§ 20. Sir A. Wilson
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that many of the complaints made in official reports and elsewhere as to the manner in which justices of the peace and their clerks perform their duties are traceable to the fact that for many years past no attempt has been made to modernise by amendment and consolidation the Summary Jurisdiction, Vagrancy, Game, Highway, Borstal Detention, and other Acts which they administer or to issue in convenient form a compilation of Home Office circulars to magistrates; and whether he proposes to initiate special steps to expedite this work?
§ Sir J. Simon
Such criticisms as have been made of the work of the courts of summary jurisdiction appear to have no 412 connection with the desirability, on grounds of convenience, of consolidating the Statutes to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. The desirability is recognised of pressing on with the programme of consolidation so far as the time of Parliament and the Government Departments permits., and various Consolidating Acts have been passed in recent years. As regards amendments of the law relating to the procedure of the courts of summary jurisdiction, the Alloney Payments Act was passed in 1935, and this Session a Bill introduced. by my hon. Friend the Member for Penryn (Mr. Petherick) relating to domestic proceedings has been passed by this House and will, if it receives approval in another place, effect a valuable measure of reform. I am dealing, in reply to other questions, which my hon. and gallant. Friend has put down for Written Answer, with the subjects of the law relating to Borstal sentences and of Home Office circulars to magistrates.