HC Deb 04 July 1935 vol 303 cc1992-3

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is in a position to state in detail the circumstances under which three unemployed men were imprisoned for failure to pay rates to the Fife County Council; whether these men have now been released; and whether the rates have been or are now being paid?


Decrees were given on 21st May, 1935, in the Sheriff Court, Dunfermline, at the instance of Fife County Council, against the three men referred to for failing to pay arrears of Fife county rates. The arrears dated from 1929–30, and the decrees were for amounts varying from £34 10s. to £39, plus in each case £4 17s. of expenses. Enforcement of the decrees was in due course instructed on behalf of the county council, the men being apprehended on the 17th June and committed to Perth Prison to serve six weeks' imprisonment under the provisions of the Civil Imprisonment (Scotland) Act, 1882. I understand that the county council have accepted guarantees signed by the men and their relatives for payment of the arrears of rates, and of current rates, by instalments and that in consequence the men were released, two on 27th June and one on 28th June.


Is it not time that imprisonment for debt was abolished?