HC Deb 16 February 1956 vol 548 cc2522-3
44. Dr. Broughton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that the present arrangements for suppressing illicit traffic in drugs are adequate to deal effectively with the traffic; and if he will intorduce legislation for heavier penalties on convicted pedlars of illicit drugs.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. W. F. Deedes)

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." As regards the second part, the maximum penalty under the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1951, is, on conviction on indictment, a fine not exceeding£1,000, or imprisonment for a period of not exceeding ten years, or both such fine and imprisonment. My right hon. and gallant Friend has no reason to think that heavier penalties are required.

Dr. Broughton

In view of the fact that the illicit traffic in drugs presents no grave problem in this country, and as it is most desirable that we should maintain our good record in this respect, will the Joint Under-Secretary give an assurance that his right hon. Friend will keep a watchful eye over this type of offence, and that if he finds it raising its ugly head he will not hesitate to take effective action?

Mr. Deedes

Yes, certainly. My right hon. and gallant Friend always keeps a watchful eye on this particular matter.