I welcome the indication given by the Home Secretary that he will review the situation after he has the Select Committee's Report. Would he take note of the fact that a very large body of moderate opinion, both in the area and outside it, feels that an inquiry of the kind requested in the Question is absolutely essential; that there is a danger of racial violence in the area which has not existed for many years; that the acquittals in the Mangrave case raise a strong inference that a number of police officers were lying in concert and that, with the connivance of senior officers, they have been responsible for persecution of particularly articulate black people in the area; that this is only an inference and that, as the current issue of the Police Journal makes clear—[HON. MEMBERS: "Too long."]—only such an inquiry will clear the imputations which have been raised against the police officers concerned—
I do not in any way accept the imputations based on the result of that particular case. I do not think it would be wise for me in an answer this afternoon to go further than to say what I have already said. I am considering the detailed report.
In view of the unusually strong words used by the judge in what in itself was a disturbing trial, does not the Home Secretary think that it is in the interests both of the police and of the coloured community that there should be an immediate inquiry into these allegations in case there has been some sort of breakdown in communications on both sides leading to a serious crisis of confidence?
I welcome the visit of the Select Committee. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that he has a special responsibility for good relations between the Metropolitan police and the coloured community. In view of the serious rumours which are circulating in Notting Hill, will he seriously consider whether, following his study of the report, an inquiry in this case might be highly desirable?