§ 44. Mr. L'ESTRANGE MALONE
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a boy of 16, stated to be a first offender, was last week sentenced to one month's hard labour at Wealdstone for stealing a 10s. note from the dressing-room at the Stanmore Golf Club; whether benches of magistrates have been informed of the declared policy of the Government that juveniles should not be sent to prison for a first offence; and whether he will review this sentence with a view to its remission or reduction?
§ Mr. CLYNES
I have obtained full reports regarding the circumstances of this case. Although the boy had not been previously convicted, he admitted a series of thefts extending over a con- 1841 siderable period, the proceeds of some of his thefts being sold to dealers. As regards the second part of the question, a. circular letter was addressed to Justices expressing the hope that every Court before committing a young offender to prison will satisfy itself that this course is inevitable and that no other method of treatment can properly be employed. I am informed that in this case the Justices bore in mind this and other Home Office circulars on the subject, and weighed every relevant consideration, but considered it imperative in this particular case to pass a sentence of imprisonment.