MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Honour, Judge Seymour, stated publicly in the County Court at Hexham, on the 7th inst.:—That he had heard since the 1st of October last more deliberate perjury in the County Court than during a lifelong career in Civil and Criminal Courts in Assize in London;whether Judge Chalmers, of Birmingham Court, also recently declared publicly his conviction that the atmosphere of the court was steeped in perjury, and that he wentHome occasionally absolutely in despair as to whether he had been doing justice or injustice, owing to "the terrible amount of hard absolute lying that occurs in that court:and whether he will introduce some measure to check the perjury that is thus officially stated to be prevalent in England?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS, Birmingham, E.)
I have no information as to what was said by Judge Seymour; but I am informed by Jndge Chalmers that he did make a statement in the sense of the words quoted, and that he was alluding especially to petty cases in his urban County Court. In the more important cases above £20 he stated that there is a marked decrease of perjury, and in his country districts there is a distinctly higher respect for truth. I am not prepared to introduce legislation on the subject. The law provides already an adequate punishment for perjury, ranging from imprisonment up to seven years' penal servitude.