HC Deb 03 April 1922 vol 152 c1819
23. Mr. KILEY

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to state if any alterations are being adopted by the Committees under the Safeguarding of Industries Act to shorten the proceedings; and whether he is prepared to adopt the suggestion made by Sir Arthur Colefax, K.C., that examination and cross-examination by witnesses should be permitted in preference to allowing statements to be made, upon which witnesses cannot be examined, and the postponement of meetings of the Committee to enable rebutting evidence to be collected, which often entails a delay of many days and involves heavy expenses on the parties interested?


I am satisfied that the Committees are fully alive to the importance of completing their inquiries as rapidly as is consistent with a full examination of the questions referred to them, and I doubt very much whether the adoption of the suggestion referred to in the second part of the question would operate in the direction of reducing expense or of shortening the proceedings before the Committees.


Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that when a witness makes a statement that this necessitates a delay, very often of one or two weeks, to enable rebutting evidence to be brought forward to contradict the statement made, whereas counsel could put questions and get the information on the spot?


I think, as a general rule, that if you omit "weeks" and substitute "days," that would be a correct statement.

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