§ 64. Mr. DONNER
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the many successful attempts to damage wilfully ships of the Royal Navy, he will consider taking the necessary steps to amend the Malicious Damage to Property Act, 1861, so as to increase the inadequate penalties under Section 46 of that Act, in order to deter further attempts of sabotage by prolonging the period of imprisonment, at present limited to seven years for such action?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
I am not aware of any ground for thinking that the persons responsible for such damage as has occurred have been in any way influenced by a feeling that the existing penalties may be lightly regarded, or that a person who is willing to risk a sentence of seven 1211 years' penal servitude would be deterred by an increase in the maximum penalty which may be imposed.
§ Mr. DONNER
Is my hon. Friend satisfied that no further steps should be taken to deter people in view of the many successful attempts that have already taken place?