HC Deb 05 April 1951 vol 486 cc367-8
32. Mrs. Castle

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, as a result of the representations made to him, he proposes to set up a Departmental committee to inquire into the problems of prostitution in London.

Mr. Ede

The deputation, led by the Bishop of London, which I recently received left with me a memorandum containing proposals made by the Paddington Moral Reform Council for dealing with this problem, and I promised that it would be carefully examined. This is now being done but until the examination is completed I cannot say whether further inquiry by a committee will be necessary.

Mrs. Castle

In view of the fact that a number of associations also interested in this problem do not necessarily accept all the proposals of the Paddington Moral Reform Council, will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that if such a committee is set up he will publish its terms of reference and membership and give an opportunity for the public to submit evidence?

Mr. Ede

Certainly. If I decide to have an inquiry, the necessary publicity will be given so that the widest possible range of evidence may be obtained.

Mr. Dodds

Does my right hon. Friend not think that in view of the fact that the law is catching up with the Messina brothers, the position will be slightly better in the future?

Mr. Ede

I think that it is highly improper that my hon. Friend should allude to a case which is still before the courts.

Mr. Hastings

Will my right hon. Friend make the terms of reference of this committee wide enough to include the problem of homosexuality?

Mr. Ede

I have not yet decided that there shall be a committee, but I shall have regard to the terms of reference.

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