HC Deb 24 July 1947 vol 440 cc1579-80
40. Sir William Darling

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has considered the case of John Bunyan, Wildwood Rise, Golders Green, who was, on 21st May, fined 10s at Bow Street for failing to produce his identity card to a policeman who had reported him for a motor car obstruction in Great Queen Street; and, in view of the fact that Mr. Bunyan did produce his licence and insurance papers, if he will remit the fine in this case and instruct the Metropolitan Police that they are not to demand identity cards in future where other satisfactory proof of identity is tendered.

Mr. Ede

Mr. Bunyan committed an offence by failing to produce his identity card when asked to do so by a police officer in uniform, or within 48 hours at a police station, and it was only after he had made it clear at a subsequent interview with the police that his refusal was quite deliberate that proceedings were taken. I can find no grounds for recommending any remission of the penalty which the court thought it right to impose upon him for this offence.

Sir W. Darling

Does that answer mean that two years after the war it is implicit upon all citizens at all times to carry identity cards, or to be prepared to produce them within 48 hours at a police station?

Mr. Ede

That is the law of the land.

Mr. Hector Huges

Would my right hon. Friend consider making a statement on the circumstances in which law abiding citizens must carry and produce their identity cards so long after the war?

Mr. Ede

I think the circumstances are well known.

Mr. Harrison

Would my right hon. Friend reply to the last part of the Question more deliberately than he has done?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir, I am not prepared to instruct the Metropolitan Police to do other than obey the law themselves.