72. Mr. MacCALLUM SCOTT
asked the Home Secretary whether he has made inquiries as to the recent proceedings before the Loftus bench, which formed a Court at a private residence, tried a charge of attempted suicide, called evidence, discharged the defendant, and conducted the whole proceedings with the utmost secrecy, representatives of the Press being refused admittance; whether he can say what is the result of his inquiries; and whether he proposes to take any action to prevent discrimination between persons charged?
§ Mr. McKENNA
This was not the case of a criminal charge being heard, tried, determined and adjudged by justices within the meaning of Section 20 (7) of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879. The 37 justices were engaged under the Indictable Offences Act in considering whether a certain charge should be sent for trial or not, and for this purpose it is not necessary that they should sit in open Court (see Section 19 of the Indictable Offences Act, 1848). There does not appear to have been any discrimination between persons, or any occasion for action on my part in the matter.