asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the number of wife maintenance orders issued out of and still in operation within the City of Newcastle-on-Tyne; what is the number of these maintenance orders on which payment is now in arrears; and if he will circularise courts of summary jurisdiction drawing their attention to the power given them under paragraph 5 of Schedule 2 of the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1947, to enforce the payment of wife maintenance orders in courts adjacent to the residence of the husband in cases where husbands have left the town from which the maintenance order was originally issued.
The number of maintenance and guardianship of infants orders made by the Newcastle Justices in 1947 and 1948 which are still in operation is 430. Corresponding figures for previous years are not readily obtainable but about 80 per cent. of the total number of such orders, made by the Newcastle Justices and still in operation, are in arrears although in many cases the arrears involve quite small amounts only. The attention of clerks to Justices was drawn to the provisions of the Emergency Laws (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1947, to which my hon. Friend refers, in a circular dated 30th December, 1947.