HC Deb 05 June 1883 vol 279 cc1748-9

asked Mr. Attorney General, If he is satisfied that the conduct of the Public Prosecutor in regard to the question of the prosecution of Peter F. Taylor and E. S. Boynes was right, both in matter and in manner, and that the Public Prosecutor has, in this and other cases, sufficiently fulfilled the functions for which he was appointed under the provisions of 42 and 43 Vic. c. 22, and the rules made in accordance with that Statute; and, if he has received any additional information causing him to modify his statement that it was "difficult to disregard the presentment or recommendation made by the Grand Jury," since the Public Prosecutor has been permitted wholly to disregard that recommendation?


in reply, said, that, as regarded the first part of the Question, he hoped his lion. Friend would forgive him if he declined to express any opinion as to the "manner" of the Public Prosecutor in any individual case; but as to the substance of the Question, he had received an explanation from the Public Prosecutor, in reply to a letter which he had written, which was of such a nature that he saw no reason to interfere with the discretion which the Public Prosecutor had already exercised in the case in deciding that it was not a case in which he ought to conduct the prosecution. The whole matter of the performance of the duties of the office of Public Prosecutor was one of great delicacy, and his position was not of a very satisfactory nature. His right hon. and learned Friend the Home Secretary had already appointed a Departmental Committee to inquire into the position occupied by the Public Prosecutor, and to see whether any improvement could be made in that position, and to report to the House.


asked whether the Attorney General would lay on the Table a Return showing the number of applications made to the Public Prosecutor to interfere in criminal cases, and the result of such applications?


said, a Paper had already been printed which gave a good deal of information; but a Return of the applications—many hundreds in number—would involve great expense. There would be no objection, however, to present the general results of the action of the Public Prosecutor if a Return of them were moved for.