§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that three boys, two aged 16 years and one aged 15 years, were sentenced at Old Street and Thames police court, on 31st March, to 443W one month's imprisonment, although no previous charge had been made against any of them and no preliminary inquiries were made by the probation officer, and no remand was made for inquiry into the home and other conditions; and whether he will take steps to make better provision both for the probation service and for approved schools or other training centres for young offenders?
§ Mr. LLOYD
My right hon. Friend has ascertained from the Juvenile Court concerned that after full discussion they came to the conclusion that the best course was to order the detention for one month in prison of the three boys, who on the evidence before them were in no sense first offenders but had carried out on successive Sundays a series of deliberate and carefully planned warehouse-breakings involving more than £160 in cash and goods. The court accepted evidence as to their previous good character and were satisfied that their delinquency was in no way due to bad homes, bad parents or bad environment. The boys were remanded for one week, and information relating to them was furnished by the local authority and the prosecution. The question of the probation service generally is being considered in the light of the recent report of the Departmental Committee, and as to approved schools I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 16th March to the hon. Member for Upton (Mr. Gardner).