HC Deb 21 July 1890 vol 347 cc339-40
MR. G. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a case decided by the Justices in Petty Sessions at Colwyn Bay, on the 5th July, in which the defendant was fined 1s. and costs, and it was sought to include in such costs a fee of 5s. for interpreting the evidence of a Welsh witness, the Clerk to the Magistrates stating that it was the practice to charge that fee when the services of an interpreter were required; whether the Magistrates expressed their disapproval of the practice, on the ground that it was equivalent to punishing a man because the witnesses were Welshmen, and disallowed the charge; and whether, if the practice be as stated, he could take any steps to put a stop to it in future?


Yes, Sir; the Secretary of State has seen a newspaper report, from which he gathers that the facts are as stated in the first and second paragraphs. The practice which prevails in the Metropolitan Police Courts is that the cost of an interpreter whose intervention is necessary to prove the case is paid out of the Police Court fund. The Secretary of State is now in communication with the Justices, with the view of removing any grievance from which Welsh witnesses may suffer in this respect.