HC Deb 17 February 1904 vol 130 c16
SIR THOMAS DEWAR (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

I beg to ask Mr. Solicitor-General whether he is aware that the Recorder, when dealing with the case of a prisoner brought before him at the Old Bailey on the 9th instant, stated that in his opinion the Poor Prisoners' Act did not clearly show that the prisoner was entitled to the services of both a solicitor and counsel, and, in the circumstances, he gave instructions for a counsel to be employed direct on behalf of the prisoner without reference to a solicitor; and, if so, will he state whether he proposes to take action in the matter.


The Question does not accurately represent what was said by the Recorder on the occasion referred to. The Recorder stated that as no solicitors had, at the Old Bailey, expressed their willingness to defend poor prisoners under the Act of last session he was unable to assign a solicitor, but that he had come to the conclusion that he was entitled to assign counsel and he accordingly did so. The rules proposed by the Attorney-General in pursuance of the Act, and which have been laid upon the Table of the House, make provision for the employment of both solicitor and counsel.