HC Deb 01 April 1912 vol 36 cc864-5

asked whether the Home Secretary's attention has been drawn to the long delays that often occur between committal by magistrates for trial at the Assizes and the holding of the Assize, with the result that many prisoners afterwards acquitted have been kept in prison for several weeks; and whether he can see his way to reduce these delays by arranging for more frequent Assizes or any other method?


I have communicated with the Lord Chancellor in regard to this matter. He is aware that cases of delay-do occur, but he informs me that there are serious difficulties hi the way of increasing the number of Assizes. The Home Office has frequently called the attention of magistrates to the importance of allowing bail in the case of persons committed for trial at Assizes whenever the circumstances permit.


May I ask whether a delay of three months between committal to the Assizes and the time of trial is not a breach of the plain declaration of the Sovereign that justice will not be delayed?


It seems rather a long delay, but I cannot say that it is a breach of the Order.