HL Deb 21 March 1974 vol 350 cc386-8

3.54 p.m.


My Lords, with the permission of the House, I should now like to repeat a further Statement which has just been made by my right honourable friend the Home Secretary about the attempt last night to kidnap Princess Anne. The Statement is as follows:

"I am glad to be able to inform the House that the four persons who were severely injured are not considered to be in serious danger. As I said last night, Princess Anne and Captain Phillips were unhurt.

"As has been reported in the Press, the man who was apprehended by the police is Ian Sydney Ball, aged 26, who appeared at Bow Street Magistrates' Court this morning and was remanded in custody for a week on a charge of attempted murder. Police inquiries are continuing. It would be inappropriate to comment on the money matters which may come in question in court proceedings.

"I have this morning discussed with the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and with my own advisers such action as it seems sensible to take at once to increase the safeguards already taken against attacks of this kind. The examination of the issues and the conclusions reached must remain confidential if they are to be effective in enabling us to achieve the greatest degree of security that can be obtained without an unacceptable interference with the ability of public figures to lead lives as near normal as possible."


My Lords, we have already put on record earlier to-day our sentiments concerning this frightening incident in which Princess Anne and her husband were involved last night. I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, for repeating this further Statement by the Home Secretary. I do not think there is anything to add, other than to say that we are very pleased to learn that the four persons who were severely injured are not now considered to be in danger, and also that the Home Secretary has taken prompt action by meeting the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis this morning to consider the measures necessary to increase safeguards against attacks of this kind.


My Lords, I too should like to thank th noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, for the Statement he has just repeated. We on these Benches are delighted to hear that those who have been injured are not in danger and we trust that they will continue to make satisfactory progress. I am sure we are all also very pleased to know that action is being taken to prevent these apparently unpreventable occurrences in the future. I am sure the Home Secretary and the police will do their best, and I trust, as the noble Lord said, that the action being taken will help Royal persons and public figures to feel that they can continue to appear in public, because this is one of the great advantages they have.


My Lords, I am most grateful to both noble Lords for their observations.