HC Deb 09 February 1954 vol 523 cc978-9
6. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what specific instructions have been given to the police concerning their investigations into the political convictions of any individual; on what date the most recent instructions were given on this matter; and how often such instructions have been modified in the last two years.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

The police do not act on my right hon. Friend's instructions. In any case, it is not their function to investigate the political convictions of individuals.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Question was not raised out of any kind of hostility to the police, who are doing a very excellent job, but would he not agree that some procedure ought to be laid down on what the police should not do in their attempts to get information which they may legitimately require? Would he not urge on his right hon. Friend the need to stress the importance of not embarrassing individuals by this questioning?

Mr. Stewart

As I said to the hon. Gentleman a fortnight ago, if he has any evidence of any case at all to substantiate the complaint he is making, we shall be glad to look at it.

Mr. McGovern

Will the hon. Gentleman advise his right hon. Friend that in this case no agents provocateurs are appointed for the purpose of inciting people to commit crimes and afterwards decorate them for the foul villainy done, as in a recent case?

Mr. Stewart

The hon. Gentleman has no right whatever to make that charge. It is not true.