Meetings (Records)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions he has issued to chief constables about obtaining records of meetings held in their areas.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that, according to the evidence which I have received from the National Council for Civil Liberties, it is the practice of some police authorities to obtain records of harmless meetings of political organisations and bodies? Will he take steps to discourage this in the areas in which it applies?

Photo of Mr Dick Taverne Mr Dick Taverne , Lincoln

I am aware of a recent case in which concern was expressed. The normal police practice, of attending a public meeting to ensure that there is no disturbance through hecklers, was adopted. The police officer on that occasion was concerned to check that his report was accurate. There was nothing sinister in this. But I am aware of the concern about records being made of what is said, and I shall certainly look into that.