HC Deb 27 May 1941 vol 371 c1728W
Mr. Maxton

asked the Lord Advocate why police, acting under his warrant, visited the home of Mr. R. E. Muirhead, a respected citizen in the West of Scotland, well known for his advocacy of Scottish Nationalism, searched through his private papers, broke into a lock-fast place, in his absence, after refusing to wait the short period necessary to ensure his presence, searched his place of business and his office at Glasgow, going through papers there, took him to the central police station and cross-examined him for an extended period, finally liberating him; and will he see that Scottish citizens are protected from this type of interference in future?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

The search warrants executed in this case were granted by the Sheriff under the Defence Regulation 88a on the application of the Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow and the Renfrewshire police on information on oath that there was reasonable ground to suspect that evidence would be found of the commission of acts prejudicial to the public safety and the defence of the realm. The search was conducted in accordance with normal practice. Mr. Muirhead was invited to accompany the police to the central police office, which he agreed to do, for the purpose of examining the documents seized and giving any explanations. Mr. Muirhead was not detained. It is essential in the public interest that the powers of search conferred by the ordinary law and by the Defence Regulations should be exercised when necessity arises.

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