16 JUNE 1961, Page 15


SIR, —It was heartening to see the penetrating article by R. A. Cline in your issue of May 26 in which criticism is made of contradictions in the effect of the law in relation to prostitution. May I add that the Street Offences Act, 1959, itself is in part so contradictory that it degenerates into-a paradox. The Act, Sejtion I (I), enacts inter alia that it is an offence for a common prostitute to loiter in a street for the purpose of prostitution. Now

(I) A common prostitute is a woman who habitu- ally performs acts of prostitution. (2) An act of prostitution in Britain is in itself a perfectly lawful act.

(3) To loiter in a street is in itself a perfectly law- ful act. Hence the Street Offences Act, 1959, enacts the paradox that it is an offence for a woman, who habitually performs perfectly lawful acts, to per- form a perfectly lawful act for the purpose of per- forming a perfectly lawful act.

It is time our legislators awoke to the realisation that they legislate for a great nation—not for a tribe of near-corrupt moral imbeciles. Laws today should inspire by the greatness of their charity and the brilliance of their intellect. Instead we find meanness and muddle.—Yours faithfully, *