HC Deb 15 June 1894 vol 25 cc1221-2
MR. PAUL (Edinburgh, S.)

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether the Government have taken any steps towards the appointment of a Committee to inquire into the alleged increase in the number of habitual offenders in some parts of Scotland, and to the deficient means of coping with the evil?


I have considered the subject of the treatment of habitual offenders, vagrants, beggars, and inebriates in Scotland and have resolved to appoint a Departmental Committee to inquire and report upon it. Their instructions will be to inquire whether the number of such persons is increasing, and if so into the causes of such increase, and further to suggest such remedies as may, while deterrent, be likely to bring about their reformation, and to prevent further additions to their numbers, due regard being had to the cost of any remedies which may be suggested, and to the practicability of their being carried into effect. The hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow has consented to act as Chairman of this Committee. The members will be as follows:—Colonel McHardy, of the Scottish Prison Board; the hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire; Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff, of the Scottish Office; Mr. John Dove Wilson, a Sheriff of long experience and now Professor of Law at Aberdeen, who has paid special attention to these questions; Miss Flora Stevenson, of the Edinburgh School Board; and Dr. Sutherland, medical officer of the Glasgow Prison, who will also act as Secretary.