Results 41–60 of 1533 for speaker:Sir George Benson

Business of the House (23 Jul 1959)

Sir George Benson: I do not know whether it would be in order to revert to the matter of Sir Roger Casement, but may I ask the Home Secretary whether he is aware that we have had a copy of the diaries in the Library?

Orders of the Day — Comptroller and Auditor General (Salary) (12 May 1959)

Sir George Benson: I cannot allow this occasion to pass, even at this late hour, without saying a few words. It is now thirty years since I first became a Member of the Public Accounts Committee, and the Comptroller and Auditor General is the guide, philosopher and friend of that Committee. He sits with the Committee and, as the oldest Member of that Committee, it is fitting that I should say a few words....

Orders of the Day — Queen's Speech: Debate on the Address (31 Oct 1958)

Sir George Benson: One hon. Member opposite suggested that we should not get too technical and should not deal so much in statistics. I shall have to plead guilty to doing so because my view is that we are discussing a highly technical subject, and that among the most effective tools we have for understanding the problem is statistical analysis. The hon. and gallant Member for Dorset, North (Colonel R. H....

Orders of the Day — Queen's Speech: Debate on the Address (31 Oct 1958)

Sir George Benson: I beg the hon. and gallant Gentleman's pardon. I misheard him. Certainly, robbery with violence represents a very small proportion of the total number of robbery crimes. Eighty per cent. of first offenders do not offend again. Our problem, therefore, is to learn how to identify, as early as possible, the 20 per cent. who are likely to recidivate. In the case of habitual offenders there is an...

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill: Clause 1. — (Restriction on Imprisonment of First Offenders.) (20 Jun 1958)

Sir George Benson: I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment. The Amendment is aimed at eliminating any reference to the subsequent proceedings relating to non-payment of a fine. It is an agreed Amendment. It was put on the Notice Paper in another place by arrangement to meet a valid point which had been raised privately with me. As the Bill stood, considerable trouble...

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill: Clause 1. — (Restriction on Imprisonment of First Offenders.) (20 Jun 1958)

Sir George Benson: I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill: Clause 1. — (Restriction on Imprisonment of First Offenders.) (20 Jun 1958)

Sir George Benson: He cannot be sent to prison unless he has failed to meet the penalty imposed upon him. I am not quite sure whether that answers my right hon. Friend or not, but the court must have previously imposed a monetary penalty, whether damages, costs or compensation, and the offender must have failed to meet the court's requirements. Thereafter, under the Bill, he can be sent to prison without any...

Orders of the Day — Clause 33. — (Constitution of County Boroughs: Presumption as to Size.) ( 7 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: I am not sure whether the word "disingenuous" is a Parliamentary expression. If it is, I must say that I have never heard a more disingenuous speech from the Dispatch Box than the speech we have just heard from the Minister. He tried to make the point that there was nothing in the Bill to prevent the Commission from granting county borough status where there was a population of 75,000. Does...

Orders of the Day — Clause 33. — (Constitution of County Boroughs: Presumption as to Size.) ( 7 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: May I ask the Minister if he is really suggesting to the House that the Commission would, in view of this phraseology, be prepared to recommend 75,000? He is playing with words.

Orders of the Day — Institute of Criminology ( 7 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: I am extremely glad that the hon. Member for Belfast, North (Mr. Hyde) has raised this matter. The present position is that practically the whole of our penal methods and our treatment of delinquency are based on either tradition or guesswork. There is scarcely any precise knowledge. Our penal system, the courts, and the depredations of criminals must cost the country a considerable sum each...

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill ( 2 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: May I deal, first, with the point about fines which the Joint Under-Secretary of State has just raised. I will certainly arrange for the reference to fines to be deleted. The purpose of the Bill is to make magistrates think twice, and if there is default in payment of a fine, they have to think not only twice but three times, because I understand that they have to consider the question of...

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill ( 2 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: I was about to mention the age group in which a decrease had not taken place—the 17 to 21 age group. This happens to be the age group which was affected by Section 17 of the Criminal Justice Act, but if hon. Members look at the criminal statistics they will find that that increase in crime did not take place until 1956, eight years after Section 17 came into operation. Section 17, which cut...

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill ( 2 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: I was merely pointing out that the casual reference to an increase in juvenile delinquency and an increase in crime is to an increase which does not apply to post-war years. If hon. Members want to find a datum line from which there has been an increase, they must go back to 1938.

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill ( 2 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: I do not know how to reform anybody, and I strongly suspect that nobody else knows either.

Orders of the Day — First Offenders Bill ( 2 May 1958)

Sir George Benson: Under this very small Bill I cannot go into the whole question of our penal system. I could argue with the hon. and learned Gentleman outside the House with pleasure but it would be out of order here. I could not give any satisfactory answer to the fundamental question why people cease to become criminals. All we know is that the very large number of claims that are made that the severe...

Protection of Children (Sexual Offences) ( 3 Mar 1958)

Sir George Benson: I was interested in the figures given by the Joint Under-Secretary as to the number of people who are seeking psychiatric treatment in prison. I think he said there were 56 in 1945 and 48 in 1956—

Protection of Children (Sexual Offences) ( 3 Mar 1958)

Sir George Benson: That is a very small number, but I think that everybody who has studied the problem knows that psychiatric treatment in prison is still largely in the experimental stage. The hon. Gentleman said that Her Majesty's Government could not instruct courts on what to do. That is true; courts are independent, but I am not sure that Her Majesty's Government have not the right to point out to courts...

First Offenders (12 Feb 1958)

Sir George Benson: I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to restrict the imprisonment of first offenders. The purpose of this proposed small Bill is to amend Section 17 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1948. The Section laid down that before a court might send an adolescent to prison it must first examine and consider all alternative methods. There was no limitation whatsoever of the power. There...

Orders of the Day — Exchequer and Audit Departments Bill ( 9 Jul 1957)

Sir George Benson: The right hon. and learned Member for Kensington, South (Sir P. Spens) has overlooked the fact that a Resolution of the House can only increase the salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General and cannot decrease it. In fact, it makes it easier for us to reward him. I cannot allow the Bill to go through merely with a formal speech, for the Comptroller and Auditor General is essentially the...

Orders of the Day — Exchequer and Audit Departments Bill ( 9 Jul 1957)

Sir George Benson: Yes, that is so, because it is this House which is responsible for finance in this country. He is not the servant of the Government. He is the servant of this House and of the back bencher. I do not think that anyone can realise how important are the functions of the Comptroller and Auditor General unless he has spent some time in the Public Accounts Committee. As a member of that Committee,...


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