HC Deb 15 May 1877 vol 234 cc1013-4

Bill considered in Committee.


explained that the object of the Bill was to enable an " assistant barrister" to be appointed to assist the Recorder for four days at a time, instead of two, as now, and also to enable the Corporation of the town where he was appointed to vote his remuneration for a whole year, instead of, as now, session by session.


moved the following clause:—

(Notice to jurymen not to attend sessions when there are no prisoners to be tried.)

"When the clerk of the peace or other official acting in that capacity for any corporate city or town for which there is a Court of Quarter Sessions shall ascertain on the day next preceding the day on which the said Quarter Sessions are about to be held that there is not any prisoner waiting for trial at such Quarter Sessions, he shall thereupon notify the fact, in writing under his hand, to the members of the grand jury and the petty jury who have been summoned to attend at such Quarter Sessions, and shall in and by such notice inform them that their attendance will not be required."

In some "moral" boroughs and cities this happy state of things occurred frequently, and it was not necessary to summon Grand Juries and Petty Juries to see the Recorder presented with a pair of white gloves.


supported the clause, as the Recorder of a moral city (Durham), where more than once there had been no prisoners for trial.


opposed the clause, because Grand Juries liked to see their Recorder, whether there was anything to do or not.


objected to the clause, because anyone had a right to go before the Grand Jury with a bill, but urged that it should be postponed, in the absence of the Attorney General, until the Report.


replied that the right was so seldom exercised and was so contrary to the tendency of recent legislation that it might very well be required that two or three days' notice should be given.


supported the clause. In Ireland, when it was known that no prisoners were to be tried, Grand Jurymen paid the fine of £2 rather than take the trouble of going to the sessions for no purpose whatever.


consented to defer the new clause until the Report.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered upon Friday 1st June.