HC Deb 10 July 1939 vol 349 cc1990-1

Lords Amendment: In page 54, line 12, leave out "penalties" and insert: fines, not in any case exceeding fifty pounds.

Sir J. Anderson

I beg to move, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment gives effect to a promise made in the Committee stage that provision would be included in the Bill on the subject of penalties to be imposed under regulations dealing with evacuation.

1.26 a.m.

Mr. H. Morrison

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the Lords Amendment, at the end, to add: or imprisonment not exceeding three months. This is a case where the Minister is allowed under the Bill to make regulations for penalties in respect of offences with regard to the reception of evacuated persons. It is provided that if the owner or the occupier who has to receive persons from an evacuated area breaks his undertaking to the local authority, or fails to comply with requirements of the Minister, under this Amendment he can be fined, but not, in any case, exceeding £50. A very wealthy person owning a very large house might be perfectly prepared to be fined £50, and in that case it would not be an effective penalty. We, therefore, propose that the Minister shall have power to include in his regulations "or imprisonment not exceeding three months," and that would give the court power to impose such a penalty. It does not follow that the court would impose it, but it is necessary that this provision should be in, in order that the court, in cases where the owner of premises could easily afford to pay the £50 fine, may have penalties which are strong enough to deter him from breaches of the law. I do suggest that this is a reasonable thing. It is permissive in the case of the Minister to make the regulation, and it is permissive in the case of the court.

Sir J. Anderson

On behalf of the Government, I accept the Amendment.

Amendment to Lords Amendment agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendments to page 58, line 11, agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 59, line 6, at the end, insert: