HC Deb 11 April 1940 vol 359 cc688-9
27. Mr. C. Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the fines imposed by courts of summary jurisdiction in cases of drunkenness were fixed in 1872 when the value of real wages was 122 against the present value of 220; that in many cases the amount of the fine bears no relation to the present police and administrative costs incurred, and that consequently both the local and national exchequers are bearing a burden which should be imposed upon the offender; and what steps he proposes to take to relieve the two exchequers of this expense?

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir John Anderson)

There are many offences in respect of which the fine imposed does not cover the police and administrative costs incurred in dealing with the offender, and the amount of such costs ought not, in my view, to be the governing consideration in determining the penalty appropriate to any particular offence. I have no reason to think that the penalties provided by the Act of1872 and subsequent Acts for offences of drunkenness are not adequate, and I do not think that there is ground for any action on my part.