HC Deb 12 May 1960 vol 623 cc608-10
26. Mr. Prentice

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will now give further information as to the date by Which he expects to receive the report of the Working Party which is studying the problems of compensating the victims of crimes of personal violence; and whether their report will be published.

Mr. Vosper

On the question when the Working Party will be able to present their report, I have nothing to add to the reply which my right hon. Friend gave to the hon. Member on 17th March. Reports of official Working Parties are prepared for the assistance of Ministers, and it is not the practice to publish them.

Mr. Prentice

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Bill which I have introduced, with the support of hon. Members on both sides of the House, which unfortunately has not been reached on any of the Fridays set aside for Private Members' Bills? Would it not save delay if the Government were to support this Bill, give time for it, expedite the work of the Working Party and then, if necessary, introduce Amendments in Committee as a result of the Working Party's findings? Would that not avoid a further delay during which more people might be injured without any proper scheme of compensation?

Mr. Vosper

I appreciate the hon. Member's interest in and anxiety about this matter, but I assure him that the Working Party found it an intractable problem. They found it no easy matter to solve. I must therefore ask for further time before I produce any report or even agree with him about his own proposals.

Miss Bacon

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the House has almost lost count of the innumerable committees and working parties which have been set up by the Home Office? Will he give some indication when we shall get the fruit of all their labours?

Mr. Vosper

I do not think that that arises on the Question. At least one working party appointed by the Home Office has reported in the remarkably short time of four months—the Peppiatt Committee—and my right hon. Friend hopes that other working parties will follow that example.