§ 22. Mr. George Cunningham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the effect of inflation on the value of the maximum fine for breaches of a closing order as originally introduced in 1919 and 1923.
§ Mr. Amery
The maximum penalty prescribed for letting premises in contravention of a closing order is a fine of £20 and £5 a day for a continuing offence after conviction. For a period of, say, three months the latter fine could amount to £455. The value of the £ today compared with 1919 is 29p and with 1923 23p.
§ Mr. Cunningham
Is the Minister aware that an Amendment to bring these fines into line with the demands of present-day money values was introduced to the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Lords by Lord Stow Hill but was rejected purely on the ground that that Bill was a Home Office Bill and not a Department of the Environment Bill? Particularly bearing in mind that the Government accepted an Amendment to increase fines for harassment in that Bill, is the right hon. Gentleman able to explain why, on a purely procedural ground, that sensible Amendment was refused?