HC Deb 25 June 1935 vol 303 cc925-6
11. Mr. D. GRAHAM

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether there are any empty houses available for letting in the burgh of Hamilton which can be let to persons occupying condemned houses who, because of such occupancy, render themselves liable to prosecution; and, if so, whether any such empty houses will be offered to the persons affected?


I am informed that there are at present no empty houses in the burgh of Hamilton available for letting to the persons occupying houses that have previously been condemned: the second part of the question accordingly does not arise.


In view of the serious situation in the burgh in respect of these so-called squatters, will the right hon. Gentleman send a member of his Department to the area to make inquiries, and meantime will he see that these prosecutions are held up?


I will certainly undertake to consider the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary, but the question of the prosecutions is not a matter for me.


Is it not the fact that these prosecutions are occurring frequently, that men are being fined and threatened with imprisonment; and that they have no remedy because there are no other houses for them. Is it not advisable that the attention of the local authority should be called to the serious situation?

Major-General Sir ALFRED KNOX

May we also hear these private conversations?


It is possible that these prosecutions may originate with the local council, but I cannot say without notice.

12. Mr. GRAHAM

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of prosecutions for squatting that have been dealt with at the sheriff court in Hamilton during the past 12 months, with the sentences imposed?


As the answer involves a number of figures, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following are the figures:

Number of persons prosecuted. Fine.
10 £2 or 10 days 6 went to prison.
1 paid fine.
3 not paid, but not yet extracted for execution.
7 £2 or 14 days All went to prison.
1 £3 or 14 days Not paid. Time for payment not expired.
1 £3 or 15 days Went to prison.
3 £3 or 20 days 1 paid fine.
2 went to prison for 15 days. Part fine paid.
4 £4 or 30 days Not yet paid. Time for payment not expired.
4 £5 or 30 days Ditto.
9 No sentence pronounced.
Total 39