HC Deb 12 November 1934 vol 293 cc1515-6
39. Sir A. WILSON

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied that the circulars issued by his Department as to the application of the Probation of Offenders Act and as to the infliction of fines in lieu of imprisonment are understood and remembered by the Justices of the Peace in England and Wales?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)

I have no reason to think that Justices are unmindful of the suggestions which have been made from time to time by my Department as to the use where possible of methods other than imprisonment in dealing with offenders who come before them, and the wide use of such methods is reflected in the criminal statistics. As my hon. Friend will appreciate, however, it is for the Court to decide whether or not a fine or probation is appropriate to the circumstances of any individual case, and it must not be assumed that, where such methods have not been adopted, the Justices have omitted to consider them.


Will the Home Secretary call the attention of the magistrates to the cases where very heavy sentences are imposed on any persons for trivial offences?


No, Sir. I have general powers in the matter, but not to interfere.