HC Deb 31 March 1890 vol 343 cc289-90

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the statement of Mr. Justice Denman, at Chelmsford on Friday 21st March, that the Assize Court was in such an insanitary state as to be a perfect disgrace, and dangerous to Judges, counsel, and prisoners, and, further, to the similar comments made by Mr. Justice Smith and Mr. Justice Wills, on Thursday 27th March at Cardiff, as to the sickening smells in the Assize Court at Cardiff; whether attention was drawn by the Departmental Committee two years ago to the insanitary condition of these Courts; and whether he will take immediate steps, by representations to the Local Authority or otherwise, to have these and other Courts which may have been similarly complained of put into a proper sanitary condition?


Yes, Sir. The learned Judge has called my attention to the state of the Court at Chelmsford; but I have not seen the comments referred to as to the Cardiff Court. The duty of providing a proper Court-house and accommodation for prisoners awaiting trial rests with the Local Authorities. In consequence of the Report of the Committee of 1886, I made strong representations to all the Local Autho- rities throughout the country, including-those of Chelmsford and Cardiff. At Cardiff many improvements have been made. With regard to Chelmsford, I again in July last asked the Justices to take the earliest opportunity of giving effect to the recommendations of the Committee. I am now making further inquiry with regard to both places.