HC Deb 18 March 1970 vol 798 c374
15. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what research is being done into the part played by consumption of alcohol in crimes of violence; and what approaches have been made to him by the Scottish distillers and brewers to help finance such research.

13. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what research is being conducted by his Department into the relationship of the consumption of alcohol as a contributory factor in the commission of crimes and offences including crimes of violence.

Mr. Buchan

Several criminological studies, current and prospective, in Scotland will take the effects of alcohol into account. There is an established and significant link betwen intoxication and crimes of violence and I doubt if this by itself would be a useful area of research. I do not know of any initiative by brewers or distillers in this field.

Mr. Hamilton

We are all glad that there was a reduction in crimes of violence in 1969 compared with 1968. However, is my hon. Friend aware that last year the profits of the Distillers Company Ltd. were nearly £53 million? Does he not think that that company would show some sense of social responsibility if it devoted a little of that profit to research into this problem?

Mr. Buchan

Yes, I think that all of us who are involved in this matter know that there is a direct link between the two. I cannot speak about the moral responsibility of others, but I am aware of the strong link between the consumption of alcohol in our cities and the incidence of violence.