HC Deb 09 August 1972 vol 842 c1716
22. Mr. George Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the effect of inflation on the value of the maximum fine for breaches of a closing order as originally introduced in 1919 and 1923.

Mr. Amery

The maximum penalty prescribed for letting premises in contravention of a closing order is a fine of £20 and £5 a day for a continuing offence after conviction. For a period of, say, three months the latter fine could amount to £455. The value of the £ today compared with 1919 is 29p and with 1923 23p.

Mr. Cunningham

Is the Minister aware that an Amendment to bring these fines into line with the demands of present-day money values was introduced to the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Lords by Lord Stow Hill but was rejected purely on the ground that that Bill was a Home Office Bill and not a Department of the Environment Bill? Particularly bearing in mind that the Government accepted an Amendment to increase fines for harassment in that Bill, is the right hon. Gentleman able to explain why, on a purely procedural ground, that sensible Amendment was refused?

Mr. Amery

The hon. Gentleman is wrong. As I understand it, the Amendment was not rejected but was withdrawn by Lord Stow Hill in view of an undertaking given by my noble Friend Lord Colville that the Government would consider the point made in the Amendment.

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