HC Deb 22 June 1961 vol 642 cc1669-70
29. Mr. Prentice

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the report of the working party which studied the question of compensation for victims of criminal assault; and whether he is now in a position to make a further statement of Government policy on this matter.

27. Mr. C. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has completed his examination of the report of the official working party on the question of compensation for victims of crimes of violence; and when he expects to make the terms of the report public.

Mr. R. A. Butler

I will, with permission, answer this Question and Question No. 27 together.

The report will be published shortly—I hope next week—with a preface giving some indication of the issues which arise.

Mr. Prentice

I welcome the statement that the report will be published this week. Can the right hon. Gentleman say what attitude the Government are taking about it? Is he aware that there will be a great deal of public disappointment if there is no Government legislation on the matter in the next Session? This situation has existed for a long time, and the longer the delay the greater the number of people who will be injured without compensation being available.

Mr. Butler

This is a complicated subject. If the report is read it will be seen how complicated it is, and how important it is to get public reaction—because the cost would fall on the public. I am hoping, by publishing the report, to get the public's reaction.

Mr. McAdden

Why should my right hon. Friend, in reply to Question No. 29, also seek to answer Question No. 27, which was called by you, Mr. Speaker, but not asked? Is not this a waste of time?

Mr. Speaker

I did not call Question No. 27. I called the name of the hon. Member who had his name to that Question and who, had he been here, might have asked it.

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