HC Deb 01 December 1955 vol 546 cc2497-8
31. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can now announce what action will be taken to implement the recommendations of the Departmental Committee on the Summary Trial of Minor Offences.

Major Lloyd-George

I am broadly in agreement with the recommendations of the Departmental Committee, and I am considering the amendments of the law which would be necessary to give effect to them. I cannot at present say when it will be possible for legislation to be introduced.

Mr. Hynd

In view of the colossal number of man-hours represented by the attendance of forty or fifty police officers for the better part of a morning at most magistrates' courts, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman do his utmost to hasten this new legislation?

Major Lloyd-George

I certainly will, but I am sure the hon. Member appreciates that it is a very complicated and difficult matter, and that it will take some little time to get the legislation ready.

Mr. Younger

Is it correct that at least one of these recommendations was stated by the Committee to be extremely urgent? Does the Home Secretary not realise that by the Answers which he has given, not only to this Question but even more to the Question of the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, East (Sir R. Boothby) about one Royal Commission and to the Question of my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas) about the Royal Commission on Capital punishment, he is giving the impression that the Home Office has been completely squeezed out of the legislative programme and is becoming a totally inert Department under his leadership?

Major Lloyd-George

Twelve suggestions for legislation are contained in the Questions which I have had today, let alone anything else.

Mr. Hamilton

is that a reason for doing nothing?