HC Deb 13 May 1948 vol 450 cc2258-9
12. Mr. Hollis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people, afterwards discovered to be innocent and unconnected with the case concerned, have made confessions of murder to the police or other public authorities since the end of the war.

Mr. Ede

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Hollis

While I appreciate that it is not worth while trying to publish exact statistics, is not the Home Secretary in a position to make a general statement, which would be much in the public interest, on whether this curious habit is very prevalent, as we hear, whether it is hardly known at all, or to what extent it happens?

Mr. Ede

I can speak only from my own experience in the matter. In connection with some of the cases of murderers which came in front of me, I did have submitted to me on occasion more than one contradictory confession from a person whose conduct was not under investigation.

Brigadier Rayner

Is the Home Secretary aware that he and his predecessor have not reprieved murderers who are likely to commit other murders?

Mr. Ede

I am grateful for that testimonial.