HC Deb 13 November 1980 vol 992 c612
20. Mr. Arthur Davidson

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to how many persons he has granted bail under the terms of the Imprisonment (Temporary Provisions) Act 1980.

Mr. Whitelaw

None, Sir.

Mr. Davidson

Is that because of the right hon. Gentleman's understandable reluctance to use these arbitrary powers or because the courts have been more generous in granting bail as a result of the overcrowding in prisons; or is it a combination of the two?

Mr. Whitelaw

My hon. Friend the Minister of State gave an undertaking to the House that we would use those powers only in exceptional circumstances. They have not arisen. The number of people in police cells remains the same, at about 3,500. We have had the advantage of the Army-type prisons at Frank-land and Rollestone, and therefore I have not had need to use these powers, and I hope that I shall not have need to use them because I hope that the dispute will soon be settled.