HC Deb 18 December 1980 vol 996 c538
6. Mr. Lawrence

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is satisfied that the public are adequately protected from pornography; what changes in the law he is contemplating; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brittan

Few of us, I think, are entirely satisfied with the present law on this subject, but there is no general agreement on how it should be changed. We are giving further thought to the matter in the light of the recommendations made by the Williams committee on obscenity and film censorship and public reaction to its report.

Mr. Lawrence

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that there is still great public concern at the unacceptable level of pornography in our society and that many people look to the Conservative Government to do something about it? Although the legislative programme will be very full, will he at least make a start by giving a fair wind to any Private Member's Bill which seeks to do something about pornographic display?

Mr. Brittan

I accept that there is public concern on this matter, and I understand it. Obviously, we must wait and see the terms of any Bill which is introduced, but in principle I would not be opposed to any such development.

Mr. Sainsbury

Does my hon. and learned Friend agree that the Williams committee said that the majority of those who gave evidence to it were particularly concerned about public display and that there is, therefore, a stronger case for acting on that front than there is for acting on any of the other proposals in the Williams report?

Mr. Brittan

The committee said that, but it also pointed out that display was not the sole source of the problem.

Mr. William Hamilton

Does the Minister regard page 3 of The Sun as pornographic?

Mr. Brittan

I do not always see it.