be trusted. Let me take the hon. Member for Bridgeton first. I suppose he is supporting this proposal, as is also the hon. Member for Shettleston (Mr. McGovern). The proposal is that the police, who, according to their hypothesis, are not to be trusted, who are thoroughly dishonest and who might plant some documents on a person 72 whose house is to be searched, should be required by the Bill to take two respectable persons from the locality in order to see that they do their duty properly. Is it suggested that the police who are such evilly intentioned persons, so dishonest, will go out of their way to choose two thoroughly honest persons to go with them? If the police are so wicked and deliberately dishonest, the Clause is no protection. They would take good care to choose two persons who are what I may describe as creatures of the police, if they are so dishonest as is suggested.
§ Mr. MAXTON
My accusation was not about the dishonesty of the police, although I have seen cases in regard to that; my accusation was as to their competence in matters of this description.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I am glad that I misunderstood the hon. Member. I think he did suggest dishonesty, but I am glad to find that he only suggests incompetence.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
If the suggestion is that the police are only likely to be incompetent, then there is more likelihood of their not making the search as thorough as it would otherwise have been made, and I do not see the necessity, therefore, for bringing in the two respectable members of the locality. Let me take the hypothesis that the police are to be trusted and are thoroughly honest. Is it really the intention to bring in these witnesses in order to protect the police? Is that really the intention of the hon. Member? Will he lay his hand upon his heart and say that that was his motive in bringing forward the Amendment?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The sort of extra reason Which might make it look more acceptable to the Government. I can assure the hon. Member that the police and those responsible for the police do not require this protection. Is it necessary for the protection of the public? The Government are going to accept an Amendment as to providing a list. I take the view that it is impossible to devise an Amendment—and the efforts of the Liberal party show that it is impossible 73 —to give any further protection than that which the population of this country has hitherto enjoyed when the police are discharging their public duties. The police are not the enemies of the State. The police are not people who cannot be trusted to act fairly in the discharge of their duties, and there is no necessity at all for the protection of the public to bring in independent persons or somebody to be appointed by a magistrate to help them to discharge their duties. You are just as likely to have two respectable persons who are wicked and incompetent—
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The mason for the warrant is to give proper legality and formality to these actions which without the warrant would be as unauthorised as that of the late Lord 'Halifax in the famous case of Entick v. Carrington. Taking the view that there is no necessity to protect the citizen any further than the protection he already has from the police, who in general carry out duties given them by officers of the law, I do not see the necessity for the Clause. That being so, it is not part of my duty to do the work which the Liberal party has not been able to do for two months; that is, to make the proposed Clause workable. These words are lifted out of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code. The hon. Member for Colne Valley has seen the difficulties of embodying all the words of that code, because they would be most objectionable, and he has not had the courage to include them in his Clause.
§ Mr. MALLALIEU
The Clause was put down some months ago, and I had an opportunity of seeing an old copy of the Statute in the Library. Since then I have had an opportunity of seeing a revised edition, and I find that not only did it contain all that I wished, but also an additional point, which completely meets one of the criticisms made by the Solicitor- General.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
The Indian Criminal Procedure Code has some machinery in it which would have made the proposal workable, but the hon. Member has not put it in his Clause, because the House would not accept it for a moment.
§ Mr. MALLALIEU
Would the Attorney-General accept the proposal if it contained the full Section as it is now in the Indian Penal Code?
§ The ATTORNEY - GENERAL
I certainly would not, and I should be very much surprised if the hon. Member had the courage to move such a proposal. The hon. Member referred to the case of Entick v. Carrington. I wish the hon. Member would study the long passages of Lord Chief Justice Pratt's judgment in that case. He was dealing with a case where a Secretary of State, like the the Home Secretary, not a. magistrate or a justice of the peace, gave a warrant for search for anything, not for particular documents in particular premises, but a search for anything. And Lord Chief Justice Pratt's observations were directed to the tyrannical abuse of the powers claimed by the Secretary of State. That is altogether a different matter to that which is to be done by a magistrate or, as I propose, by accepting an amendment, by a judge granting a warrant. Although I do not doubt the sincerity of the hon. Member for Bodmin, I hope the House will see that the taunt that the Government ought to make this proposal workable is undeserved, and that we may have the same confidence which he and his party have in the competence of the police.
§ 5.59 p.m.
§ Sir ROBERT HAMILTON
I want to refer to the point as to the unworkability of the proposed new Clause—the criticism put forward by the Solicitor-General and the Attorney-General. It so happens that it was my duty for a period of 20 years as a magistrate and judge to have to administer these specific words; I think they are the actual words in the old criminal procedure code, and we did not find any difficulty in administration. I am, therefore, rather at a loss to understand why the Government should so strongly stress the point that the Clause is unworkable. I think that the very good reasons which led the legislature to embody a similar provision in the Indian Criminal Procedure Code should apply equally in this country. This Clause was put in for the protection of the individual and for the protection of the police. One knows quite well that the procedure in Oriental countries is somewhat different from that in our own country. There- 75 fore, perhaps it is more necessary that a provision should be inserted so that the duties imposed on the police are carried out without unfairness or harshness to the individual, and, on the other hand, so that it is not possible for an individual in whose possession matter may be found, to bring unfair and unjustified charges against the police.
If this Clause were accepted, it would go a long way to remove the opposition to the Bill both inside and outside the House. The general feeling of opposition that has been aroused against the Bill is due to fear that the liberty of the subject may be invaded in a way that has been guarded against in the past. Any provision that can be added to the Bill to assure the public both that the liberty of the individual will be guarded and that it will be impossible, as far as it can be made impossible, for false charges to be brought against an individual, or for any man to bring false charges against the police, would remove a great deal of the objections to the Bill. I think that the reasons put forward by the Government, that the Clause is unworkable, are not the real reasons on which they base their objections to it. They say, too, that the new Clause is unnecessary. It is perfectly true that similar provisions are not included in other powers of search under other Acts, but seeing the nature of this Bill and the serious consequences that may he entailed by charges brought under it, it is incumbent on the Government to take every step that will ensure that public mistrust of the provisions of the Bill is allayed.
§ 6.3 p.m.
§ Major MILNER
Let me recall to the House the circumstances in which a warrant of this description would be executed. In the first place the warrant is to be issued on the justices being satisfied that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence has been committed. In the first place, therefore, the warrant is to be issued on suspicion.
§ Major MILNER
The warrant is to be issued on the justices being satisfied, from information on oath, that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an 76 offence has been committed. In the second place that warrant may be used by one officer or a number of officers of police at any time in the day or night, if necessary by force. That is to say, on premises that are temporarily or permanently unoccupied the door may be broken down and one or more police officers may enter into possession, may remain there an hour or two or the whole day or whole night, and may search the premises, and if there be persons there they may search those persons also. They may seize on the premises anything which they have reasonable ground for suspecting to be evidence of the commission of an offence. When a warrant may be executed in circumstances such as those, surely there is some justification for asking that rather special precautions should be taken for the protection of the house and its occupier or owner, the protection of the persons or person owning the articles therein, and for the protection of the police officers who are taking part in what in effect is a raid or search of this kind.
One minor point I would mention. It seems to be suggested, and not least by the learned Attorney - General, that having regard to the undoubted high character of the police, it is not likely that anything would be taken away which ought not to be taken, or that anything would be put into the house which ought not to be put there. The learned Attorney-General said in Committee that he did not encourage agents provocateurs in this country; but he said at another time that he himself had had occasion to send such an agent to obtain a copy of what was alleged to be, or thought to be, an obscene publication. If the Attorney - General found it necessary to use such an agent it is not outside the bounds of possibility that in times of difficulty or stress, in circumstances such as I have outlined, some action of that sort might be taken.
It is only reasonable for the protection of those whom I have mentioned that some special precaution should be taken. The Government say that it is impracticable to take such steps as are suggested in the new Clause. They say that respectable persons would not be willing to assist in a matter of this sort. I disagree entirely with that point of view. There are many much more disagreeable functions which the public now under- 77 take. There is the function undertaken on request or on summons, of sitting as a jury at an inquest and having the unpleasant duty of viewing the body. I can conceive that many might take objection to that; but I cannot conceive that any reasonably minded citizen, if requested by the police to come along and see fair play, to watch that no undue damage was done, would object to assist in that way. The learned Solicitor-General seemed to think it much more likely that people might be willing to assist in India than in this country. In fact the contrary is the case. In India one knows how the susceptibilities of the Indians may be affected, and one knows particularly the custom of purdah and so on, and the high regard in which Indians hold their women and the objection they have to the entry of strangers into a house. I submit that the Clause would be perfectly practicable in this country; and, secondly, that it has been found practicable in another country. There would not be the slightest difficulty in carrying into effect such a Clause as this when the time came.
Then the Solicitor-General suggested that the Clause was highly undesirable because private affairs might come to light and be seen by witnesses. But it is not necessary to ask witnesses to go into the precise details of the contents of letters or documents. It would be necessary only for them to know that a bundle of documents or letters had been appropriated and taken away by the police. It is not in the least likely that such private affairs would come to life.
§ Major MILNER
; I sat in Committee with the hon. and gallant Gentleman for many days, and there were few occasions on which he did not bark into my ear. I shall be grateful to him, therefore, if he will let me proceed without further interruption. My point is this: It would be the duty of the police if they did find evidence of the commission of any offence, or any evidence having any relation to disaffection, to take note of that fact, to take advantage of that evidence and to prosecute the individual in question. Therefore there is some inducement, if evidence cannot be found of an offence under this Bill, to plant or place evidence in regard to 78 some other minor or greater offence. In my submission this Clause would be a great protection to all concerned. It would be a protection to the general public, it would be some reassurance to them, having in mind the great anxiety which this Bill has caused, and it would be a source of comfort to the police taking part in an objectionable proceeding such as this. The Lord Chief Justice some time ago said, in effect, that it was not only necessary that justice should be done but that it should be apparent to the world that justice had been done. One of the ways in which, in a matter of this sort, it might be made apparent that proceedings had been carried out with fairness and justice, would be the presence of two respectable citizens. I still hope that the Government may see fit to accept the Clause.
§ 6.15 p.m.
§ Mr. OSWALD LEWIS
Those who support the Bill have endeavoured this afternoon to show that the proposal in the proposed New Clause is not practicable while those supporting the Clause have been at pains to show that, in their view, it is practicable. I do not think that we need greatly concern ourselves as to which of these views is correct and for this reason. There is, it seems to me, a short and complete answer to the case made by the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Mallalieu) and those who have supported the Clause. It is that the proposal is, in the first place, unnecessary and in the second place, would be ineffective. As to it being unnecessary, it is significant that not one of those who have spoken in support of it, directed attention to the fact that Parliament has already passed more than 50 Acts dealing with the right of search in various ways, and in none of those Acts has Parliament thought it necessary or fit to insert such a provision as this. Further, although no such provision has been inserted in any of these 50 or more Acts, no supporter of this proposal has been able to show that any evil consequence has arisen therefrom. That to any ordinary reasonable person should be a complete answer as to the necessity of this proposal.
As to it being ineffective, I thought as I listened to the hon. Member for Colne Valley that one of the principal purposes which he bad in mind in making the sug- 79 gestion was to prevent a corrupt police officer from planting a document or to prevent anyone from suspecting that an honest police officer had planted a document when he had not done so. If hon. Members consider for a moment the state of affairs which prevails when a search of this kind is being made, and the confusion which necessarily exists on such an occasion, they will not find it difficult to believe that if a, police officer wished to plant a document during such a search he would not be prevented from doing so by the presence of two witnesses. The Attorney-General has pointed out that a corrupt police officer would probably get two amenable witnesses. If in order to throw dust in the eyes of the world he appointed two undoubtedly honest and reputable witnesses, it would yet be perfectly easy for him to plant a document in the confusion of the search, even in the presence of these two reputable witnesses. That proceeding would have the further consequence that the fact of the planted document having been found on those premises would be certified by these two independent witnesses and this would make it additionally difficult for the man, in whose house we are supposing the document to have been planted to prove that such was the case. The hon. and gallant Member for South-East Leeds (Major Milner) went so far as to say that in his opinion the witnesses would only be expected to see and to testify to the fact that a bundle of papers or perhaps 20 or more letters had been taken from the premises. He said that in his opinion they would not be required even to read the documents. If it be the case that all the witnesses have to do is to certify that a bundle of papers has been taken away, what is there to prevent a document being put into the bundle after its removal? The more we examine the case the more abundant the evidence becomes that the proposal of the Clause is unnecessary, and that it would be ineffective in application.
§ 6.22 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The proposed new Clause has been met with a great deal of criticism, but those who have brought it forward or supported it this afternoon, have not attempted to make out that it is a cast-iron proposal, or that it is the best possible thing in the circumstances. The 80 House is discussing a Bill containing a certain proposal. The Opposition regard the whole Bill as obnoxious, and, as an Opposition always does, they are seeking to lessen as much as possible what they regard as obnoxious in it. That, is all they can do in the circumstances. The supporters of the Bill, on the other hand, are seeking to argue that something which in our view is wrong should be permitted to go on, just because the Opposition's proposal is not as good as they would like it to be. If we were discussing the whole proposal of the Bill, which would not be in order on this occasion, we would not seek to carry this proposal. We would seek to wipe out the Government's proposal in its entirety. But we are not faced with that issue now. We are faced with the question of whether or not there is any way of lessening the ill effect of what we regard as a wrong proposal in the Bill.
The Solicitor-General argued with great skill and plausibility against the Opposition's proposal. He said that in his view the bringing in of two citizens in addition to the police in cases of this kind would make things worse and that the police were under the control of this House and if they did wrong their actions could be challenged here. To that point, which the Solicitor-General put with great force and some skill, there are two answers. First there is the answer given by the hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Isaac Foot) that a person who would be involved in a case of this kind would, generally speaking, be an unpopular person or, at any rate, a person holding unpopular views. I do not wish to belittle my colleagues here in this House or politicians in general. I do not agree with much of what we hear on the music-hall stage and what we read in certain places, about politicians being this or that or the other thing. I believe that politicians are normal people and being normal, we are faced with this position—that to raise an issue of this kind in the House, possibly on the eve of an election, might be to risk unpopularity. How often have all of us allowed things to go, knowing that to raise them here would be to court unpopularity in our own divisions, even though we believed that they were matters which ought to be raised here. Therefore, the first answer to the Solicitor-General is that, generally speaking, the kind of person who would be in- 81 volved in these cases, would very rarely find a politician prepared to raise his case for him in this House.
The second answer is this. The Solicitor-General says that the police are under the control of and can be challenged in this House. I take a different view. I see the learned Lord Advocate for Scotland on the Front Bench. I cannot claim any special knowledge of law, particularly of English law, but I think I have had as much experience as any Member here, and probably more experience than most, of correspondence with the Lord Advocate and the Secretary of State for Scotland on police and criminal matters. I suppose that in the course of the year I raise many more cases of appeals against the law than most hon. Members here. But the, answer which I get from the Secretary of State or the Lord Advocate when I raise these cases is that the police are not our servants, that they are under the control of the magistrates of the city of Glasgow or wherever it may be, and that, if the police have done wrong, my job is to raise it, not here but with the local magistrates. Therefore, the point that the police are under the control of this House does not meet the case at all. I go further. Some time ago the Home Secretary was questioned regarding certain offences including offences concerning children and also motoring offences. The Home Secretary was asked what action he would take with the chief constables in regard to these matters, and he stated that the chief constables outside the Metropolitan area were not his servants and were not under his control and that all he could do was to make recommendations to them hoping that those recommendations would be carried into effect. That is the Home Secretary's statement, and yet the Solicitor-General now argues that the police are under the control of this House. The fact is, according to the Home Secretary's own statement, that the police outside the Metropolitan area are not our servants and are not subject to our control.
The Attorney-General has put forward another argument. I remember the late right hon. Gentleman who was formerly Member for Shettleston saying that the present Attorney-General was possibly one of the most capable debaters in the House, and this evening he has used his debating power to bring in the Betting 82 Bill in connection with this proposal. There are two simple answers to the point about the Betting Bill. Nobody took the Betting Bill seriously in Committee upstairs. I, personally, never went beyond the first Clause. Who is going to put down Amendments to a Bill upstairs, when the first Clause alone has taken about 10 days consideration in Committee, never mind the 25th Clause? We never got near that stage. If I thought that the 25th Clause was coming on the Amendments would have been put down all right, but as the Attorney-General knows in these days one does not draft Amendments to the 25th Clause of a Bill when scarcely more than the first line of the Bill has been considered in Committee.
The second answer on this point is that in the Betting Bill we are dealing with an entirely different thing and a thing raising no political issues. I am one of those who think that the police in regard to betting have very great powers, perhaps too great powers. But I would say that somehow or another—and I say it of His Majesty's judges as well—that in regard to certain crimes such as murder there is great fairness. I was present the other day in Glasgow at a murder trial in which some of my constituents were concerned, and I would say that never were men given a fairer trial in this or any other country. But there was no political issue involved. It is when religious or political issues are raised that we find the ordinary fairness which men show in regard to every other aspect beginning to evaporate. Sometimes, as is general in the North of Ireland, issues of that kind are not far away. When two things, politics and religion, enter, decent men who treat each other decently seem to lose their sense of decency, and when it comes to trusting the police in betting cases there is no fear, where there is no class issue and no hatred, although the betting people do not always admit their fairness even there. But even if they do wrong there, the consequences are not grave. One often declines to raise a matter in this House because the consequences are not very grave, but here the consequences are very grave. They are not merely imprisonment, but to certain men a loss of employment and of their whole standing in life, and so, when you compare it with a betting offence, the consequences here 83 are far greater and ought to be subject to greater scrutiny.
Now this Clause comes along, and may I say that I am sometimes a little irritated about the word "respectable" I must confess that respectability rather annoys me, because nearly everybody who is respectable usually uses his respectability to do wrong. The proposal in itself, although I dislike the word "respectable," has this to be said for it. It is said by those who oppose the Amendment that two citizens are given a trust. The Solicitor-General says you are giving citizens—and I like to say "citizens" without any affix—the power to enter, along with the police, and to see the private papers and documents of these folk. I am surprised at the Solicitor-General thinking that that is something awful. After all, we have accepted the principle of citizens, without an affix at all, having the right to decide and to involve themselves in far greater matters than this, or at least as great.
What is the reason for the two? The two are brought in by the hon. Member for Colne Valley (Mr. Mallalieu) as a sort of jury. The men on a jury trial are allowed to decide the most awful issues of life and death, and all that the hon. Member is asking is that two citizens, men or women, should be allowed to act. The chances are that here and there two persons would be chosen who would refuse in any way to subject themselves to pressure or to being used for illegal purposes, and while we do not claim that the Clause is the best way, we are claiming that it gives to the person accused at least a chance that two persons of his own neighbourhood, two citizens like himself, would be there. I do not know if hon. Members have watched a betting raid. I have been in scores of raids, and the entrance of two civilians does give the person accused a sort of feeling that he is not without somebody, in a difficult time, who might render him some aid. I say to the Attorney - General and to those who support him that the Clause is calculated to lessen what to us is an objectionable thing. It is not what we should propose if we were introducing a Bill, but we seek to lessen an objectionable proposal, and we support the Amendment because we think that in the main the chances are that it will lessen what to us is an objectionable principle.
§ 6.37 p.m.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
May I ask the House whether we should not come to a decision now? There will be other opportunities for making observations about search warrants, but I thought, on this particularly limited Clause, that after nearly two and a-half hours we might now have a Division.
§ Mr. LAWSON
May I point out that there are hon. Members on this side who have been sitting here, practically, since before four o'clock and who want to speak on this Clause?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I do not complain in the very least. I only suggested for the consideration of hon. Members opposite that we have had a very full Debate.
§ 6.38 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
I would like to deal more particularly with the point that has been raised by the Attorney-General, who suggested that this proposed new Clause was based upon a belief in the potential dishonesty of the police, and that our greatest safeguard against abuses in the country lay in the fact that we have a police force that is above suspicion. I have never heard a more astonishing defence for the language of a Bill. You do not refuse to appoint an auditor because a secretary is honest. You appoint an auditor because the secretary may be dishonest, may become dishonest. When you appoint an auditor, the secretary is honest, and you appoint the auditor in order that the secretary may be protected against any temptation to dishonesty. In this instance the Attorney-General said, "Ah, but we have in this country a police force whose record is entirely above suspicion." That is not true at all. The police force in Great Britain in the last century behaved exactly in the same way as every police force does in circumstances of keen political difficulty, in the same way as the police forces of Canada and America behave at the present time, in the same way as the police force of Germany behaves. The police force immediately becomes corrupt if it becomes the instrument of a corrupt Government. The police force always obeys the policy of the Government in power, and if an atmosphere of 85 great stringency arose in Great Britain, the honesty of the police force would disappear in a night.
§ Mr. GIBSON
Does the hon. Member mean to suggest that in the crisis of 1931 the police of this country were corrupt?
§ Mr. BEVAN
I regret that I cannot follow these interruptions; I am bound to confine myself to the Clause. I was endeavouring to show that the whole essence of democracy, as I see it, is that when you give people power, you surround that power by all sorts of restrictions and safeguards in order that that power may not be abused. You do not defend yourself by saying that the man who is going to exercise this power is a good and upright and scrupulous man, and therefore you do not need to have any safeguard. The whole history of democracy is a history of the curtailment of power by progressive safeguards. I believe, if I might be allowed a classical allusion, that it was Plutarch who said that when a man's power becomes equal to his passions, he becomes a tyrant. All that we are striving to do by this Clause is to impose some limitation upon the power of the police. Some hon. Members have suggested that, after all, this thing has been done before, that powers of general search of this kind have been given before, and therefore we should do it again, but I would like to ask hon. Members opposite, if that argument be a sound one, why there should be any limitation upon the police at all. Why should they not be allowed to enter any premises, provided they have a warrant? 86 Will the Attorney-General tell me, if our protection be merely in the scrupulousness of the police, why they should not have powers to search under any Act of Parliament?
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
As the hon. Member appeals to me, the obvious answer is that my remark that the position is sufficiently safeguarded already must be taken as applicable to the position contained in the Bill, the position that the safeguard in the Bill requiring a warrant from a magistrate or a judge seems to me a sufficient safeguard.
§ Mr. BEVAN
So that in point of fact our principal safeguard for the citizen does not lie in the scrupulousness of the police, but in the safeguard in the Bill. Where is the right hon. and learned Gentleman going to stand? I understand him to say, on the one hand—I quote his own words—" We are happy in this country in being safeguarded by an. in-corrupt police force. "This proposed new Clause is unnecessary, apparently, because the police force is incorrupt. Why, therefore, if the incorruptibility of the police is our defence, should not these incorruptible people be given general powers? Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman give the House any reason why any limitations at all should be imposed upon the police? Is it because they might become corrupt? Must there be safeguards because in some circumstances the police force becomes corrupt If so, in what circumstances are the police liable to become corrupt? It is in the circumstances visualised by this Bill. It is in a fierce political controversy, it is in matters of religious and political opinion—it is on this piece of territory that the police are more susceptible to be influenced by the general atmosphere of the times. We feel, therefore that it is precisely in these circumstances that safeguards ought to be produced. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) that the protection which the Clause gives is not the sort of protection that we would like to have, but at least it broadens the basis of the conspiracy. I should be glad if the right hon. and learned Gentleman would give me his attention and not adopt the old Parliamentary trick of having a discussion with his friends behind.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL
I was merely asking my hon. and learned Friend behind me if he would tell a 87 certain public official that I need not make further demands on his services. I hope the hon. Member will apologise.
§ Mr. BEVAN
The right hon. and learned Gentleman is not usually verbose, but he has been saying that for the last few minutes. I was directing my remarks particularly to what he said on this Clause and I was hoping to have his attention because, as I understand it, the whole of his case this afternoon and during the whole course of this Bill is that the safeguards we are suggesting are unnecessary because the police can be relied upon. I am suggesting to him that if that were the case there never would have been any safeguards against a general search at all, and that we are desiring to put safeguards in in this particular instance because safeguards are more necessary in this kind of legislation than in any other. An hon. Gentleman behind me suggested that after all, if you have two men accompanying the police in a search of premises, it is no protection against the planting of documents. The police would have to select the citizens very carefully. The right hon. and learned Gentleman says that they might easily select instruments of themselves—I think he said "their own creatures." But they would have to be careful because if they were going to found any prosecution upon the evidence of those persons, the persons would have to be above suspicion, for if any charge could be made against them in the courts it would, to a large extent, invalidate their evidence. The police would therefore have to be very careful in the selection of the witnesses who would accompany them.
Hon. Members have said that it would be easy for the police to plant evidence in the house, although there would be witnesses present. They would obviously have to plant that evidence in a secret place, because if a man were to be liable to arrest for the possession of subversive documents, he would not have them lying about anywhere; and witnesses would be accompanying the police to just those places where the householder or the charged person would be liable to keep his private documents. It would be much more difficult to plant documents in circumstances of that kind, so that the protection which is being asked in this Clause is not so flimsy as is being made 88 out. If hon. Members will look at the Bill they will see that no crime has as yet been committed by the person whose household is being searched. It is true that the search is in pursuance of the suspicion of a crime, but the suspected person is not necessarily the person whose house is to be searched. The Bill says:If any person, with intent to commit or to aid, abet, counsel, or procure the commission of an offence.It is not the man who makes the speech whose house will be searched under this Bill. It is a friend of his, a member of his party, a member of the executive of his party, a person moving about in the same circle as himself and presumably holding the same views as himself—a printer or a publisher, or anybody like that, but not the individual who has committed the crime. Indeed, the crime has not yet been committed at all, but the police are going in search of evidence of a crime. This is an extraordinary position. Here are powers of general search given to the police to search premises of a private citizen whose only crime is that he may be associated with a man who may be suspected of a crime. That is the position under the Bill. Hon. Members, in speeches in the country and the House, have affected to regard this Bill as a very small matter indeed, but the more the language of the Bill becomes understood in the country the more serious is the view taken of it. I am not sure that when the future of the police of this country comes to be reviewed the principal enemies will not be found to be the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General, because if any political trial of an important character is to take place under the Bill, nobody will believe in the impartiality of the police.
This Government sets the police against the citizens of the country and brings the whole police force under suspicion; it brings itself under suspicion, too, by not allowing any check upon the police and by enabling the police to have the largest possible liberty to conspire against the citizens. That is what the right hon. Gentleman is doing. There have been suspicions before that the police have planted documents. During the War very many people suspected that some of the prosecutions that occurred were the consequence of police conspiracy. An hon. Friend reminds me that the Prime Minister him- 89 self said so. The police who carry out this work are not the ordinary police but the political police who are specially recruited for the purpose, and are already under suspicion. I have seen in Canada and America what policemen can do in circumstances of this kind.
§ Mr. BEVAN
It is a most disloyal statement for an hon. Member to say that you can trust Englishmen, but that you cannot trust Irishmen. Is that the assumption? That is what the hon. Member infers, and if there are any Irishmen in the House I can imagine that they will be stirred by it. The police in Canada, and America are largely Englishmen and Irishmen, and there are many evidences that they have abused the powers that have been reposed in them.
§ We want to protect the police against the ill-advised behaviour of the Tories in this House who are putting in the hands of the police powers that nobody should possess. If the Government want to protect the liberties of the subject and desire to maintain democracy untarnished, they will give this proposed Clause further consideration, because this question is causing great anxiety up and down the country and people will feel, if the police can enter premises at any time of the day or night without check, without hindrance, with perfect liberty to plant documents, that powers of that description will bring the whole police under suspicion and do great injury to the maintenance of order in this land.
§ The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 318; Noes, 75.93
|Division No. 365.]||AYES.||6.57 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Elmley, Viscount|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (P'rtsm'th, S.)||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.)||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Essenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Apsley, Lord||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Asks, Sir Robert William||Christle, James Archibald||Fremantle, Sir Francis|
|Assheton, Ralph||Clarke, Frank||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Clayton, Sir Christopher||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Gillett, Sir George Masterman|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Colfox, Major William Philip||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Colman, N. C. D.||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Conant, R. J. E.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cook, Thomas A.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Cooke, Douglas||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Cooper, A. Duff||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Copeland, Ida||Graves, Marjorie|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Blindell, James||Crooke, J. Smedley||Grimston, R. V.|
|Borodale, Viscount||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Bossom, A. C.||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cross, R. H.||Gunton, Captain D. W.|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Cruddas, Lieut-Colonel Bernard||Guy, J. C. Morrison|
|Bower, Commander Robert Tatton||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Hales, Harold K.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Davison, Sir William Henry||Hammersley, Samuel S.|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Dawson, Sir Philip||Hanley, Dennis A.|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Denville, Alfred||Harbord, Arthur|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dickie, John P.||Hartland, George A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Doran, Edward||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenn'gt'n)|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Drewe, Cedric||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berke., Newb'y)||Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C.||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Duckworth, George A. V.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Buchan, John||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Burghley, Lord||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)|
|Burnett, John George||Dunglass, Lord||Hepworth, Joseph|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Eady, George H.||Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Eastwood, John Francis||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.|
|Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter||Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Hore-Belisha, Leslie|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Hornby, Frank|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Smith, Sir J. Walker- (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Munro, Patrick||Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dine,C.)|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald||Smithers, Sir Waldron|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Natlon, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Hutchison, W. D. (Essex, Romf'd)||Normand, Rt. Hon, Wilfrid||Soper, Richard|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Nunn, William||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G.A.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|James, Wing.-Com, A. W. H.||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Patrick, Colin M.||Spens, William Patrick|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Peake, Osbert||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Pearson, William G.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'moriand)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Peat, Charles U.||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Penny, Sir George||Stevenson, James|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Knight, Holford||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Stones, James|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bliston)||Storey, Samuel|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Pike, Cecil F.||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Powell, Lieut.-Col, Evelyn G. H.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Leckie, J. A.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Lees-Jones, John||Pybus, Sir John||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Radford, E. A.||Templeton, William P.|
|Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Levy, Thomas||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Lewis, Oswald||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Remer, John R.||Todd, A. L. S (Kingswinford)|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Loftus, Pierce C.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Train, John|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Rickards, George William||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Mabane, William||Robinson, John Roland||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Ropner, Colonel L.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Ross, Ronald D.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|MacDonald, Rt, Hon. J. R. (Seaham)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Runge, Norah Cecil||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour.|
|Mooney, Thomas||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Maitland, Adam||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Meller, Sir Richard James||Scone, Lord||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Selley, Harry R.||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Milne, Charles||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Withers, Sir John James|
|Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k)||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Mitcheson, G. G.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Shute, Colonel J. J.||Worthington. Dr. John V.|
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Moreing, Adrian C.||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Morgan, Robert H.||Slater, John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Morrison, William Shepherd||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.||Major George Davies and Dr. Morris-Jones.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)|
|Addison, At. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Gardner, Benjamin Walter||Kirkwood, David|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George|
|Banfield, John William||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Lawson, John James|
|Bernays, Robert||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Leonard, William|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middiesbro', W.)||Lunn, William|
|Buchanan, George||Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ines)|
|Cape, Thomas||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McEntee, Valentine L.|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Groves, Thomas E.||McGovern, John|
|Cove, William G.||Grundy, Thomas W.||McKeag, William|
|Dagger, George||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Harris, Sir Percy||Malnwaring, William Henry|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Healy, Cahir||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Davies, Stephen Owen||Hicks, Ernest George||Maxton, James|
|Dobbie, William||Holdsworth, Herbert||Milner, Major James|
|Edwards, Charles||Janner, Barnett||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||John, William||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Paling, Wilfred|
|Parkinson, John Allen||Tinker, John Joseph||Wilmot, John|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||West, F. R.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)||White, Henry Graham||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Smith, Tom (Normanton)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)||Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Thorne, William James||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)||Mr. Walter Rea and Mr. Harcourt Johnstone.|
§ Question put accordingly, "That the Clause be read a Second time."94
§ The House divided: Ayes, 79; Noes, 325.95
|Division No. 366.]||AYES||[7.9 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxtor, James.|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Groves, Thomas E.||Milner, Major James|
|Banfield, John William||Grundy, Thomas W.||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Bernays, Robert||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Harris, Sir Percy||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Healy Cahir||Paling, Wilfred|
|Buchanan, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Parkinson, John Alien|
|Burnett, John George||Holdsworth, Herbert||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Cape, Thomas||Janner, Barnett||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||John, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Cove, William G.||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Thorne, William James|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Kirkwood, David||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Davies, Stephen Owen||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||West, F. R.|
|Dobbie, William||Lansbury, RI. Hon. George||White, Henry Graham|
|Edwards, Charles||Lawson, John James||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Leonard, William||Williams, Dr. John H. (Lianelly)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Thomas (York, Don Valley)|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lunn, William||Wilmot, John|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Gardner, Benjamin Walter||McEntee, Valentine L.||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McGovern, John|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||McKeag, William||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)||Mr. Walter Rea and Mr. Harcourt Johnstone.|
|Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur||Mainwaring, William Henry|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Buchan, John||Denman, Hon, R. D.|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Burghley, Lord||Denville, Alfred|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.)||Burnett, John George||Dickie, John P.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Doran, Edward|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Drewe, Cedric|
|Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Drummond-Wolff, H. M. C.|
|Apsley, Lord||Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley)||Duckworth, George A. V.|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel|
|Assheton, Ralph||Cassels, James Dale||Duncan, James A. L.(Kensington, N.)|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Cautley, Sir Henry S.||Dunglue, Lord|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Eady, George H.|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Eastwood, John Francis|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Elliot, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Christle, James Archibald||Elliston, Captain George Sampson|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Clayton, Sir Christopher||Elmley, Viscount|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Cobb, Sir Cyril||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.||Emrys-Evans, P. V.|
|Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Colfox, Major William Philip||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard|
|Bonn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Colman, N. C. D.||Eseenhigh, Reginald Clare|
|Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Fermoy, Lord|
|Blindell, James||Conant, R. J. E.||Fox, Sir Gifford|
|Borodale, Viscount||Cook, Thomas A.||Fremantle, Sir Francis|
|Bossom, A. C.||Cooke, Douglas||Fuller, Captain A. G.|
|Boulton, W. W.||Cooper, A. Duff||Galbraith, James Francis Wallace|
|Bowater, Col. Sir T. Vansittart||Copeland, Ida||Gibson, Charles Granville|
|Bower, Commander Robert Tatton||Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Gillett, Sir George Masterman|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Crooke, J. Smedley||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Gluckstein, Louis Halle|
|Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Croom-Johnson, R. P.||Goff, Sir Park|
|Brass, Captain Sir William||Cross, R. H.||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Briscoe, Capt. Richard George||Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Greaves-Lord, Sir Walter|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Davies, Edward C. (Montgomery)||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C (Berks., Newb'y)||Davison, Sir William Henry||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Dawson, Sir Philip||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Shute, Colonel J. J.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Hales, Harold K.||Meller, Sir Richard James||Skelton, Archibald Noel|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Slater, John|
|Hammersley, Samuel S.||Milne, Charles||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Hanley, Dennis A.||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'ff'd & Chisw'k)||Smith, Sir J. Walker. (Barrow-in-F.)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Mitcheson, G. G.||Smith, Louis W. (Sheffield, Hallam)|
|Harbord, Arthur||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Smith, Sir Robert (Ab'd'n & K'dlne,C.)|
|Hartland, George A.||Moreing, Adrian C.||Smithers, Sir Waldron|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Morgan, Robert H.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Morrison, William Shepherd||Soper, Richard|
|Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Moss, Captain H. J.||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Heilgers, Captain F. F. A.||Mulrhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford)||Munro, Patrick||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Hepworth, Joseph||Nall, Sir Joseph||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)||Nall-Cain, Hon. Ronald||Spens, William Patrick|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)|
|Hope, Sydney (Chester, Stalybridge)||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Nunn, William||Stevenson, James|
|Hornby, Frank||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.)|
|Horobin, Ian M.||Orr Ewing, I. L.||Stones, James|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Patrick, Colin M.||Storey, Samuel|
|Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)||Peake, Osbert||Stourton, Hon. John J.|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Pearson, William G.||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Peat, Charles U.||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)||Penny, Sir George||Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn)|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.||Peters, Dr. Sidney John||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bllst'n)||Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A. (P'dd'gt'n, S.)|
|James, Wing, Com. A. W. H.||Pike, Cecil F.||Templeton, William P.|
|Jamieson, Douglas||Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Power, Sir John Cecil||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thomas, Major L. B. (King's Norton)|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Pybus, Sir John||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Kirkpatrick, William M.||Radford, E. A.||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)||Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Train, John|
|Leckie, J. A,||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Leech, Dr. J. W.||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Lees-Jones, John||Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Remer, John R.||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Levy, Thomas||Renwick, Major Gustav A.||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Lewis, Oswald||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Rickards, George William||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe||Robinson, John Roland||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Little, Graham-, Sic Ernest||Ropner, Colonel L.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Liewellin, Major John J.||Rosbotham Sir Thomas||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Ross, Ronald D.||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Loftus, Pierce C.||Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R||Runge, Norah Cecil||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|MacDonald, Rt. Hn. J. R. (Seaham)||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Wise, Alfred R.|
|McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Withers Sir John James|
|McKle, John Hamilton||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Womersley, Sir Walter|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Wood. Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Savery, Samuel Servington||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Magnay, Thomas||Scone, Lord||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'oaks)|
|Maitland, Adam||Selley, Harry R.|
|Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||and Major George Davies.|