§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the 4,800 untried and unconvicted prisoners incarcerated in British prisons on 31 January had been in prison for periods between one to three months, three to six months, six months to one year and more than one year; and whether, in pursuance of his policy of reducing pressure within prisons, he will release these people, rather than release or shorten sentences of convicted criminals.
§ Mr. Mayhew
We shall reply to the hon. Member's request for figures as soon as possible. My right hon.174W
Friend has no intention, at this stage, of asking Parliament to bring into force any of the powers conferred upon him by the Imprisonment (Temporary Provisions) Act 1980. If, at some stage, emergency powers became necessary, the particular powers that he might wish to exercise—for example, to direct the release of unsentenced prisoners in accordance with section 3 of the Act, or sentenced prisoners in accordance with section 5—would depend upon the circumstances obtaining at the time.