HC Deb 26 February 1973 vol 851 cc1062-3
42. Mr. Whitehead

asked the Attorney-General if he will instruct the Director of Public Prosecutions to initiate proceedings against J. Todd and Company, of 73 Berwick Street, London, on the ground of the illegal dispatch of pornographic material through the post, copies of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Derby, North.

The Attorney-General

The police are already investigating this matter, and will be reporting to the Director of Public Prosecutions shortly.

Mr. Whitehead

May I thank the Attorney-General for that reply, not least because these communications, which are extremely offensive, are accompanied by what purports to be a personal letter thanking the recipient for previous custom when they are unsolicited? This causes great distress to the families concerned.

The Attorney-General

I appreciate the point made by the hon. Gentleman, particularly the latter part. I have seen this document and I am awaiting the report of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr. S. C. Silkin

Will the Attorney-General have a word with his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to ensure that if any legislation is forthcoming, as has been rumoured in the Press, dealing with the public display of material which is offensive, it will also include the sort of example to which my hon. Friend has referred—that is, offensive material sent through the post?

The Attorney-General

The hon. and learned Gentleman will be aware of the provisions in the criminal law which arise out of matters which could be proven to have been posted. I will certainly draw the comments of the hon. and learned Gentleman to my right hon. Friend's attention.