HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 c1374
38. Mrs. Knight

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what plans he has for seeking to reduce the number of persons who have statutory powers to enter the homes of people suspected neither of criminal activity nor of activities prejudicial to the state.

Mr. David Howell

The operation of these powers is kept under regular surveillance in the relevant departments. If my hon. Friend has a particular statutory power in mind perhaps she will tell me.

Mrs. Knight

Is my hon. Friend aware that the list of bodies which are given statutory powers to enter people's homes contains no fewer than 280 Schedules, Acts and parts of Acts? Is not this too long a list to be countenanced by a Conservative Government and must we not preserve the principle that an Englishman's home is his castle?

Mr. Howell

I sympathise with my hon. Friend's concern. The complete list of names contained in my letter to my hon. Friend is for all the forms of entry into all forms of property. Entry into people's homes arises only under a minority of statutory powers. If my hon. Friend has a particular statutory power which is worrying her, I will look into it.