HC Deb 23 March 1972 vol 833 cc1658-9
12. Mr. David James

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will seek powers to make the planting of explosives, attempted or actual political assassination and the hijacking of aircraft treasonable offences.

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir. The criminal law already deals adequately with these matters.

Mr. James

Is my right hon. Friend aware that treason was first defined in the reign of Edward III in 1350 and that the law was amended in 1795 to include: The use of force to make the King change his counsels…".

Hon. Members


Mr. James

I am quoting from a Statute—

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Member is destroying himself, because he is not allowed to do that.

Mr. James

The amended law also included the offence of intimidating Members of either or both Houses of Parliament. Does my right hon. Friend not feel that the crimes to which I have referred all fall within that category?

Mr. Maudling

The penalty for murder, attempted murder or hijacking and causing an explosion which is likely to endanger life or property is already life imprisonment—the highest penalty known to the law.

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