§ 9. Colonel Gomme-Duncan
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he will recommend to the police authorities that when samples of blood are taken on the instructions of the police from a motorist suspected of being under the influence of drink, one sample should be given to the motorist so that he may have a separate analysis made.
§ Mr. Ede
The law makes no provision for blood tests to be taken compulsorily in a case where a motorist is suspected of being under the influence of drink, and I am not aware of any cases in which these tests have been made on the instructions of the police. According to my information, where samples of blood have been taken from a motorist they have been taken at his own express request. It is, of course, open to a motorist to arrange for a separate analysis to be made. The difficulty in such cases would be to ensure that the analysis related to samples of blood taken from the defendant at the same time. If, however, the hon. and gallant Member has a particular case in mind, I shall be glad to consider it.
§ Mr. Manningham-Buller
Is the Minister aware that it is a fairly regular practice in the Midlands for samples to be taken from suspected persons when they are in hospital receiving treatment for injuries sustained in a motor accident; and will he consider whether the practice, which 568 is followed in the case of taking milk samples, of giving a duplicate to the suspected person, should not be followed when blood samples are taken?
§ Mr. Ede
I want to make it clear that, according to everything which is known at the Home Office, the police do not take these samples, and, if they did, it would clearly have to be the subject of some Regulation, so that the defendant might be in a position to produce his own independent expert evidence.
§ Mr. James Hudson
Has my right hon. Friend considered the necessity for some Regulation to regularise the practice, along the lines already practised in several other countries?
§ Mr. Ede
I understand that a practice of this kind prevails in some of the-States of the United States of America. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller) for assuring me that he will bring particular cases to my notice. I am not convinced that it is necessary f0r the police to be given this power in England, but if the matter is brought further to my notice I will give it the most careful consideration.
§ Mr. Bowles
Has it not been held in the courts that a person under the influence of alcohol cannot give his consent at all?