§ Mr. Elystan Morgan
Clause 4 of the Children and Young Persons Bill, at present before the House, proposes that children under 14 should not be prosecuted save for homicide. If this provision becomes law, there will be no central criminal record of offences committed by children under 14. My right hon. Friend has no plans for legislation in this connection in regard to children over 14.
§ Dr. Gray
Will my hon. Friend look again at the question of young people over 14? Does not he think it is desirable, when such young people have offended only once and have paid for their misdemeanour or crime, that all records of it should be removed, so that it is not brought up in the course of their adult lives?
§ Mr. Morgan
These are confidential records, and it would be proper for my hon. Friend to remember that 80 per cent. of all finger-print identifications concern young people under 20. I am sure that my hon. Friend does not intend that records of a serious crime committed just before a child reaches the age of majority should be destroyed as soon as he reaches that age.