HC Deb 02 June 1964 vol 695 cc903-4
24. Mr. Longden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware that the maximum penalties under the Litter Act are inadequate; and if he will take an early opportunity of asking Parliament to increase them.

Mr. Corfield

No, Sir. I have no reason to think that in general the penalties under the Litter Act are inadequate for the purposes for which that Act was designed.

Mr. Longden

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that the intentions of the Litter Act are being implemented? If he is, he must be the only person in the Kingdom who is. If not, what does he propose to do about it?

Mr. Corfield

As my hon. Friend is aware, the great problem in connection with an Act which attempts to deal with the question of litter is enforcement. I know that my hon. Friend has in mind such matters as discarded motor cars, and so on, but I do not think that that is a reason for an increase in the penalties imposed under the Litter Act, as a general proposition.

Mr. MacColl

Does the hon. Gentleman remember that when we last met, in the last hour, on the Adjournment, his right hon. Friend the Minister was saying that the Litter Act could be used to deal with the problem of discarded motor cars? If the penalties are not in line with the great commercial profits derived from dealing with this kind of scrap, is it not making a mockery of the whole idea of using the Act for this purpose?

Mr. Corfield

The point that I wish to make—and I am sure that this is in line with the general thought in the House—is that for the ordinary offence under the Litter Act £10 is probably an adequate penalty.

Mr. Elwyn Jones

Can the Minister say how many prosecutions have been brought under the Litter Act and what penalty, broadly speaking, has been imposed.

Mr. Corfield

That is another question. If the hon. and learned Gentleman will put it down I shall do my best to answer it.

Mr. David James

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the fact that the whole of England, from Loch Ness to Ditchling Beacon, is becoming increasingly nauseating, and that it is high time that either the existing Act were enforced or stiffer penalties were imposed?