HC Deb 01 April 1943 vol 388 cc323-4
32. Mr. Cocks

asked the Home Secretary whether, in the new identity cards about to be issued, provision will be made for the insertion of such particulars as may be necessary to enable these cards to be used, if it should be decided so to use them, for purposes of electoral identification?

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir. This consideration has been kept well in mind.

Mr. Cocks

Will there be provided a space which could be stamped by the polling clerk to show that the card had been used at an election?

Mr. Morrison

I doubt whether that would be practical, because I would not know how many elections would take place.

62. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Health whether he proposes to enforce the attachment of a fingerprint of the holder to each of the new identity cards?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)

I know of no considerations which modify the conclusions previously reached that neither a photograph nor finger prints upon identity cards could be relied upon unless authenticated by a responsible declarant having personal knowledge of the holder. My hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate the difficulty of insisting upon this condition in the reissue of cards to some 36,000,000 persons. Apart from this chief consideration, finger prints would be of little use on the occasions when identity cards are produced for inspection by the police or by members of the Armed Forces.

Sir T. Moore

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that he has taken adequate precautions to prevent the new cards being forged, as the present ones are?

Mr. Brown

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Astor

Is it not a fact that in every area where the British Army are responsible for security they insist on having photographs on identity cards?

Sir H. Williams

How long would it take photographers to take 46,000,000 photographs?

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member knows of the long answer given by my predecessor, to which I have nothing to add.