The police will not seek to interpret the powers in that restrictive way. They will recognise that the medical practitioner may—not must—carry out a search if invited to do so and that it is lawful for him to refuse.
I take note of the hon. and learned Gentleman's other remarks and hope to reply later.
We naturally hope that if doctors or nurses are called upon to help the police to remove drugs from a suspected dealer or carrier, they will co-operate to the maximum degree possible, consistent of course with conscience and their own professional and ethical responsibilities.
Because of the restriction of the power to searches involving suspected supplies of class A drugs, it is much more limited in scope than the power in the Police Bill mark I. Since the decision to remove that power was taken over a year ago, we have all become much more aware of the threat posed by heroin and other hard drugs; and I believe that a strictly controlled search power should remain a weapon available for use in the campaign against hard drugs.