HC Deb 07 July 1938 vol 338 cc573-4
38. Mr. Dobbie

asked the Home Secretary on what basis experts employed to advise the Home Office or the police authorities in poison cases are paid for their services; and whether any independent check is applied to their reports before a prosecution is instituted?

Sir S. Hoare

The services of two analysts, appointed by and receiving retaining fees from the Home Office, are available to the police and coroners, if they have occasion to consult them. In such cases they are remunerated in accordance with a scale of fees approved by the Treasury. In addition, forensic science laboratories have been established in London and certain other centres, with whole-time scientific staff remunerated by salary. In other cases the police may seek the assistance of other experts who would be remunerated by fee. In every case the function of the expert is to give an opinion, as a scientist, on the material submitted to him and he does so on his own responsibility. The responsibility for the prosecution rests with the Director of Public Prosecutions or with the police, as the case may be.