HC Deb 17 November 1960 vol 630 cc544-5
31. Mr. Brockway

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is now prepared to recommend a remission of the sentences of four years' imprisonment, imposed on nine English youths during the racial disturbances in Notting Hill in August, 1958.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. R. A. Butler)

These cases have been carefully reviewed, but my conclusion is that I should not be justified in recommending any interference with the normal course of the sentences which the court thought it right to impose and which were upheld on appeal.

Mr. Brockway

Will my right hon. Friend—[HON. MEMBERS "Friend?"]—yes, friend—bear these considerations in mind: that these English youths were caught up in the hysteria of the racial antagonisms which appeared in Notting Hill at that time and that, while these severe sentences might have been salutary in that situation, it is unjust that these boys should suffer for a continued period for that temporary situation? Will not he consider now releasing them?

Mr. Butler

The presiding judge at the Court of Appeal used the expression that this was just about as serious a matter of this sort as the court had to deal with. I have had to bear that in mind in considering the sentences and the views expressed.