HC Deb 22 April 1948 vol 449 cc2007-8
72. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the terms of reference for the committee which he is setting up to inquire into the cause of crime; when it will meet; and what are the names of its members.

Mr. Ede

I am not proposing to set up a committee of inquiry on this subject, but I undertook, during Committee stage of the Criminal Justice Bill, to amend the Bill so as to take power to undertake research into the causes of delinquency and the treatment of offenders, and to make grants to approved bodies or persons engaged in such research. Amendments were made accordingly during Report stage and have been embodied in the Bill.

Mr. Freeman

In view of the fact that crime is the result of a large series of previous events, including heredity, education, upbringing, environment and other circumstances, for which the prisoner is in no way answerable or responsible, does not my right hon. Friend think it desirable to make some inquiry into the cause of crime?

Mr. Ede

I cannot accept all the controversial issues raised in my hon. Friend's supplementary question without argument, which I would not like to conduct in the form of question and answer.