HC Deb 20 May 1965 vol 712 cc273-4W
Mr. Abse

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that in proceedings under the Affiliation Act an accused man can protect himself from self-incrimination by refusing to give evidence and at the same time may procure witnesses to allege that any one of them may be the father of the child; and whether he will seek to amend the Affiliation Act so that the Swedish practice may be followed which enables all such witnesses to become by order of the court paying fathers.

Mr. George Thomas

There is power to issue a witness summons against a defendant in affiliation proceedings. From the enquiries my right hon. and learned Friend has made I understand that no practice of the kind described exists in Sweden. Such a practice formerly existed in Denmark, but was abandoned in 1961. There would in my right hon. and learned Friend's view be serious objections to introducing such a practice in this country.