HC Deb 07 July 1936 vol 314 cc1028-9
58. Mr. TURTON

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that during last year in the police division of Bacup there were 99 convictions for motoring offences, but in no case was a licence suspended or endorsed, whilst in the police division of Wigan there were 754 convictions for motoring offences and 612 licences were suspended or endorsed; and whether, in view of the variations in the administration of the law that these figures suggest, he will circularise magistrates explaining the meaning of Section 5 (1) of the Road Traffic Act, 1934, so as to secure uniformity in the administration of the law throughout the country?

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

I am aware of the figures mentioned, which are included in Table III of the return presented to Parliament on 25th May. While it is right that courts should make proper use of the discretion vested in them in dealing with individual cases, I recognise that it is undesirable that there should be wide differences in the treatment of offenders in different localities, and a circular on the subject is in course of preparation.


As it would appear that the magistrates find special reasons in every case they try, will the Home Secretary send an explanation of what "a special reason" means under Section 5?


The circular will be very carefully drawn up.


Will the circular also deal with the discrepancies in the fines levied on motorists.


I have not quite decided on the scope of the circular.