14. Lieut.-Colonel Sir ARNOLD WILSON
asked the Home Secretary whether he can give any information as to the progress of the inquiry being made by the Summary Courts (Social Services) Committee?
§ Sir J. SIMON
I understand that the Committee has been meeting regularly and is receiving evidence from a large number of societies and persons interested in the subject of the inquiry. The committee hopes to be able to complete the receiving of evidence before long and to issue a report before the end of the year. I should like, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, to take this opportunity of referring to the question which he put to my predecessor on 13th November last shortly after the committee was appointed. He was told in reply that it 2836 was not contemplated that the committee should consider questions relating to the procedure and constitution of summary courts when dealing with matrimonial disputes. In the course of their inquiry, however, the committee has found it impracticable to separate consideration of the duties undertaken by probation officers in connection with matrimonial disputes from consideration of the functions of the courts, and much of the evidence received bears directly on the procedure and constitution of the courts. I have, therefore, instructed the committee that it is open to them to deal with such evidence in their report and to make such recommendations as they may feel able to make on the information before them.