§ MR. POWELL WILLIAMS (Birmingham, S.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the Charge delivered by the Lord Chief Justice to the Grand Jury at the recent Worcester Assizes, when his Lordship stated that he had ordered that certain prisoners who had been committed to Quarter Sessions should be tried at those Assizes, observing:—that Judges had now come generally to the opinion that prisoners should not be committed over the Assizes, and mentioning that, at a recent meeting of Queen's Bench Judges, they were unanimously of opinion that the lapse of time was one of the special circumstances which the Justices were justified in taking into account under the Assizes Relief Act; whether he will take steps to acquaint Magistrates throughout the Kingdom with this opinion of the Judges as to the meaning to be attached to the words "special reasons," in Section I of the Assizes Relief Act; and whether, in view of such opinion, he will bring in a Bill to repeal that Act?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I am in communication with the Lord Chief Justice, and have asked him to favour me with an authoritative statement of the view which he is alleged to have expressed to the 461 Grand Jury. When I receive his answer I will consider whether it is possible for me to take any, and what, action upon it.