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Tenant's Imprisonment

Volume 244: debated on Tuesday 11 November 1930

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he is aware that Mr. James McMillan, of Bridgend, Renfrewshire, has been detained for four months in Greenock gaol without being brought to trial: and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

Mr. James McMillan has been confined in prison since the 16th June, 1930, for failure to implement a decree of the Paisley Sheriff Court, granted at the instance of the local authority, to quit a condemned cottage. The case is a civil one in which my right hon. Friend has no jurisdiction to intervene, but he is in communication with the local authority, inquiring as to what alternative accommodation is available to tenants of condemned houses.

Can I have an assurance from my right hon. Friend that he will use his influence with the local authorities to secure alternative accommodation for this father of a family of nine children and his wife, who at present are still living in a condemned house?

I am authorised by my right hon. Friend to say that he will certainly make representations on that point.

He was not detained upon any charge. What happened was that an order was made upon him to quit the house of which he was tenant. The order was made as far back as November, 1928. No attempt was made to enforce the order for 18 months, in order to give him ample time to obtain alternative accommodation. He failed to obey the order, and he is now in prison for disobedience to an order of the court.