HC Deb 18 July 1904 vol 138 cc258-9
MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give instructions that all children apprehended in London shall be sent to remand homes pending the disposal of their cases by the magistrates, and in no case be permitted to remain in the police stations, as frequently happens at present.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.) I cannot give the instructions suggested in the Question. As the law stands a child arrested after 5 p.m. cannot be taken to the remand homes until he has appeared, next morning, before the magistrate; and, even if the law were different, I doubt whether it would be desirable to send a child a long journey across London in police custody and often at a late hour in order that he might spend one night in a remand home. When a child has to remain for a night at a police station he is always wed treated, and arrangements are made to † See (4) Debates, cxxix., 583. prevent his coming in contact in any way with ordinary criminals. It is when the child is remanded for several days by the magistrate that full advantage can be taken of the remand homes, in establishing which the Metropolitan Asylums Board have done a most useful public service.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his power over the Police Courts of the Metropolis extends so far as to enable him to issue orders for children to be conveyed to remand homes immediately on being charged instead of being detained at the Police Court, and to provide that the charges against them should be heard at a separate time and place from the ordinary police cases, as is done in many of the British Colonies and States of America.

(Answered by Mr. Secretary Akers-Douglas.) In reply to the first part of my right hon. friend's inquiry, I would refer him to my Answer to the previous Question, No. 68, in to-day's Paper, asked by my right hon. friend the Member for Oxford University, and the second part was dealt with fully in reply to a Question asked by the same right hon. Member, and circulated with the Votes for the 18th May last.†