HC Deb 26 June 1969 vol 785 cc1700-1
37. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department in view of the fall in the value of money, and the higher wages and salaries that are being earned, if he will introduce legislation to increase five-fold the maximum fines which can be imposed for all crimes in all courts.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Elystan Morgan)

No, Sir. There is ordinarily no limit to the amount of a fine that may be imposed by a higher court on conviction on indictment. The Criminal Justice Act, 1967, quadrupled the maximum fine which a magistrates' court may impose for an indictable offence tried summarily and, following an extensive review of penalties fixed by earlier Statutes, increased many maximum fines for summary offences.

Sir C. Osborne

I did not ask about the higher courts. I was asking about the lower courts where the vast majority of—[HON. MEMBERS: "Make yourself clear."]—where the vast majority of petty crimes are tried and where magistrates impose penalties by fines. Since these fines were fixed many years ago, will the hon. Gentleman look at them again?

Mr. Morgan

The hon. Gentleman may have failed to understand my reply. That is covered by Section 43 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1967.