HC Deb 09 March 1910 vol 14 c1451

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the fact that during the proceedings in the recent trial of Rex v. Crosland a witness was allowed to write a certain name upon a piece of paper and that such name was then handed to the judge, but was withheld from the jury; and whether he will consider the advisableness of introducing legislation making it obligatory that the jury shall be acquainted with the contents of all documents used in the course of a trial?

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL (Sir William Robson)

It is not improper for the Court to allow the name of a person who is not a party to the case to be written down, instead of being mentioned in open court, until it can be seen whether or not the name or identity of that person is material or not to any issue in the case. That was what was done in the case of Rex v. Crosland. Later on in the case the matter in connection with which the name was written was gone into, and the name was then given in open court. Such a matter is best left to the discretion of the presiding judge, and I see no occasion for legislation in the matter.