Prostitution : annoyance and 40/= maximum : couldn't get law amended without an authoritative enquiry. Homosexuality. While crime generally has doubled, these offences have risen 41/2 times. Some think [existg] law shd. be limited to protn. of young and public indecency. I don't agree: homos. make a nuisance of themselves. But admit I can't account for this increase.
Tory Party won't want to accept responsibility for makg. law on homosexuality more lenient – or for maisons tolerées. But, w'out enquiry –
i) could we not limit publicity for homosexuality, as was done for divorce?
ii) persons convicted shd. have opportunity to apply for medical treatment.
.Otherwise, I wdn't touch the subject. Let it get worse – in hope of a more united public pressure for some amendment.
i) might be tried by Private Members Bill under 10 min. rule. The divorce legn. began on that basis.
There is also the case for amending law re prostitn. On that there is a case for enquiry.
London is a public scandal. Cd. we not try to deal with that, w'out enquiry. E.g. by increasing penalties.
Course i) wd. not command unqualified support. Some say tht. publicity is a deterrent. But you cd. get ques ventilated by such a Bill ; and Govt. cd. decide after discn. Winterton has suggd. motion in H/L. I have discouraged him for the time. But he will revert to it, if we don't make any statement.
Immedte. legn. Diffy. is tht. Women's Societies wd. make an issue of it. That's why I wanted to be strengthened by enquiry.
If it is thght tht. R.C. is too heavy, Dpt. Cttee. wd. meet me.
Confirmed tht. Woman's Societies wd. oppose any legn. – wh. they wd. represent as unfairness to women.
Let us turn it over in our minds and discuss again the ques of an enquiry.
Remember that we can't expect to put the whole world right with a majority of 18.
Taken from C.C. 11(54) - Meeting held on 24 February 1954.