HC Deb 06 March 1906 vol 153 cc296-7

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the fact that at the recent Clerkenwell Sessions ten aliens were sentenced to terms of imprisonment, amounting in the aggregate to thirty-two-years of penal servitude and several years of hard labour, and that the construction put by the authorities on Section 3 (1) of the Aliens Act appears to preclude such convicted aliens being immediately deported, thereby causing expense to the country, amounting at £50 each to £1,600; and whether he is prepared to propose some remedy.


Yes, Sir. I have received a large number of recommendations for expulsion in cases where the courts have thought right to impose considerable sentences of imprisonment or penal servitude. It is a matter for the discretion of the court whether they recommend expulsion in addition to or in lieu of the sentence. Where an alien has committed a crime deserving of a long sentence of imprisonment or of penal servitude it would not be right to relieve him of this punishment merely because he is to be sent back to his own country; and if foreign criminals knew that they could come to England and commit crime with no worse consequence than that of being sent home at the public expense, I doubt whether there would be any decrease in the amount of alien crime in the United Kingdom or even of the expense occasioned by it.