HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1729-30
73. Mrs. Middleton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the London police were informed of the disappearance of Barry Buller from Plymouth; on what date was Barry Buller handed over to the police in East London; what steps were taken by the authorities to establish the whereabouts of the parents of the child and his correct identity before permission was given for him to be adopted.

Mr. Younger

A child, who now turns out to be Barry Buller, was found and brought to the London police on 6th March, 1945. The police made such inquiries as they could to establish the identity of that child, but unfortunately they were led to think by an informant that he had been abandoned by a local resident and they failed to associate the inquiry with information which they received from the Plymouth City Police on 10th and 13th March of the disappearance of Barry Buller from Plymouth.

Mrs. Middleton

Can my hon. Friend take steps to see that some other check-up is made in cases of this sort to avoid the distress which was caused to the parents and which might have been caused to those who had adopted the child when his true identity was established?

Mr. Younger

I agree with my hon. Friend that this is a most unfortunate case, and all steps have been taken to make sure that in future the system will he made watertight. I would point out that this incident occurred at a time when a great many flying bombs and rockets were falling in that particular area of London, and sustained police inquiry was very difficult.