Press Letter (Allegations)

Oral Answers to Questions — Police – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch 12:00 am, 3rd November 1949

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has now received the detailed information for which he asked last week in order that he might institute an inquiry into allegations against the police contained in a letter recently published in "The New Statesman," written by a correspondent whose real name was not published.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

Would my right hon. Friend consider, in spite of the refusal of the chief accuser to come forward, whether any other action could be taken in this case apart from a statutory inquiry?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

No, Sir. One cannot have an inquiry unless one has some evidence to start on. If evidence is produced that the police were, on this or any other occasion, negligent in the carrying out of their clear duty an investigation will take place, but there must be evidence on which to make a start.

Photo of Mr John Platts-Mills Mr John Platts-Mills , Finsbury

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the police now know the identity of the writer, that they at once visited his employers and that he got the sack? Is it not a fact that the act of victimisation which the man feared and which the right hon. Gentleman said could not take place has been brought about by the police themselves?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I have seen a statement to that effect in one morning paper but it did not go quite as far as the statement made by the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr John Platts-Mills Mr John Platts-Mills , Finsbury

I am giving the facts.

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I have made inquiries of the police at Scotland Yard. They have informed me that they do not know the identity of the person.