§ Mr. T. Leadbitter
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will examine the possibility of assisting separated, deserted and divorced wives with children and mothers of 73W children entitled to an order made by the court with the collection of maintenance, with a view to removing hardship as the result of non-payment; and if he will consult the Chancellor of the Exchequer with a view to transferring the collection to the Department of Inland Revenue.
§ Mr. George Thomas
The enforcement of maintenance orders is a matter for the courts. They already have power to make an order for the payment of arrears, to make an order for the attachment of the defendant's income, to distrain on his property and, if necessary, to commit him to prison for nonpayment. I will consult my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer about the suggestion in the second part of the Question and will write to my hon. Friend thereafter.