HC Deb 18 March 1964 vol 691 cc1358-9
11. Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons in Scotland in the last 12 months have, under the First Offenders Act, been held in prison pending consideration of sentence; and how many thereafter have not been given a custodial sentence.

Lady Tweedsmuir

My right hon. Friend regrets that this information could not be obtained without undue labour. Relevant information will be obtained from the investigation which the Lord Advocate and my right hon. Friend are undertaking into remands in custody.

Mr. Ross

Does not the hon. Lady appreciate that the labour would be well worth while if it threw some light on the statistics which have caused considerable concern in Scotland and apprised the law officers of that concern?

I should like to say at this point how much I personally regret the resignation of the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries (Mr. D. C. Anderson) from the office of Solicitor-General for Scotland on grounds of ill-health and to express the hope that he will make a speedy recovery.

Lady Tweedsmuir

I am sure that my hon. and learned Friend will appreciate the hon. Gentleman's remarks.

It is hoped to have the figures of the investigation analysed by the end of next month.

Sir T. Moore

Will my hon. Friend ensure that, as far as possible in any case, no first offender is ever sent to prison while awaiting sentence or even while awaiting admission to Borstal?

Lady Tweedsmuir

That is hardly my responsibility.