Woman's Arrest.

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 1942.

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Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

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?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

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.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

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?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

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.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is it not admitted that there should have been no arrest at all? Will no action be taken against anyone?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

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.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

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?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

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.