HC Deb 23 August 1945 vol 413 cc789-90
58. Flight-Lieutenant Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether, in view of the service done by the activities of the vigilantes in Brighton and elsewhere in bringing to the notice of the authorities and the public the number of unoccupied houses whose owners are not assisting in solving the housing shortage; and, in view of the unfairness to the ex-Servicemen who are awaiting houses on the borough councils waiting lists, of the vigilantes arbitrary choice of families for priority accommodation, he will now state what action he has taken with regard to these unofficial activities.

Mr. Ede

I fully agree that lawless activities of this kind must have many harmful consequences, including that to which the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers. It is the responsibility of the police to do all they can to prevent breaches of the law and, in cases where there has been illegal entry to ensure that an order of possession or ejection is enforced without a breach of the peace. I am satisfied that all chief officers of police are fully alive to their responsibilities, and will not fail to take all practicable measures to carry out their duties.