HC Deb 17 July 1916 vol 84 c670
64. Sir J. JARDINE

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that, in certain parts of the Kingdom public dissatisfaction has been, expressed at the amount of the fines inflicted for misdemeanours under the Defence of the Realm Acts in cases where there was no atrocity, aggravation, nor previous conviction, and where there is no judicial appeal open to the persons convicted; and whether, in consideration of the denunciation of excessive fines in England in the Bill and Declaration of Rights and of exorbitant and extraordinary fines in the declaration of the estates of the kingdom of Scotland containing the Claim of Right and the offer of the Crown to their Majesties King William and Queen Mary, dated 11th April, 1689, he will take steps to secure the lieges in the enjoyment of their constitutional rights?


The punishment which may be awarded for contraventions of the Defence of the Realm Regulations cannot exceed that authorised by the Defence of the Realm Act. Subject to this limitation the amount of a fine in any particular case is a matter for the discretion of the Court which tries the offenders. Where the trial is by a Civil Court the Act provides for appeal.


Could you not pass an Act of Indemnity for these people as you have indemnified the Attorney-General?