§ Mr. Stokes
asked the Home Secretary whether his decision as to action to be taken on the advice of the advisory committee appointed to investigate cases of any person detained under Section 18B is made immediately on receipt of that recommendation; and how long generally elapses between the hearing of the appeal and the forwarding of the recommendation to the Home Office?
§ Mr. Peake
Immediately on the receipt by the Home Secretary of a recommendation from the advisory committee consideration is given to that recommendation, and in a large number of cases his decision can be given without delay. There are, however, cases in which it may be necessary for the Home Secretary to defer his decision for a time either because the decision on a particular case may affect a number of cases or for some other special reason. Decisions in these cases which may involve continued detention of persons for a long period cannot be given without the most careful consideration, but my right hon. Friend is anxious that there shall be no avoidable delay in dealing with such cases. As regards the interval between the hearing of a case by the committee and the submission of a report, if the committee is satisfied at the 1841W end of the hearing that they have all the necessary information, they submit a report forthwith. There are, however, cases where it may be necessary, as a result of the hearing, to collect further information and possibly to arrange a second hearing, and in such cases the committee are not in a position to submit a report until their inquiries are complete.