33. Mr. HUTCHISON
asked the Home Secretary in how many cases during the past 12 months men in receipt of unemployment benefit have been imprisoned for being in default with payments under orders to contribute to their wife's 1237 maintenance, the amount of the men's income from all sources, and the amount ordered to be paid for such maintenance in each case; and whether he will consider taking steps to prevent the imprisonment of persons in such cases?
§ Sir H. SAMUEL
The information asked for in the first part of the question is not available. As regards the second part, it is for the Court to decide whether an order of committal to prison should issue in default of payment in any particular instance. I see no ground for proposing the alteration of the law so as to make it impossible to commit to prison in the class of case to which the hon. Member refers, for without power to commit there would often be no effective inducement to pay.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say if there are not a certain number of people now in prison for maintenance orders of 25s. who have been receiving unemployment pay?