MR. SWETENHAM&c) (Carnarvon,
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the divergent practice of Judges in allowing or disallowing a prisoner, who is defended by counsel, to make a statement to the jury in a capital or lesser case, some allowing it only to be made before counsel's address for the defence, and some, as in a recent ease, after a speech by counsel and evidence called for the defence, and some disallowing a written statement to be read, he will confer with the Lord Chancellor as to the desirability either of calling a meeting of Judges to decide upon a uniformity of practice, or of bringing in a Bill next Session to extend the practice prescribed by the Criminal Law Amendment Act to all indictable offences?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
Her Majesty's Government have both in this Session and the last introduced a Bill which would remedy the anomalies pointed out by my hon. and learned Friend, and, although various circumstances have delayed it so far, I hope the next Session it may be passed into law.