HC Deb 18 July 1950 vol 477 cc2040-1
52. Mr. Fitzroy Maclean

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the total number of officials authorised to carry out inspections and investigations in private houses and premises without a search warrant at 15th July.

Sir S. Cripps

The current number of officials who may exercise statutory powers to enter private houses, used exclusively as such, is 4,170; of whom 3,154 are officers of the Inland Revenue—mainly valuers; 996 are assessors acting for the War Damage Commission, and 20 are members or officers of the Board of Control who, under Section 206 (2) of the Lunacy Act of 1890, have power to en ter a private house to visit a person apparently detained as a lunatic without an order or certificate.

Mr. F. Maclean

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say if that figure includes all other private premises?

Sir S. Cripps

It includes all private premises.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that that is 4,170 too many?

Sir S. Cripps

Considering that the majority of these powers have existed since 1836, I do not think that they have been abused.

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