§ Mr. Younger
I beg to move, in page 16, line 3, to leave out "the court may by order," and to insert:an order may be made in accordance with the provisions of this Section.With permission, I should like to explain this Amendment and the following group of Amendments on the Order Paper. In point of fact, all the first six of these Amendments are drafting Amendments and the substantial part of this proposal lies in the new Subsection (2). In Committee, the hon. Member for Hanley (Dr. Barnett Stross) moved an Amendment with a view to ensuring that there should always be an inquiry as to means before a person was sent to prison in default of payment of a fine. That Amendment was resisted, and it was explained that it would be very difficult to have an inquiry of that sort, but it was suggested that there might be an alternative way out of the difficulty by giving power to certain persons to allow time to pay, or payment by instalments, after the fine had actually been imposed. In fact, that suggestion was welcomed by the Committee.
The new Subsection which it is proposed to add makes provision whereby a person who has been fined, or whose 1233 recognisance has been forfeited at assizes, can apply in writing to a clerk of assize, or a clerk of the peace, to be allowed time to pay, if no order prescribing time for payment was made, or to be granted an extension of time if such order was made, or to be allowed to pay by instalments or have the period of instalments extended. Power is given by the proposed Subsection to the chairman or deputy chairman, or recorder or deputy recorder, or the judge of the high court in the case of assizes, to make an order on such an application. I hope the House will feel that this provides the sort of safeguard which was asked for in Committee and, in effect, does much the same as though we had not been unable, on practical grounds, to provide for an inquiry as to ability to pay.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 16, line 4, leave out "allow," and insert "allowing."
§ In line 6, leave out "direct," and insert "directing."
§ In line 9, leave out "fix," and insert "fixing."
§ In line 12, leave out "discharge," and insert "discharging."
§ In line 13, leave out "reduce," and insert "reducing."
In line 16, at end, insert:
(2) Any order under this section may be made by the court by which the fine is imposed or before which the recognisance is forfeited; and (subject as hereinafter provided) an order under this section providing for any such matters as are mentioned in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of the foregoing subsection. may be made—
Provided that no application shall be made under paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection after the refusal of a previous application made thereunder."—[Mr. Younger.]
§ 6.45 p.m.