§ 12 and 13. Mr. A. Brown
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many children under the age of 17 years appeared before juvenile courts in England and Wales, during the period 1st January, 1950, to 31st December, 1959, as being children in need of care or protection, as defined by Section 61 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, or as being children who are ill-treated or neglected in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health; and
(2) how many children under the age of 17 years who appeared before juvenile courts in England and Wales, during the period 1st January, 1950, to 31st December, 1959, as being children in need of care or protection, as defined by Section 61 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, or as being children who axe ill-treated or neglected in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health, were ordered by such juvenile courts to be remanded to remand homes, made the subject of probation orders, or committed to approved schools, respectively; and how many of such children again appeared before a juvenile court and were remanded to prison under Section 27 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948.
§ Mr. Vosper
As the answer contains a number of figures, I shall circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Mr. Brown
Is the Minister aware that Britain is now among the minority of countries in which child victims of lack of protection or of cruelty or neglect can still be brought before courts of summary criminal jurisdiction? Would he consider setting up courts of guardianship before which this class of children could be brought?
§ Mr. Vosper
That is a rather fundamental question which the hon. Member put to me in place of the rather limited Question on the Order Paper. As I think he knows, the Ingleby Committee is shortly to report. It is considering the whole question and I would rather not make a further comment at this stage.
§ Miss Bacon
With reference to Question No. 13 and remand homes, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that magistrates in juvenile courts find themselves 600 in an extremely difficult position because they have nowhere to send juvenile offenders on remand? Is he aware that recently a magistrate said that he never slept at night after he had been working at the juvenile court? Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that even before the Ingleby Committee reports one of the most urgent things to be considered is the provision of more remand homes?
§ Mr. Vosper
The hon. Member who asked the original Question has a Bill before the House dealing in detail with this subject. My right hon. Friend is giving consideration to that aspect of the matter in advance of the Ingleby Committee recommendations.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
Should not the right hon. Gentleman also be asked to consider whether the juvenile courts are in any difficulty at all? In the case of very young people, juvenile persons who are not yet convicted and are on remand, if there is any real difficulty in finding a suitable place for them to go is it not infinitely better to send them home than to send them to jail?
§ Mr. Vosper
In general, there is no difficulty in finding a place in a remand home. The difficulty arises with those people who are so unruly that the remand home itself is not suitable. That, I think, is the difficulty to which the hon. Lady the Member for Leeds, South-East (Miss Bacon) referred.
§ Following is the Answer:
§ Between 1st January, 1950, and 31st December, 1959, 32,550 children were brought before juvenile courts in England and Wales under Section 62 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, as being in need of care or protection within the meaning of Section 61 and were dealt with in the following ways:
|Ordered to be sent to an approved school||2,385|
|Committed to the care of a fit person||13,577|
|Parent ordered to enter into a recognisance to exercise proper care and guardianship||683|
|Supervision order alone||11,542|
|No order made||4,363|
§ In some cases, the number of which is not known, a supervision order was made in addition to a fit person order or an order requiring the parent to enter into a recognisance. The number of interim orders made under Section 67 (2) for detention or continued detention in a remand home is not known.
§ Section 27 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948, applies only where a court remands or commits for trial or for sentence a person who is charged with or found guilty of an offence, 601 and information as to the number of persons so remanded who had previously been brought before the court under Section 62 of the Act of 1933 is not available.