HC Deb 19 June 1941 vol 372 cc801-2
35. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, on 27th May, police raided the premises of the Greek newspaper, published in London, "To Bhma-Vema," seized the correspondence, files, lists of subscribers, manuscripts, &c, found on the premises, and ransacked the proprietor's private apartment; whether it is proposed to prosecute the paper; and, if not, will he take steps to get the property of this paper returned and compensation paid for the inconvenience caused to its proprietor, a British citizen?

Mr. H. Morrison

The search was made in accordance with the provisions of Defence Regulation 88A and was properly carried out by the police. I am unable to make any statement on the question of prosecution. Most of the property taken at the search has already been returned, and I can find no ground for considering any question of compensation.

Mr. Gallacher

Although it may be necessary to allow the police certain latitude in following up justified suspicions, should there not be a check of some kind on the police in the form of their having to pay compensation where there is a glaring case of an unjustified entry into premises?

Mr. Morrison

No, Sir. There may be cases where the police cannot be sure before the raid takes place whether they will be justified or not, and indeed that may be the purpose of the raid; and the action is not taken without a proper and responsible authority giving sanction for it. I think in these times the police must have reasonable freedom to conduct their operations.

Forward to