§ 31 and 32. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
asked the Home Secretary (1) under what conditions permission is given to postal, police, or other authorities to intercept and open private correspondence; and how often such permission has been granted during the past six months;
(2) whether it is necessary to have a warrant issued by him before orders are given to police or other authorities to listen in to private telephone conversations; under what conditions a warrant or permission to listen in is granted; and how often such a warrant or permission has been granted during the past six months?
§ Sir S. Hoare
It is of the essence of this power that particulars should not be disclosed as to the occasions or manner of its use, but I can assure the House that, like my predecessors, I am fully conscious that the power should only be used in special circumstances when the public interest so requires.
§ Lieut.-Commander Fletcher
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the question, whether a warrant from his Department is necessary before the police can be given permission to listen in to private telephone conversations?