HC Deb 26 February 1963 vol 672 cc1069-70
18. Mr. Dugdale

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether it was on his authority that the Aden Police broke into Ihsan's House where the ladies were in purdah.

Mr. Fisher

As I informed the right hon. Gentleman when he wrote to me on this matter last month, the allegation that the Aden police broke into a purdah house is unfounded.

Mr. Dugdale

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that he is relying on information from the High Commissioner while I am relying on information from Ihsan, and Al Asneg, the president of the People's Socialist Party, and I have as good reason for supposing the allegation to be true as he has for supposing that it is wrong? May I ask whether the police had a warrant or not?

Mr. Fisher

Yes, certainly the police inspector's action was in accordance with notice issued by the commissioner of police under the appropriate Ordinance, a copy of which is in the Library of the House. The police acted perfectly properly and the facts, I assure the right hon. Member, are correct. On 8th January a police inspector went to Miss Ihsan's house and knocked at the door, which was opened by her sister who was not in purdah. Miss Ihsan was not in the house and the policeman saw no other lady, whether in purdah or not, at the time.