30. Mr. E. HARVEY
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the sentence passed on Mr. Fenner Brockway by the City of London Quarter Sessions on 28th June of a fine of £100 and in default of payment of a distress levy, and in default of obtaining the sum of £100 by such levy imprisonment for sixty-one days; whether the punishment is prescribed by Regulation 58 under the Defence of the Realm Act; and whether, in view of the fact that such Regulation makes no mention of a distress levy, and that the Quarter Sessions, by inflicting such an alternative penalty, exceeds their powers, he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ The SECRETARY Of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
The offender in question was convicted at the Mansion House Police Court on 3rd April last and ordered to pay a fine of £100 and costs to the amount of £10. His appeal to Quarter Sessions was heard on the 28th June, and dismissed. The sentence passed at the Mansion House has now to be enforced in the usual way as provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts. If the fine is not paid, the proper course is to issue a warrant of distress to recover the amount duo unless there is special reason for not doing so. The term of sixty-one days' imprisonment imposed at the Mansion House in default of payment is not enforced unless the defendant (who has been allowed fourteen days for the purpose) fails to pay the amount due from him and it is not raised by distraint. This is the course laid down by the general law for recovering penalties imposed by Courts of Summary Jurisdiction, and is not affected by anything in the Defence of the Realm Regulations.
Was that course contemplated in the Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Act? Is it not specified?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
Mo, Sir; this procedure is quite independent of the Defence of the Realm Regulation. It is the ordinary procedure under the normal provisions of the law.