HC Deb 27 June 1940 vol 362 cc585-6
52. Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

asked the Minister of Health whether he will order a photograph of the bearer to be attached to identity cards, and make the failure to show such cards on challenge by a competent person an offence?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Miss Horsbrugh)

I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that the affixing of a photograph on an identity card would be a source of danger rather than of safety unless it were properly authenticated as that of the true holder of the card. As stated in my right hon. Friend's reply of 6th June to the hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Bartlett), the whole subject has been under examination, with a view to providing additional means of authenticating the holder of an identity card; and an announcement upon the subject will be made as soon as possible.

Sir A. Knox

Does the hon. Member agree that these identity cards, as at present used, are absolutely futile as a means of controlling the population?

Miss Horsbrugh

I think my hon. and gallant Friend will realise that it would be more dangerous if a person could get a card which did not belong to him and put his own photograph on it.

Sir A. Knox

Surely you can get people to put their photographs on these cards, as they do on passports?

Miss Horsbrugh

I think that if my hon. and gallant Friend will await the further scheme, he will see the dangers and difficulties that might occur if we adopted his suggestion.

Mr. De la Bère

Will my hon. Friend take some note of the repeated suggestions which have been made by me on this matter?