HC Deb 12 March 1970 vol 797 cc1531-2
1. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he intends to take in the next six months to improve methods of crime detection.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. James Callaghan)

My Department will continue in co-opera- tion with the police and the research establishment at Aldermaston a far-reaching programme of research in forensic science. New equipment continues to improve, plans are advanced for the new central computer complex to provide immediate information to police on the beat, the regional crime squads are now a permanent feature, and the London Crime Squad is commencing work.

Mr. Hamilton

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Does he recollect that some years ago there was an extraordinary display of physical violence with a blunt instrument on television by the right hon. and learned Member for St. Marylebone (Mr. Hogg), and does my right hon. Friend think that his policies will have an educative effect upon the right hon. and learned Gentleman as well as the general public?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes, Sir. I think that the right hon. and learned Gentleman's display on that occasion contributed towards our winning the General Election. I think that everyone regards the right hon. and learned Gentleman with a certain affection and would not think that he was giving encouragement to criminals. He was merely belabouring his opponents in a physical way, rather than his usual spectacular manner.

Mr. Hogg

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the incident concerned took place in 1957 or 1958, immediately before the General Election which the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. and hon. Friends lost?

Mr. Callaghan

No, Sir. The right hon. and learned Gentleman's memory is at fault. I have not looked it up, but I am quite clear that it was immediately before the 1964 General Election. I hope that he is more accurate in some of his other statements on the subject than he is in his recollection of this occasion.