HC Deb 01 February 1962 vol 652 cc1274-5
23. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has now completed his review of the case of Mr. Peter Baker, a former Member of Parliament, in the light of the new information which has been in the possession of his Department for several months; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Yes, Sir. I informed Mr. Baker on 30th November that after giving the matter the most earnest consideration I had reached the conclusion that the material which he had submitted to my Department on 29th September did not give grounds which would justify any action on my part. Mr. Baker subsequently sent me some additional material, which has also been carefully considered, but he has been informed that it would not justify any alteration in my decision.

Mr. Driberg

While appreciating that this is a very complicated and difficult case, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has personally looked at the papers and whether he is completely satisfied about every aspect of the case—for instance, about the allegation that Mr. Baker was induced to sign a paper agreeing to plead guilty when he was not in a fit physical or mental state to do so?

Mr. Butler

I have personally examined the papers which, as the hon. Gentleman realises, are somewhat voluminous. It is obviously a very difficult case, but I cannot make any further observation except that I am afraid that these documents do not justify any action on my part.