HC Deb 25 January 1937 vol 319 cc574-5
60. Sir W. Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the remarks of the coroner in the case of a recent inquest as to the persecution by representatives of the Press in this and other cases of the relatives of people who die under such circumstances; and whether any steps can be taken by the Government for the protection of citizens from Press persecution of the kind mentioned?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir John Simon)

The coroner in the case referred to observed that all decent people must sympathise with the relatives in the distress which was caused to the bereaved family by the way in which they were persecuted by such inquiries, and I must say that I agree with the coroner. I hope very much that the responsible heads of the Press may devise a means of preventing the repetition of such incidents by sternly discouraging such mistaken and heartless enterprise. I am proposing to communicate with the Newspaper Proprietors' Association and the Newspaper Society on the subject.

Sir W. Davison

While thanking my right hon. Friend very much for his reply, may I ask whether he is aware that, in the case in question, the son of the deceased gentleman referred to the way in which his family had been harrassed by the Press at a time of great personal sorrow, and that he stated that his mother, the widow, had been called from her bed at 1 a.m. by a Press representative asking for information as to the tragedy?

Mr. MacLaren

And we spend millions on education.