HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 cc19-20
30. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now publish the report made to him by the Cardiff City Constabulary based on their examination of certain documents alleged to bear the signature of Mr. J. M. Davidson, High Trees, Sulley, Glamorganshire.

Mr. Godber

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend is advised that reports made by the police in connection with criminal investigations should be treated as confidential.

Mr. Gower

Is it not the fact that the report from the Cardiff City Forensic Laboratory to the Cardiff City Police indicates that certain signatures which have been attributed to my constituent are, in fact, open to the gravest suspicion, and does my hon. Friend not consider that the withholding of evidence of this kind will only encourage public suspicion and anxiety?

Mr. Godber

I think that we shall have an opportunity of debating this at greater length later this week, but may I make clear, in view of certain statements which have appeared in the Press in Wales on this matter, that some of the comments referred to signatures apparently relating to land sales which are nothing of the sort. These signatures relate to some ploughing and cultivations carried out by the Glamorgan Agricultural Executive Committee, for which Mr. Davidson has never paid.

Mr. G. Thomas

Will the Minister now give further consideration to this, in view of the fact that Mr. Davidson has made certain charges which the police have investigated? The report is now in the Minister's hands. Does he not believe that any little farmer in the country has a right to know whether the police have found justified his charge or not, expecially since the charge is against the Department of which the Minister is a head?

Mr. Godber

This relates to police reports, and I am told that it is quite improper for us to disclose them. But, as I have said, we shall have the opportunity to discuss this at greater length later this week.

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