HC Deb 29 November 1920 vol 135 cc961-3W

asked the Home Secretary what is the total amount expended on and in connection with building or altering, or adapting for the purpose, the premises now in use in London for Juvenile Courts; and what is the estimated expense which would be entailed in providing or obtaining the use of other buildings for Juvenile Courts in London?

Captain BOWYER

asked the Home Secretary what is the amount of money which has been expended up to date in the provision of Children's Courts in London; and what is the estimated total expenditure which will be incurred under the Juvenile Courts (Metropolis) Bill if and when it is passed?


No new buildings have been erected in the Metropolitan Police Court district for the purpose of Juvenile Courts. At Greenwich and Woolwich, when the Police Courts were being rebuilt, the opportunity was taken to add a room for the Juvenile Court, at a cost in each case of about £1,000; and at the South-Western Police Court a new room was added at a cost of about £600. At the other six Courts existing accommodation was used with, in some instances, small alterations, the cost of which was inconsiderable. It is not expected that the Bill will cause any appreciable increase in the cost of Juvenile Courts.


asked the Home Secretary the date and the approximate cost of rebuilding Marlborough Street Police Court, and the cost and date of the construction of the different Juvenile Police Courts in the Metropolis, stating in what cases, if any, new Courts were built for the purpose?


The rebuilding of Marlborough Street Police Court was completed in 1914 at a total cost, including site, of approximately £31,400. No Children's Court is or has been held at Marlborough Street. No new Courts have been built for the purpose of Juvenile Courts. In two cases, that is, Greenwich (1910) and Woolwich (1912), a special room and other accommodation was provided when the Courts were being built at a cost of approximately £l,000 in each case, and in one case (South. Western) similar accommodation was provided at a cost of £600. In the other six cases existing accommodation has been used with, in some instances, a few small alterations.

Sir J. D. REES

asked the Home Secretary whether he will communicate to the House the unanimous resolution he received from the London magistrates on the subject of the Juvenile Courts (Metropolis) Bill?


The resolution runs as follows:—The Magistrates of the Police Courts of the Metropolis present at a meeting of their body held on Friday, 23rd July, 1920, desire to place on record:

  1. (1) Their belief that the system under which Juvenile Courts have been carried on in the Metropolis has worked satisfactorily in the past, and is giving present satisfaction.
  2. (2) Their opinion that any interference with the principle that a Magistrate of the Police Courts of the Metropolis sitting at a Police Court within the Metropolitan Police District shall have full power to do alone whatsoever is authorised to be done by any, one or more Justice or Justices 'would not be in the interests of the public as a whole.
  3. (3) That while unanimously disapproving of any change in the existing arrangements, they are of opinion that if the Legislature decides that women Justices should have some share in dealing with cases of young persons and children brought before the Courts, the best system would be that such cases should in future be dealt with in the existing Police Court 963 areas at Special Juvenile Courts composed of a Metropolitan Magistrate (who should be President of the Court) and one Woman Justice.
  4. (4) That as the argument in favour of the proposed innovation is that women are specially qualified by reason of their sex to take part in the work of the Juvenile Courts, the Magistrates are unanimously of opinion that the addition of a male lay Justice is unnecessary and would make the working of the Courts more cumbrous; and they would suggest that in the event of a difference of opinion, the decision of the President should prevail.
  5. (5) That on the question whether the proposed Courts should be held in the existing Juvenile Courts, or in buildings wholly distinct from the ordinary Police Courts, they were divided in opinion."
It should be observed that this Resolution was passed before the Bill was amended in the House of Lords. The Amendments were introduced after the Lord Chancellor and I had discussed the provisions of the Bill with a representative deputation of the societies interested in delinquent children and children's Courts.

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