§ 6. Mr. Brockway
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies at what age children can be charged in adult courts and sentenced to imprisonment in Basutoland; and what provision is made for the reformative treatment of child offenders.
§ Mr. Maudling
Under the terms of the Basutoland Criminal Procedure and Evidence Proclamation, no child under the age of 14 may be sentenced to imprisonment. The law also provides that the trial of any child who is, in the opinion of the court, less than 16 years of age, be held in camera, and in some other place than an ordinary court room, the parent or guardian of the child having the right to be present.
Special training and instruction of a reformative nature is provided for juveniles at a separate centre and the Government have a scheme in hand for the building of a juvenile detention centre on borstal lines.
§ Mr. Brockway
Whilst appreciating that the right hon. Gentleman has only recently had responsibility for this area, may I ask whether it is not the case that 192 children of 8 years of age in Basutoland come before the courts? Is there any reformative measure at all in borstals for juveniles who are sentenced, or are they not just sentenced to ordinary imprisonment? Should we not put this right in view of the closeness to the Republic of South Africa, which we so frequently criticise?
§ Mr. Maudling
It seems to me that the hon. Member's supplementary question is a little in conflict with the Answer I gave to the original Question. If the hon. Member provides me with evidence I shall be glad to examine it.