asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that Miss Barbara Morning, 28, Floor-burns Crescent, Johnstone, was aroused out of bed and arrested by the police at 3 a.m. on 29th October, 1941; that it is now admitted that the arrest was the result of a mistake on the part of the procurator fiscal; and will any compensation be offered to Miss Morning?
Regret has been expressed to Miss Morning, on behalf of the procurator fiscal and the police, that the warrant for her arrest was executed at so inconvenient an hour, and she has declared herself satisfied. Steps have been taken to ensure that in future warrants are not executed at such an hour save in very exceptional and justifiable circumstances.
Are we to understand that no one is to be punished for taking a young woman, whose health is not good, out of bed and keeping her in a cold stone cell for six hours for no offence of any kind?
I have indicated that when the full facts were explained to her Miss Morning declared herself satisfied. We have given instructions to the police and to the procurator fiscal that in future, unless in very exceptional circumstances, they must not repeat actions of this kind.
It is not admitted that no action should have been taken. Miss Morning was directed under a Defence Regulation and pleaded guilty to not complying with the direction. She was admonished and liberated shortly before 11 a.m. She did not admit that action should not have been taken.
Was it a serious offence with which this lady was charged? If not, does the hon. Gentleman consider that the police officer who thought it right to turn her out of bed at that hour is fit to continue to discharge his responsibilities?
The police officer was not responsible. It was the procurator fiscal who did not inform the police that the only action necessary was to warn Miss Morning to attend at the court next day.