(4) The Minister may make Rules regulating the procedure of any Court of Inquiry, including Rules as to summoning of witnesses, quorum, and the appointment of committees.
(5) A Court of Inquiry may, if and to such extent as may be authorised by Rules made under this Section, by Order require any person who appears to the Court to have any knowledge of the subject-matter of the inquiry to furnish, in writing or otherwise, such particulars in relation thereto as the Court may require, and, where necessary, to attend before the Court and give evidence on oath, and the Court may administer or authorise any person to administer an oath for that purpose.
§ Sir R. HORNE
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (4), to insert the wordsand enabling the Court to call for such documents as the Court may determine to be relevant to the subject-matter of the inquiry.In the course of the discussion in Committee two nights ago we found it impossible to arrange that Orders should be given for the production of documents, because that might involve the overloading of the Court with many documents which might be wholly irrelevant to the subject. At that time I gave a pledge that I would devise a form of words against the Report stage which might meet the wishes of the Committee. These are the words, which I now propose. I think they will entirely meet the whole object which the various 464 Members who spoke desired should be secured in the way of the production of documents.
§ Mr. W. THORNE
Before that is put, I should like to ask the Minister of Labour whether, in the event of any witness being subæpened and documents called for, and the official of the organisation refusing to supply those documents, he will be in any way penalised for refusing?
§ Sir R. HORNE
I think the hon. Member will recall that, on the motion of hon. Members upon the benches where he sits, the compulsory Clause with regard to that matter was omitted. I gave way upon that matter to the opinion of the Labour benches; so I am afraid he cannot complain now if he does not find compulsion included.
§ Mr. THORNE
Do I understand that witnesses can be subpæened and documents called for? In that event, will a man be penalised if he refuses to come?
§ Amendment agreed to.