HC Deb 22 February 1938 vol 332 cc185-6
44. Mr. James Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that some 20 employés of Messrs. James Findlay and Company, of Catrine, Ayrshire, have had their homes searched by the police; that the police and law committee of the county council of Ayr disclaim responsibility; that several justices who have signed the search warrant did so under the belief that they had no option of refusing to do so when asked by a police sergeant; whether he is satisfied that the police action in these cases was properly taken; and will he make a full statement on the matter?

Mr. Elliot

I am informed that the houses of 17 employés of this firm were searched, that a complaint has been made to the police and law committee of the county council, and that the county council decided to-day to take no action in the matter. I shall consider the position in the light of the county council's decision and communicate later with the right hon. Gentleman. I may say that the two justices who signed the search warrants have sent me statements to the effect that there is no foundation for the statement made in the third part of the question.

Mr. Brown

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake an investigation, because as he knows, an indiscriminate search such as was made on that occasion is not desirable?

Mr. Elliot

It would be quite wrong for me to make any statement before examining the ground upon which the county council came to its decision only to-day.