HC Deb 04 December 1967 vol 755 cc232-3W
Mr. Hamling

asked the Attorney-General how many prosecutions have taken place under the Obscene Publications Act in the last two years; how many prosecutions have taken place involving the publication of obscene matter under other legal provisions; and which legal provisions have been involved in these cases.

The Attorney-General

Since the beginning of 1966, there have been 121 prosecutions under the Obscene Publications Acts, 1959 and 1964, including 2 cases of aiding and abetting; 23 prosecutions under the Post Office Act, 1953; 1 prosecution under the Vagrancy Act, 1938; and 23 prosecutions for the common law offence of conspiracy involving obscene publications. I understand that in only one case during this period has it been pleaded by the defendant, under section 4 of the Obscene Publications Act, 1959, that the publication of the article in question was justified as being for the public good on the ground that it was in the interests of science, literature, art or learning, or of other objects of general concern.