The numbers of offences of driving or being in charge of a motor car while under the influence of drink or a drug dealt with by prosecution in Wales were: in 1947, 142; in 1948, 128; in 1949, 134; in 1950, 186. Statistics of findings of guilt are not kept on a geographical basis and I regret that I am, therefore, unable to say in how many of these cases the charge was proved.
No, Sir. I think we must recognise that there are degrees, even in this type of offence, serious as it is, and to impose that as an unavoidable penalty might involve us in doing injustice in certain cases.
Yes, Sir. I regret to say that that is so. There was another Question on the Paper today dealing with the problem of drunkenness, but the hon. was not here and I was not able to answer it.
Does my right hon. Friend consider that the collection of statistics on these convictions for motoring offences sufficiently takes into account the element of drunkenness as a cause of those offences? Is there not a need for reconsideration of the way in which statistics are compiled?
The statistics I have given to the House today relate to prosecutions of persons who were alleged by the prosecution to be so far under the influence of drink or drugs as to be incapable of driving a car.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the licensed trade are equally alarmed by this increase and are making their own investigations, and that they would be willing to co-operate with him?