HC Deb 30 November 1948 vol 458 cc1917-30

9.7 p.m.

Mr. Grimston (Westbury)

I beg to move in page 15, line 12, to leave out "one week," and to insert "fourteen' days."

I think that it would be convenient if this Amendment were taken together with the Amendment in line 39, to leave out "forty-eight hours," and insert "one week." If I may deal with the latter Amendment first, there is no question of delaying entry, if danger to life or to safety of ships or aircraft is involved. All that we are concerned with is entry where a nuisance has been committed by the interrupted enjoyment of someone's use of wireless or television. We think that 48 hours' notice is much too short for that purpose. As the Clause reads, the Postmaster-General need only give up to 48 hours' notice. He can then go to a Justice of the Peace to ask for a warrant to enter the house, if he considers that refusal to allow this has been unreasonable.

I think that 48 hours is much too short a time to allow for this purpose. The people may be away, or it may be very inconvenient to arrange for admission at such short notice, and we see no reason why the period should not be extended to one week. That is in the case where only amenity and not safety is involved. Consequential on that, it would be necessary to extend the period in Subsection (2, c) from one week to 14 days. I need not labour the point. I hope that the Postmaster-General will agree the Amendments are reasonable, and will be prepared to accept them.

The Attorney-General (Sir Hartley Shawcross)

We are prepared to accept the sense of both Amendments. As a mere matter of drafting it would be preferable to say "seven days" instead of "one week" in the Amendment to line 39, and with the hon. Gentleman's agreement I am prepared to move a Manuscript Amendment to that effect.

Mr. Grimston

I am agreeable to that. I should like to thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for accepting these Amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: In page 15, line 39, leave out "forty-eight hours" and insert "seven days."—[The Attorney-General.]

Mr. Grimston

I beg to move, in page 16, line 2, at the end to insert: (4) No action shall be taken under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of this section unless,

  1. (a) safety considerations are involved or the offence is under Part I of this Act, or
  2. (b) the person who is alleged to be at fault has had an opportunity of being heard by the Justice of the Peace or sheriff as the case may be."
We are not attempting in any way to restrict the action of the Postmaster-General as regards power of entry on the grounds of safety. This Amendment also is on the question of amenity. The Committee will, I think, agree that the privacy of the home ought to be respected. It may be argued that in many other Bills there is power of entry to inspect for various purposes. That may be necessary, but I go so far as to say it is always regrettable, and there is no reason why we should add—to coin a word—to the "regrettabilities." Here again merely the enjoyment of some other person is involved. The Postmaster-General may on occasion wish to enter, either to see if an order has been carried out or, under Subsection (2), to see if it is necessary to serve a notice.

As the Clause stands, if entry is refused all the Postmaster-General has to do is to go to a justice of the peace and ask for a warrant, and he has to show that entry has been unreasonably refused. The object of this Amendment is to see that the person whose home it is proposed to search has an equal right to go before a justice of the peace to oppose the granting of the warrant. It seems to be only common justice. The Postmaster-General may decide upon the entry of a home simply on information from an informer who does not like the person concerned. In the case of a block of flats, it can hardly be held to be an unreasonable refusal, but the Postmaster-General might think that it is, and on his evidence the justices of the peace will decide whether or not a premises shall be entered or not. The purpose of the Amendment is to provide that the person whose house it is proposed to search shall have an opportunity to show cause to the justices of the peace why a warrant should not be issued. As this is simply a question of a person's amusement, we think that the householder should have that right.

9.15 p.m.

The Attorney-General

While I am always prepared to accept any Amendment moved from the other side which will improve the content of the Bill, I am afraid that I cannot accept this one. I do not think I have ever seen a power of entry hedged round and circumscribed with so many safeguards as the right of entry provided under Clause 14. First, there has to be sworn information before the justices; secondly, that sworn information, dealing with the subject-matter of Clause 14, has to give reasonable grounds for supposing that an offence has been or is in process of being committed; and, thirdly, that not only is there reasonable grounds for supposing that an offence is being or has been committed, but that evidence of the offence has to be found in the premises it is proposed to search, and then only the justice of the peace, those great guardians of the King's peace who protect our liberties in so many other respects, will have the right, if they think fit, to issue a warrant providing for the search of the premises in question.

The justices of the peace, to whom we entrust so many of our liberties, who have such wide powers over matters of this kind, will decide in each case whether, in the circumstances and on oath by the deponent, there are grounds for searching a particular premises. I am not one of those who think that justices of the peace are outside the possibility of criticism or of making mistakes, but I doubt whether there is any body of men better Qualified to protect the sanctity of the Englishman's home. When we consider the existing rights of entry and how little, if at all, they have interfered with the sanctity of the Englishman's house, it is apparent that the opposition to the proposal contained in this Clause really does involve much ado about very little. I am very glad that Members opposite are suddenly interesting themselves in the problem of the sanctity of the humble home.

Captain Crookshank (Gainsborough)

Why "suddenly"?

The Attorney-General

The fact is that for the past 100 years Members opposite and their predecessors, without a murmur, have been introducing into Bills provisions that have become law, giving the right of entry on behalf of one commercial undertaking or another, or one local authority or another, without any of the safeguards we are proposing in this Bill. There are a very large number of them. They have been consented to again and again without any great fear on the part of hon. Members opposite, and no very great disaster has resulted from the fact that these provisions have been incorporated in our laws. The security and sanctity of the Englishman's home are still amply preserved and when gallant and chivalrous hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the Committee speak about the possible invasion of the home, it is relevant to say that there are all sorts of provisions under which the home can be entered now by all sorts of odd people without any kind of safeguard or anything of that kind.

I do not know where hon. Members were at the time when Parliament provided that at any moment when the modest housewife was happily wallowing in her bath representatives of the water undertakers might suddenly burst through in order to inspect the meter, the taps or something of that kind. Where were hon. Members on the opposite side of the Committee then? They were on this side of the Committee incorporating such provisions in our law, and no murmur was said in protection of the virtues of the housewife in this matter. So when the electric light companies were authorised to invade the privacy of hon. Members' bedrooms in order to see whether switches were in order or how much electric current was being consumed, not a word or a voice was raised to protest against this invasion of the sanctity of the home.

We could go through a whole array of statutes from public health to atomic energy, from animal diseases to food and drugs, and from agriculture to insurance, showing that all sorts of powers were given to all sorts of people to enter premises in regard to all sorts of matters without swearing an information, without going to a justice, and without a safeguard of any kind at all. Not a word of protest was made at the time. I am inclined to think that not one word of protest was made then quite rightly because the existence of these powers does not, in fact, involve any invasion of the privacy or sanctity of the Englishman's home at all. On neither side of the Committee are we worried by the existence of these powers, because we know perfectly well that their existence in practice has not been abused.

I continue, as I am sure hon. Members opposite do, to engage in the almost intimate ablutions without posting anyone outside the door to warn us of the near approach of the Water Board officials. I am sure that the right hon. and gallant Member for Gainsborough (Captain Crookshank) lies quite easily on his pillow at night without even dreaming of the possibility of an official of the electric light undertaking coming in and catching him in flagrante delicto. These things do not worry us because we are law-abiding men against whom they are not exercised, and we know that they are not exercised unless a reasonable and proper occasion has arisen for them to be used.

Quite seriously, I venture to say to hon. Members opposite that reasonable and law abiding people will continue to go through their lives using their wirelesses, their electric irons, and their vacuum cleaners in complete ignorance that any such power of entry into their premises exists and with a serene indifference to the possibility of its exercise. It never will be exercised against reasonable and law abiding people. So far as there are people who are not reasonable and law abiding—it is for them that this provision in the law is made—their position is, I ask the Committee to say, amply protected by the provision that before anything at all can be done there must be sworn information, recourse to the justices and a decision by the magistrates that reasonable grounds exist for exercising the powers under the Statute.

I pass from those general observations about the matter to the second proposal that when application is made to the magistrates for permission to search, the occupier of the premises should have a right to be heard as well. I am bound to say that that would be an entirely novel procedure. The object of applying to the magistrates for the purpose of granting the authority to enter the premises, is to discover evidence as to the commission of an offence which it is believed on reasonable grounds is being committed.

To give notice of that beforehand and to have the dilatory procedure of what, I suppose, would be something in the nature of a judicial hearing before a magistrate to decide whether or not there were reasonable grounds for suspecting that in particular premises reasonable evidence of an offence existed, would destroy the whole purpose and utility of the Clause. If we had to have a legal argument before the justices—I suppose a legal argument is also an argument of the facts—with or without the possibility of an appeal I do not know, it is not likely that at the end of those proceedings any evidence would be left in the premises which it was eventually proposed to search. However, there are other more technical objections. There is the difficulty of giving to one justice a power which is normally only vested in two, and there are other difficulties of that kind, but I think the existence of this power would really prevent the Clause having any utility at all against the only people in relation to whom it would ever be desired to operate it, that is to say, the person who is breaking the law and who is acting unreasonably in regard to the matter.

So far as legitimate objection to a search is concerned—perhaps somebody very ill in the house—it is inconceivable that if such an objection to search at a particular time existed, it would not be made known to the officers of the Post Office when inquiries were being made in the first instance and would not be acted upon if there was any substance in it.

For the reasonable and law-abiding person and the person who has a genuine excuse like that against having his premises searched at a particular moment, adequate safeguards exist at present and there really is no need for the proposed judicial proceedings. So far as the other category of person is concerned, the unreasonable person who is breaking the law, to give a judicial proceeding of this kind and to interpose it between the application and the grant of a search warrant, would completely destroy the whole utility of the Clause. In those circumstances I am afraid that we are not able to accept the Amendment.

Mr. Grimston

The Attorney-General tried to ride off this matter in the first part of his speech by ridiculing it, and I was not particularly impressed by that. In the first place, it is true that many powers exist which have been granted by previous Parliaments, whether they were of the party which I represent or of our hon. Friends who are absent from the Liberal Benches, but I think it will be found that in nearly all those cases there is some reason, other than the pure enjoyment of a pleasure by someone else, for the entry.

9.30 p.m.

If we take entry by water undertakings, it may well be that something has to be done to find out whether water is leaking, or something of that kind. In the case of electricity, I can well understand that there may be dangers arising which will even cause harm to a power station if some place is not inspected and dealt with. In the present case there is no question of safety or danger to life involved. Power of entry is being taken purely because someone is not getting the full enjoyment of a wireless set. That is the reason we have objected so strongly to these powers being taken when there is no safety consideration or danger to life involved. It is merely the enjoyment of somebody else which is involved, and for which these powers are being taken. The Attorney-General says that this is a novel procedure. Indeed it is. He will find that these powers are taken in no other Bill simply because somebody else's enjoyment is being interfered with. That is an entirely new departure.

The Attorney-General has not answered the question why the person whose home has to be searched should not have the right to be heard by the justice equally with the Postmaster-General in a case of this sort. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has not met that point. If he can give me any reason why a person whose home it is proposed to search should not have the right to go before the justice at the same time as the Postmaster-General, I shall be glad to hear it. He gave no reason against that except by quoting these other cases in other Measures in which, as I say, this particular reason for entry has never before been introduced. That is the reason we have made a stand on the matter, and I hope that he will think again about it.

A great deal has been said in connection with this Bill about selfish people, but all the selfishness is not on one side. Many people complain that their rest and peace are disturbed by the users of wireless sets, but nothing is done about that. It has been argued all the time from the Government Benches that only the people who are interfering with wireless sets are the selfish ones. The Attorney-General has not convinced me why, in this particular case, in which nothing but amusement or amenity is involved, a person whose home it is proposed to search should not have the right of stating to the justice the reason why it should not be searched. For that reason, unless the Attorney-General or the Minister can promise to think again about the matter, I shall have to ask my hon. Friends to divide on this Amendment.

Sir Richard Acland (Gravesend)

I support the Attorney-General on the issue now under discussion. It does not seem to me that the matter turns on the difference between inspecting for a matter of enjoyment or for a matter of stopping taps leaking. It seems to me to turn on whether it is really an intolerable invasion of the privacy of the home that representatives of the community should, in certain circumstances, have the right to enter and inspect. I speak with some feeling on this matter, for recently I have experienced it, and if the situation were at all as hon. Members opposite supposed, I could unfold this evening a tale of almost unimaginable horror.

Only a fortnight ago today, at 11.45 in the morning, when I was working in my study, as is my wont, I heard a strange noise on my staircase. Opening my study door I saw two gentlemen standing on my staircase attired in black uniform. They carried curious instruments like peashooters of great length. The most horrible fact was that they were wearing peaked caps. I said to them, with such composure as I could muster, "Who are you?" They said, "We are representatives of the Metropolitan Water Board." I asked whether they had power to enter my house. They had come in without my knowledge but with the full consent of my very competent housekeeper. Yes, they replied, they had statutory power that had been given to them 101 years ago by a Conservative Government in an Act of 1847. What happens if anyone refuses them permission to come into his house, permission for which they can ask quite arbitrarily? They say that if they call when a baby is being born upstairs, they always make an appointment to come back another day.

According to the way these gentlemen talked to me—they were most courteous men—they had evidently been well trained by the Metropolitan Water Board. The fact is that these men can enter, and if entry is refused they do not go to magistrates; they just cut off one's water supply without asking anybody. That is what a Tory Government 101 years ago, allowed these officials to do. The point is that it has been going on for 101 years without anyone complaining, because Britishers are reasonable people and, strange as it may seem to hon. Members when they are in Opposition, the officials employed by the Government are reasonable, too.

May I ask your guidance, Mr. Bowles, on one point? I have put down on the Order Paper an Amendment to leave out this Clause and I am suggesting something else. While we are discussing the general matter of entry, may I say a word about my proposed new Clause, if I give an undertaking that if I am allowed to do so I will only make a formal reference?

The Deputy-Chairman

I do not think that it will be in Order to raise it on this Amendment. It may be in Order to mention it shortly on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Sir R. Acland

If the point were pressed as between this right of inspection to deal with something which is a matter of public enjoyment or to stop a water leak, which is the more important? After all, if my tap is leaking, what difference does it make to my neighbour? It may slightly increase the risk, in time of drought, that he may not have enough water to have a cold bath as often as he wants it.

The Deputy-Chairman

Water must only be used as an illustration. The-hon. Member must not make a speech. about drought and water.

Sir R. Acland

I accept your Ruling, Mr. Bowles, but, after all, the hon. Gentleman opposite based his whole case on the argument that the preservation of water was something important for which these rights of inspection were required, whereas the mere enjoyment of a wireless programme is neither here nor there. I am pointing out that a leaking water-tap in my house could hardly increase the risk in a drought of my neighbour being unable to take a bath, whereas the use of a faulty electric iron might prevent my neighbour from enjoying Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Which is the most important, water or the Fifth Symphony?

The Deputy-Chairman

I must point out to the hon. Member that it is a question of entry powers and formalities for the officer's entering. It is not a question of interference with reception. That came on the Second Reading which has been passed.

Sir R. Acland

I am quite happy about that, as I am about to conclude. The hon. Member opposite did make the point that these matters are fully justified when it is a question of preserving water. I think they are just as much justified when it is a question of the cultural enjoyment of a radio programme.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 94; Noes, 243.

Division No. 22.] AYES [9.0 p.m.
Acland, Sir Richard Cove, W. G. Haire, John E. (Wycombe)
Adams, Richard (Balham) Crossman, R H. S Hale, Leslie
Albu, A. H. Cullen, Mrs. A. Hall, Rt. Hon. Glenvil
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Daggar, G. Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.
Alpass, J. H. Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hannan, W. (Maryhill)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Hardy, E. A.
Attewell, H. C. Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Harrison, J.
Awbery, S. S. Deer, G. Hastings, Dr. Somerville
Bacon, Miss A de Freitas, Geoffrey Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford)
Balfour, A Delargy, H. J. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)
Barton, C. Diamond, J. Herbison, Miss M.
Battley, J. R. Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Hewitson, Capt. M.
Bechervaise, A. E Dumpleton, C. W. Hobson, C. R.
Bellenger. Rt. Hon F J Dye, S. Holman, P.
Benson, G Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Berry, H Edwards, John (Blackburn) Horabin, T. L.
Beswick, F. Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Hoy, J.
Binns, J Evans, Albert (Islington, W.) Hubbard, T.
Blackburn, A. R. Evans, E. (Lowestoft) Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)
Blyton, W R. Evans, John (Ogmore) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)
Bottomley, A G. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bowden, Fig. Offr. H. W. Ewart, R. Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge) Farthing, W. J Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Fernyhough, E Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)
Bramall, E. A. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Follick, M. Janner, B.
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Forman, J. C. Jay, D. P. T.
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Jeger, G. (Winchester)
Bruce, Maj. D W. T. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)
Burke, W. A. Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. H T. N Jenkins, R. H.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Ganley, Mrs. C S John, W.
Carmichael, James Gibbins, J Johnston, Douglas
Castle, Mrs. B A Gilzean, A Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)
Champion, A. J. Glanville, J E. (Consett) Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)
Coldrick, W Grenfell, D. R. Jones, J. H. (Bolton)
Collick, P. Grey, C. F. Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)
Collindridge, F Grierson, E Keenan, W
Collins, V. J Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Kenyon, C.
Colman, Miss G. M. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G Griffiths, W D. (Moss Side) Kinley, J.
Corlett, Dr. J, Guy, W. H. Kirby, B. V
Lang, G. Oliver, G H Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Lavers, S Orbach, M. Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Lee, F. (Hulme) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Levy, B. W. Palmer, A. M. F Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Lewis, A. W. J (Upton) Parker, J. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Lindgren, G. S. Parkin, B. T. Thurtle, Ernest
Lipton, Lt.-Col. M Paton, J. (Norwich) Tiffany, S.
Logan, D G. Pearson, A. Timmons, J.
Longden, F. Peart, T. F. Titterington, M. F.
Lyne, A. W. Perrins, W. Tolley, L.
McAdam, W Popplewell, E Turner-Samuels, M.
McEntee, V. La T Porter, E. (Warrington) Ungoed-Thomas, L.
McGhee, H. G. Porter, G. (Leeds) Vernon, Maj. W. F
McGovern, J Price, M. Philips Viant, S. P.
Mack, J. D. Proctor, W. T. Walkden, E.
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Pursey, Comdr. H Watson, W. M
McLeavy, F Randall, H. E. Weitzman, D.
MacPherson, M. (Stirling) Ranger, J Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Rankin, J. West, D. G
Mainwaring, W. H. Reid, T. (Swindon) Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Rhodes, H. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield) Richards, R. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Mann, Mrs. J Ridealgh, Mrs. M Wilcock, Group-Capt C A. B
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Robens, A. Wilkes, L.
Marshall, F. (Brightside) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Wilkins, W. A.
Mellish, R. J. Robertson, J J. (Berwick) Wiley, F. T. (Sunderland)
Middleton, Mrs. L Royle, C. Williams, D. J (Neath)
Mitchison, G. R Scollan, T. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Moody, A. S Scott-Elliot, W. Williams, R. W (Wigan)
Morley, R. Sharp, Granville Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (St. Helens) Willis, E.
Mort, D. L. Shurmer, P. Wise, Major F. J
Moyle, A. Silverman, J. (Erdington) Woods, G. S
Murray, J. D Simmons, C. J. Yates, V F.
Nally, W. Skinnard, F W Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Neal, H. (Claycross) Smith, C. (Colchester) Zilliacus, K.
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Stubbs, A. E.
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Sylvester, G O. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Oldfield, W. H. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) Mr. Snow and Mr. George Wallace.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G Gomme-Duncan, Col A Nicholson, G
Baldwin, A. E. Grimston, R. V. Odey, G. W.
Barlow, Sir J. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Orr-Ewing, I. L
Beamish, Maj. T. V H Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Bennett, Sir P. Head, Brig. A. H. Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Birch, Nigel Headlam, Lieut.-Co. Rt. Hon Sir C Ponsonby, Col. C. E.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D C. (Wells) Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Bowen, R. Hogg, Hon Q Renton, D.
Bower, N. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Ropner, Col. L
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Howard, Hon. A. Sanderson, Sir F.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N J Shephard, S. (Newark)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Hurd, A. Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W.) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Challen, C. Jeffreys, General Sir G. Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G Jennings, R. Studholme, H. G.
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Kendall, W. D. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Teeling, William
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Lennox-Boyd, A. T Thomas, J P L. (Hereford)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. F. C Lipson, D. L. Touche, G. C.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Low, A. R. W. Tweedsmuir, Lady
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H Vane, W. M. F
Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith) MacAndrew, Col. Sir C Wadsworth, G.
Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Walker-Smith, D.
Drayson, G B. Maclean, F H. R. (Lancaster) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Drewe, C. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Manningham-Buller, R. E While, Sir D. (Fareham)
Duthie, W. S. Marlowe, A. A. H White, J. B. (Canterbury)
Erroll, F. J. Marples, A. E. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fletcher, W. (Bury) Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gage, C. Medlicott, Brigadier F.
Gammans, L. D. Mellor, Sir J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Sir Arthur Young and
Glyn, Sir R. Morrison. Rt Hn W. S. (Cirencester) Brigadier Mackeson.

Question put, and agreed to.

Division No. 23.] AYES [9.40 p.m.
Baldwin, A. E. Grimston, R. V. Odey, G. W.
Barlow, Sir J. Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Bennett, Sir P. Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Peaks, Rt. Hon. O
Birch, Nigel Head, Brig. A. H. Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D C. (Wells) Headlam, Lieut.-Col, Rt. Hon Sir C Ponsonby, Col C. E.
Bowen, R Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Prior-Palmer, Brig O
Cower, N. Hogg, Hon Q Renton, D.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Holmes, Sir J. Stanley (Harwich) Ropner, Col L.
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr J. G Howard, Hon. A. Sanderson, Sir F.
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J Shephard, S. (Newark)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Hurd, A. Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Challen, C. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh W) Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col G Jeffreys, General Sir G. Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Conant, Maj R. J. E Jennings, R. Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Cooper-Key, E. M. Legge-Bourke, Maj E A. H Teeling, William
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Lennox-Boyd, A. T Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Crookshank, Capt. Rt Hon. H F. C Lipson D. L Touche, G. C.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col O E Low, A. R. W. Tweedsmuir, Lady
De la Bère, R. Lucas, Major Sir J Wadsworth, G.
Dodds-Parker, A. D Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Walker-Smith, D.
Dower, Col. A. V G (Penrith) Macdonald, Sir P. (I. of Wight) Ward, Hon G. R.
Dower, E. L. G. (Caithness) Mackeson, Brig. H R Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Drayson, G B. Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster) White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Drewe, C. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. White, J B. (Canterbury)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Manningham-Buller, R. E Williams, C. (Torquay)
Duthie, W. S. Marlowe, A. A. H. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Erroll, F. J. Marples, A. E. York, C.
Fletcher, W (Bury) Marshall, D (Bodmin) Young, Sir A S L. (Partick)
Gage, C. Mellor, Sir J.
Gammans, L D Morris-Jones, Sir H. TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Commander Agnew and
Glyn, Sir R. Morrison, Rt Hn. W. S (Cirencester) Mr. Studholme.
Gomme-Duncan, Col A. Nicholson, G.
Acland, Sir Richard Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)
Adams, Richard (Balham) Deer, G. Herbison, Miss M.
Albu, A. H. de Freitas, Geoffrey Hewitson, Copt M
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V Delargy, H. J Hobson, C. R.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Diamond, J Holman, P.
Alpass, J H Debbie, W. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Dodds, N. N. Horabin, T. L.
Attewell, H. C. Dugdale, J. (W. Bromwich) Hoy, J
Awbery, S. S. Dumpleton, C. W. Hubbard, T.
Bacon, Miss A. Dye, S. Hudson, J. H (Ealing. W.)
Balfour, A. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)
Barton, C. Edwards, John (Blackburn) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bechervaise, A. E. Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly) Hynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Evans, Albert (Islington, W.) Irving, W. J. (Tottenham, N.)
Benson, G. Evans, E (Lowestoft) Irvine, A. J. (LiverPool)
Berry, H Evans, John (Ogmore) Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A
Beswick, F. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Janner, B
Binns, J. Ewart, R. Jeger, G. (Winchester)
Blackburn, A. R. Farthing, W. J. Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.)
Blyton, W R. Fernyhough, E. Jenkins, R. H
Bottomley, A. G. Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) John, W
Bowden, Fig. Offr. H. W. Follick, M. Johnston, Douglas
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl. Exch'ge) Forman, J. C. Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Fraser, T. (Hamilton) Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)
Bramall, E. A. Freeman, Peter (Newport) Jones, J H. (Bolton)
Brook, D (Halifax) Ganley, Mrs. C. S. Jones, P. Asterlay (Hitchin)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Gibbins, J. Keenan, W
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Gibson, C W. Kendall, W. D.
Burden, T. W. Gilzean, A. Kenyon, C.
Burke, W. A. Glanville, J E. (Consett) Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Grenfell, D. R. Kinley, J.
Carmichael, James Grey, C. F. Kirby, B. V
Champion, A. J. Grierson, E. Lang, G.
Coldrick, W. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Lavers, S.
Collick, P. Griffiths, Rt Hon. J (Llanelly) Lee, F. (Hulme)
Collindridge, F. Griffiths, W D. (Moss Side) Levy, B. W.
Collins, V. J. Guy, W. H. Lewis, A. W. J. (Upton)
Colman, Miss G. M. Haire, John E. (Wycombe) Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Cooper, Wing-Comdr, G Hale, Leslie Lindgren, G. S.
Corlett, Dr. J. Hall, Rt Hon Glenvil Lipton, Lt.-Col. M
Grossman, R. H. S Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Logan, D. G.
Cullen, Mm. A. Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Longden, F.
Daggar, G. Hardy, E. A. Lyne, A. W.
Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hastings, Dr. Somerville McAdam, W.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Henderson, Rt. Hn. A. (Kingswinford) McEntee, V. La T.
McGhee, H. G. Popplewell, E. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
McGovern, J. Porter, E. (Warrington) Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Mack, J. D. Porter, G. (Leeds) Thorneycroft, Harry ('Clayton)
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Price. M Philips Thurtle, Ernest
MaLeavy, F Proctor, W T. Tiffany, S.
MacPherson, M. (Stirling) Pursey, Comdr. H. Timmons, J.
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Randall, H. E. Titterington, M. F.
Mainwaring, W. H. Ranger, J. Tolley, L.
Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Rankin, J. Turner-Samuels, M
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield) Reid, T. (Swindon) Usborne, Henry
Mann, Mrs. J. Rhodes, H. Vernon, Maj. W. F
Manning, Mrs. L (Epping) Richards, R. Viant, S P.
Marshall, F. (Brightside) Ridealgh, Mrs. M Walkden, E.
Mellish, R. J. Robens, A. Watson, W. M
Middleton, Mrs. L. Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire) Weitzman, D.
Mitchison, G. R. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Moody, A. S. Royle, C West, D. G.
Morley, R. Scollan, T. Wheatley, Rt. Hn. John (Edinb'gh, E.)
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Scott-Elliott, W While, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Mort, D. L. Segal, Dr. S. Whiteley, Rt. Hon W
Moyle, A. Shackleton, E. A. A. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Murray, J. D Sharp, Granville Wilkes, L.
Nally, W Shawcross, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (St. Helens) Wilkins, W. A.
Neal, H. (Claycross) Shurmer, P. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Silverman, J. (Erdington) Williams, D. J. (Heath)
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Simmons, C. J. Williams, J. L (Kelvingrove)
Oldfield, W. H. Skinnard, F. W. Williams, R. W (Wigan)
Oliver, G. H. Smith, C. (Colchester) Williams, W. R (Heston)
Orbach, M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Willis, E.
Paling, Rt. Hon Wilfred (Wentworth) Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.) Wise, Major F. J
Palmer, A. M. F. Stross, Dr B. Woods, G. S.
Parker, J. Stubbs, A. E. Yates, V. F.
Parkin, B. T. Swingler, S. Younger, Hon. Kenneth
Paton, J. (Norwich) Sylvester, G. O. Zilliacus, K.
Pearson, A Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Peart, T. F Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Perrins, W. Thomas D E (Aberdare) Mr. Snow and Mr. George Wallace.
Mr. Grimston

I beg to move, in page 16, line 9, at the end, to add: '(5) If any person who, in compliance with any of the foregoing provisions of this Act or with a warrant issued thereunder, is admitted into any premises discloses to any person any information obtained by him there with regard to any manufacturing process or trade secret, he shall, unless such disclosure was made in the performance of his duty, be liable in respect of each offence—

  1. (a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment;
  2. (b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment."
This Amendment is common form in many Acts of Parliament, and the reason for moving it is that there will be occasions when industrial premises are searched for interference, when it may well be that the searchers will come into possession of trade secrets. The industry should be protected against any misuse of those secrets, and it is to that end that this Amendment is directed.

The Attorney-General

I said that we would accept any Amendment which would reasonably improve the Bill. We think that this one would, but not in its present form. There are drafting points about it, and, if the hon. Gentleman will agree to withdraw it, we will put down on Report stage. a new Subsection to the same effect.

Mr. Grimston

I thank the learned Attorney-General, and, in view of that undertaking to produce the necessary words on Report stage, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 15 to 17 ordered to stand part of the Bill.