§ Mr. McGovern
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when a complaint was made to the Ayrshire police regarding the disappearance of goods from the premises of Messrs. J. Findlay and Company's bleach works, Catrine; the number of warrants issued to search houses in Catrine; the number of houses searched; the number where goods were found; the number of arrests effected and the number convicted; and whether steps will be taken to put an end to this form of police terror and ensure that the only houses to be searched will be those houses where some form of evidence has been obtained as to the stolen goods being on the premises?
§ Mr. Elliot
Complaints of the disappearance of goods from these premises were made to the Ayr County Police Force on the 19th November, 1937, and the 4th December, 1937. The number of search warrants issued to the force was 24 for Catrine, I for Auchinleck, and I for Mauchline; 26 houses were searched under these warrants, and stolen goods were found in 6 of the Catrine houses, and in the house at Auchinleck. One person was arrested, and 7 persons in all were convicted, 2 of reset and 5 of theft. As the hon. Member will be aware it is for magistrates to consider whether the information available when applications are made to them for search warrants is such as to justify the issue of warrants, and I have no power to interfere with the exercise of their discretion.