HC Deb 02 March 1911 vol 22 cc552-3

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he can say how many persons were in England and Wales committed to prison in 1910 in default of payment of pecuniary penalties, and how many of these were under the age of eighteen years; and whether he proposes to introduce legislation on the subject at an early date?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Churchill)

There are no returns of the number of prisoners under eighteen, and they could not be given without much research. Moreover, they could not be very accurate, as the Prison Commissioners would have to rely on the prisoner's own statement as to whether he is above or below eighteen. I hope shortly to introduce legislation which will greatly reduce the number of persons committed to prison in default of the payment of fines.