SINCE Easter the Special Branch has been searching for the typewriter and duplicator which were used to produce the original Spies for Peace pamphlet. Many houses have had a going over literally from top to bottom.
In April, my home was honoured with a visit. Five officers, including a woman police officer, arrived at 6.45 one evening. The street door was open. Their presence filled the doorway. After establishing their identity, search warrants were brandished, covering my husband and myself.
The first question asked — in a friendly tone — was: 'You have no doubt been expecting us?' Answer that on in the affirmative and you are up the creek without a paddle. Then, they asked which room I would recommend they should start with!
In the first 30 minutes or so the atmosphere was strained. The special police training came to the fore: friendliness and courtesy flowed like honey. My husband was away at a union meeting. So my two young daughters and I faced the strong arm of the law alone.
I went upstairs with the policewoman to search the bedroom. Meanwhile the other officers searched downstairs.1 The policewoman was very put out on opening a gent's tallboy — she found one suit hanging in splendid isolation. It contained books, books and more books. Everyone had to be searched in case a typewriter was hidden between the pages. The bed was completely stripped and the mattress turned over.
By this time the policewoman was joined by the inspectors. Between them they took down addresses of relatives from various letters they had found. The attic was not searched as it had obviously not been opened for years.
Downstairs the officers were having a ball, going through files, briefcases, etc. My two children looked on in shocked silence until I took them upstairs with me.
The searchers went into the garden which incidentally looks like a bomb site. They drew the correct conclusion that the earth hadn't been turned over for years.
The atmosphere by now was quite chummy. They commented on our taste in music, referring to Eddie Condon as a cracker.
The search and probing went on for 1½ hours. When the officers wished to refer to RSG 6 in front of my children, they mouthed the words. Obviously these words were 'treason' and not meant for the ears of anarchist children.
Finally they left taking with them a duplicator, a typewriter, various publications, correspondence and lists of addresses. I was informed there was no need for a receipt to be issued. In fact I didn't know what they had taken, until my husband came home and went through all his things.
All this took place four weeks ago. Since then we have heard nothing. I would venture to suggest that our typewriter and duplicator doesn't match the 'Spies for Peace' pamphlet and that they are being kept purely for the nuisance value it causes us.
My daughters thought the police were all like Jack Warner. Now they know different.
This is the State's reply to the exposure of a secret which isn't a secret. One wonders how far police powers will extend, when the chips are really down.
1. The police pulled a fast one here. When they search your house you are legally entitled to be present during the search. In other words they can't search two rooms at a time.