HC Deb 05 December 1985 vol 88 cc420-1
16. Mr. Sackville

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the progress of the Government's campaign against drug misuse.

Mr. Mellor

The next stage in our continuing education and information campaign, which is now being independently evaluated, will be the release shortly of video packages for professionals and young people. We are continuing to give the highest priority to our comprehensive strategy against drug misuse, and will shortly be introducing our Bill to confiscate the proceeds of drug trafficking.

Mr. Sackville

Is my hon. Friend aware that last year a sum of £300,000 was forfeited to Greater Manchester police on the conviction of two drug traffickers and that that money is still frozen? Will he give an assurance that the legislation that is introduced will not produce a legal bunfight, but will be workable, and that money forfeited will reach the public purse?

Mr. Mellor

It would be a rash Minister who said that any piece of forthcoming legislation would avoid a legal bunfight. In so far as it is possible to do so, we shall use our best endeavours to that end.

Mr. Corbett

Given the increasing misuse of hard drugs, will the Home Office increase, or decrease, the amount of money presently provided to some of the voluntary agencies that help with rehabilitation?

Mr. Mellor

As the hon. Gentleman knows, £17 million has been allocated for that purpose and 143 organisations have been supported, of which 60 come from the voluntary sector. I expect that my right hon. Friend the Minister for Health will have more to say on that before too long.

Mr. Meadowcroft

Is the Minister aware that many of the voluntary groups that are doing excellent work with drug addicts find that their future is threatened by the abolition of the metropolitan counties and the GLC? What representations has he made to his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment to secure the funding of these groups after 1 April?

Mr. Mellor

I do not accept the premise on which the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is based.