(1) Provision may be made by Order in Council under this Act—
(e) for making such adaptations in any enactments as are necessary for giving full effect to- this Act.
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1, e), to insert a new paragraph—(f) for requiring that every juror on being empanelled shall take the oath prescribed in the Second Schedule hereto, and that any person who violates such oath shall, on conviction before a court of summary jurisdiction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five pounds.The object I have in view is to give the Home Secretary an opportunity of adopting the suggestion made by a learned judge not long ago. A few weeks ago in a notorious case an enterprising journalist managed to extract in the form of an interview some matter which was very interesting from the journalistic standpoint, but in my judgment an interview of that sort amounted to nothing short of a grave impropriety. It will be recollected that when the trial to which I have alluded was over, and the prisoner had been sentenced to death, this journalist interviewed the foreman of the jury and obtained intimate details of what transpired in the jury room while the jury were considering their finding. He went into such details as that they spent just three minutes in coming to a decision, and, with a certain amount of levity, indicated what their views were on certain matters relevant and irrelevant to the case. In the meantime, although they came to their decision in a few minutes, the foreman said, "Let us have a smoke," and for 45 minutes, while the unfortunate prisoner was awaiting the verdict of the jury to know whether he was to have or 2124 to lose his life, the jurymen smoked. I have no objection to jurymen or anyone else smoking for 45 minutes or 45 hours, but I strongly object to the public being informed, after a grave case of that sort, that the jury had conducted their proceedings in that manner. It will be within the knowledge of hon. Members that two very eminent judges in the Court of Appeal, commenting, not on this case but on another case, animadverted on the conduct of the foreman of the jury and made certain suggestions. They passed very severe strictures on the foreman for his conduct, and only a few days ago Mr. Justice Darling, who presided at the trial to which I have alluded, made the suggestion, which, if I may respectfully say so, I think was a very proper one, that an oath of secrecy ought to be imposed upon jurors with regard to what transpires in the secret deliberations in the jury room when they are considering their finding. I have ventured to give expression to that suggestion in my Amendment, and I hope the Home Secretary will see his way to adopting it. In a word, it prevents an enterprising journalist from getting hold of an innocent, inoffensive, guileless foreman of a jury, and extracting from him things which the public ought not to know. If those details are made public, it means that, if the prisoner be found guilty, he is given an added penalty by such things being made known, while if he be acquitted, it means that he is subsequently embarrassed in his daily life. I think the point I have in mind will commend itself to most hon. Members and also to the Home Secretary, and, therefore, I hope that he will accept the Amendment, or one having a similar object.
§ Mr. ERNEST EVANS
I beg to second the Amendment.
The case to which my hon. and gallant Friend referred only emphasises what has previously happened in other cases which were not so well known, and to which so much attention was not drawn. The evil which this Amendment is designed to obviate is, I think, agreed by everyone to be an evil that should be remedied if possible. The jury system in Great Britain has grown up as the result of many centuries' experience, and it is such that in Great Britain anyone can feel that he is having a fair trial. Nothing could be worse than 2125 that anything should be allowed to happen in connection with either civil or criminal trials in this country which would lead to a suspicion that that was not the case, and it is obvious that, as far as criminal cases are concerned, if this practice of jurymen giving interviews to the Press were to develop, it would have a very prejudicial effect upon the administration of justice. If a British citizen be found not guilty by a jury, he is entitled to be considered not guilty by all his fellow-citizens, and no one has any right to suggest that he was not entitled to that verdict. It is true that occasionally the jury themselves by their verdict show that they may have had doubts, as in the case in which the foreman of a jury once said, "Not guilty, but do not do it again." That, however, is unusual, and it certainly would be a very serious thing if jurymen, after deliberating and giving a verdict, perhaps in the case of a man being declared to be not guilty, subsequently declared, either through the Press, or in any other way, that the verdict was one of the majority, or that other matters were considered which should not be made public. I am sure my right hon. Friend will agree that that practice is one to be deplored, and I hope that the raising of the matter by this Amendment will enable him to take some steps to ensure that it shall not become common.
§ Mr. SHORTT
I do not think that anyone would for a moment dispute the great importance of keeping the proceedings of a jury, when they are deliberating, entirely secret, and, indeed, but for a few cases which have, unfortunately, happened, I think it is very seldom that jurymen in this country do disclose what takes place, or are false to the duty which they undoubtedly owe to everyone to keep their proceedings secret. I should be very sorry to think there was any ground for supposing that jurymen as a rule ever do depart from that very salutary rule of silence. With regard to this Amendment, however, while I fully admit the immense importance of securing secrecy, I am not at all sure that this is the right way in which to do it. The subject has only been brought into prominence owing to a recent notorious case, and it has not been properly considered. It is true that the learned judge, whom I have known for many years, and for whom I have the highest 2126 respect, did suggest something of the nature of an oath, but that was not done after consultation with his brethren, or after any real deliberation on the question. It is a new subject, and I think it would be unwise of the House to accept an Amendment on the Report stage in regard to a matter of this kind, which has not been threshed out, and which, before I could accept it, I should be bound to discuss with the judges and those who practice in the Courts. Therefore, I would ask my hon. and gallant Friend, having raised the point, to withdraw this Amendment, and then it can very well be a matter of consideration and discussion between the Home Office, the Lord Chancellor and the Judges, as to what, if any, change should be made in order to secure the secrecy which everyone without exception knows to be not only desirable but necessary.
Before formally withdrawing the Amendment, might I be permitted to say that I raised this question for the purpose of giving the Home Secretary an opportunity of expressing his opinion upon it and of taking such steps as he thinks necessary to bring about an exchange of views between those who are concerned—of endeavouring to bring about conversations between the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, and others concerned? May I take it that the right hon. Gentleman will do that?
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
I beg to move, at the end of Sub-section (1, e), to insert a new paragraph—(f) for providing that any person summoned to serve on a jury in a civil action shall be reimbursed such necessary travelling and subsistence expenses as he or she shall have reasonably and properly incurred by reason and in consequence of the performance of his or her duties, and the said expenses shall be regarded as costs in the cause and be paid by such party or parties as the judge or presiding magistrate shall direct.I am encouraged to move this Amendment by the attitude and the statement of the Home Secretary at the commencement of the Debate. He then said that he did not want anything introduced into this Bill that was of a controversial character. No one would suggest that the reimbursement to common jurors of expenses reasonably and properly in- 2127 curred is a controversial topic. It is a matter in which I have been interested for a considerable time, and on more than one occasion the Home Secretary has expressed himself as more or less in agreement. Hon. Members will notice that my Amendment appears to be somewhat lopsided, in that I only provide for the reimbursement of expenses for jurors in civil cases. My proposal would have been that in criminal cases jurors should be reimbursed expenses out of the county or borough fund, as the case may be, but I was advised that that would impose local charges and would not be in order, whereas it would be in order to propose that in civil cases the litigants themselves should bear the expenses that they have caused the jurors to incur by going on with their litigation and getting jurors into court. There is no need to state particular cases. There are scores, hundreds, and, I daresay, thousands of hard cases of jurors known to every Member of the House.
I will, however, venture to record the latest case which has been brought to my notice. It is the case of a man at Ilfracombe, a draper, who at a very busy time was summoned to go to Exeter. Exeter is some distance away, and there are no trains out of Ilfracombe on Sunday. That unfortunate tradesman had to leave Ilfracombe on Saturday afternoon, and went across to Exeter, spent Saturday night there, Sunday, and Sunday night as well, in order to be at the Court at half-past ten next morning. He was there, I think, for two or three days. Meanwhile, his business suffered, he had to pay the expenses incurred for travel and subsistence, and he did not get a single penny for his service or for repayment of his expenses. The irony of the thing is that, living not far away from that gentleman, was a man summoned as a witness. He went to Exeter on that particular day, was kept there for three or four days, and was paid not only travelling and subsistence allowances but a fee as well. In logic and commonsense I cannot see why, if a witness is paid, a juror is not paid as well. He is the only man who takes any part at all in the administration of our judicial system who is not paid for his services. In addition, not only is he not paid, but he has to pay his expenses as well.
The Great Unpaid. He is the only man who is compelled to give his services to the country without reward. Everybody in Court, from the judge on the bench down to the usher at the door, is paid——
No, Sir, even the prisoner gets his reward. Everybody connected with the administration of justice is paid except the unfortunate juror. Business men are taken from their businesses, farmers from their farms, and they incur loss. In addition, their businesses suffer, and, although we are all sympathetic towards jurors and although an agitation has been going on for many years and many Bills have been introduced into this House, the hapless jurors are still in the position they have always occupied, are still without reward for their services, and they have to pay the expenses of travelling to court, from court to home, and of staying at the Assizes or Sessions town as well. I have known men kept away from home for ten, twelve, and fourteen days discharging the onerous duties devolving upon jurymen, and for it they have received not a penny-piece for the reimbursement of expenses they have been compelled to incur.
Some years ago, by reason of an agitation, in which I took a humble part, the Mersey Committee was set up as a Departmental Committee of the Home Office. Their recommendations, so I am advised, were to be incorporated in a Bill which would have been introduced into the House but for the intervention of the War. I am not going into the Mersey Report to-night. I dare say the recommendations of that Report are well known to hon. Members. I will, however, mention with regard to this question of the payment of jurymen, that I gave evidence—of course, that is unimportant—and recommended as a wise provision and so far as my experience went that jurors should receive not reward for their services but reimbursement of their expenses. Nearly all the witnesses called recommended exactly the same thing. Practically all the judges whose views were taken, with two or three exceptions, I think, recommended the same thing, and the Mersey Committee itself in their 2129 Report recommended not payment of jurors but reimbursement of expenses which they had reasonably incurred, by reason of the discharge of duties devolving upon them as jurymen. Indeed, I have never come across any objection raised by any person or body of persons to this Report, except that I have heard it suggested that if jurymen are paid, or if they are repaid their expenses, it might prejudice them or corrupt them. My only answer to that would be, that if unfortunate business men, called away from their businesses to hang about Sessions or Assize Courts for three, ten, or fourteen days, are to be corrupted by having their expenses repaid, to what state of degradation must our learned judges be brought who are paid so handsomely for their services. I do not wish to elaborate the argument. It is a matter that has been before us on many occasions, and on which we have already made up our minds. Most hon. Members have come to the conclusion that this is a fair and reasonable proposal, and in face of the fact that the Home Secretary may not have another opportunity of discharging what I venture to call his obligation to jurymen, I beg him to accept this Amendment, or, if not this Amendment, so to arrange his Bill as to make it possible for jurymen who serve on juries, if not to be paid, to receive the repayment of the expenses that their duty has caused them to incur.
§ Mr. E. EVANS
In seconding this Amendment I realise that if it be accepted it will not cope with the greatest evil against which it is directed, but it is important that the matter should be raised. My hon. Friend has referred to several cases of hardship. No one who has any connection with Assizes, Sessions, or the High Court, will be unacquainted with many cases in which very great hardship is done to jurors who are called and receive nothing for their out-of-pocket expenses. This Amendment, unfortunately, deals only with civil actions, and I suppose the larger number of common jurors are called upon to serve at criminal trials. Therefore, it does not deal with the greatest evil we have in mind, but it does raise the principle of whether a man who is called upon to serve his country in the capacity of a member of a jury should in addition to losing time and undergoing trouble also be called upon to suffer financially. I do 2130 not think that is a position which should be possible in a country like ours, and I hope the Home Secretary will take the whole matter again into consideration, and will see whether this grievance cannot be removed.
§ Mr. SHORTT
This, again, is a question of great importance, and one about which I do not think there is very much difference of opinion in principle, although there may be very considerable difference of opinion in detail. It is, at the same time, a matter of great importance, and is one which I am sure everyone will be glad has been raised in this Debate. As both the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment said, it really only touches a portion of the subject. In the first place, I suppose that the juries who try the criminal cases at Quarter Sessions and Assizes try the majority of cases that are tried by juries at all. There is no provision in this Amendment for them at all—the reason given is a perfectly valid one—and there is no provision for the payment of coroners' juries. Equally, the provision here is for such payment as there is coming from the litigants themselves, whereas Lord Mersey's Committee not only proposed that both criminal and civil juries should be reimbursed their expenses, but that the cost of their expenses should be borne by the Exchequer.
§ Mr. SHORTT
That may be, but I am pointing out that this recommendation in many respects differs from the recommendations of the Mersey Committee. It shows very clearly what would have happened to this Bill if I had allowed all the recommendations of Lord Mersey's Committee to be introduced into it. The Bill would then have been a heavy, contentious Measure, and in all probability I should have lost the chance of saving a great deal of money to the local authorities in the preparation of the jury lists. In this case, if my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan (Mr. E. Evans) will withdraw his Amendment, we can make this subject equally a portion of our discussion and consideration with that of women serving, the taking of the oath, and all the other matters. I certainly shall be very glad indeed to do so.
The argument of the right hon. Gentleman is against the half- 2131 loaf principle in politics. If this proposal be a just one, I do not see why the Home Secretary should not accept it. Instead of that, it has been shelved until the introduction of his nebulous Bill, which may not take place this year nor next. The Government will have plenty of time for their legislation this Session, as there has not been a word as to the reform of the House of Lords, which was to have occupied nearly the whole of the Session. Cannot the right hon. Gentleman give a pledge that, if the Mover and Seconder of the Amendment ask leave to withdraw it, he will bring in a Bill before the Session ends in order to remedy these admitted defects in our law? I do not see why the legislative machine of this country should not be equal to remedying, even within a few weeks, an admitted injustice of this sort. It is a very hopeless and helpless sort of attitude for the right hon. Gentleman to take up that, because the proposal admittedly is not complete, it should not be accepted. If Mr. Speaker had ruled it out of Order, as being without the province of the Bill, then there would have been no need for the right hon. Gentleman to have replied. Seeing, however, that it is in Order, I do not think the argument of the right hon. Gentleman that this injustice, should not be remedied because it leaves other injustices without a remedy until a later date is a good one.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
As I understand the right hon. Gentleman's argument, it Is this: "This is a small bill. I cannot deal with contentions subjects, and therefore I will not accept an Amendment which is not contentious." So far as the sense of the House has been shown there seems to be no objection to this Amendment, and certainly no objection has been stated by my right hon. Friend. It is perfectly true that if we carry this reform other reforms will still remain to be achieved. That, I imagine, usually happens whenever a Bill passes through this House. The whole reform which my right hon. Friend desires is much more likely to be achieved early if he secures this instalment now, rather than if he waits for his nebulous Bill, which is not likely to be introduced during the present Session nor by the present Government. I fully appreciate that the Bill is limited in its scope. All manner of questions, 2132 upon which opinion is sharply divided, ought not to be considered in regard to it. My right hon. Friend has given no reason which I can consider adequate for refusing an Amendment which has been desired for many years and which this House has delayed passing simply because hitherto it has not had the opportunity.
§ Mr. SHORTT
There was one point I made, although I did not emphasise it. There is a strong difference of opinion as to whether the cost of the jury should be put upon litigants, as this Amendment does, or should be paid out of the Exchequer, as the Mersey Committee recommended. Many people think it is not fair to provide justice for people and to charge them fees, and that then they should pay the jury costs. Other people think it fair, but there is a sharp difference of opinion upon that.
§ Mr. RAFFAN
That may be so. It might be better to put the charge upon the Exchequer. As my right hon. Friend knows perfectly well, however, it is not possible for my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan (Mr. E. Evans), though it would have been possible to the right hon. Gentleman, to throw this charge upon the Exchequer. Therefore, this matter is exactly in the same position as the question of extending a similar reimbursement to juries in criminal cases. In my view, if the principle were established in an Act of Parliament, it would be so evident that it is right that, whatever Government were in power, the grievance would be remedied. As the matter is left now, I shall be very much surprised if it is put right either this year or next year, notwithstanding the right hon. Gentleman's statement.
§ Mr. HOLM AN GREGORY
For the past 35 years I have taken a very active part in the administration of justice in this country. It is a curious thing that during the whole of that period I personally have never heard a juryman complain of not having his fees paid. It is curious, too, that my hon. Friend the Member for Cardigan (Mr. E. Evans) has been raising the point in regard to juries in civil cases, because within the past 18 months the right of an Englishman to a trial at civil action by a jury has been very much restricted. It is only now in very few cases that the subject has the right to demand a trial by jury, and in 2133 practice there are very few cases in which there are juries at all. As an illustration, in our Law Courts this term there were roughly for trial about 900 civil causes. I think fewer than 20 of these were with juries, and the majority of them are special juries, and special jurors are paid a guinea for every case they take. I have known instances where jurors have been called, and two or three cases have been taken, and they have walked away with two or three guineas in their pockets.
Apart altogether from that the Amendment asks us to alter a practice which has existed for centuries. It has been looked upon as one of the duties, and it ought to be one of the prides of an Englishman to assist in the administration of justice and hitherto when they have done so, so far as I know, there has been no serious objection, and I cannot for a moment see why at the present moment this question should be raised. If the question is raised I should certainly say it would be advisable that it should be dealt with as a whole, and it would be unfair to say that the majority of jurors who are called together and kept longest and try prisoners should not be paid their expenses, and the one or two who are called together and happen to be called upon a jury to try a civil action should be paid their expenses. When a jury is called for a civil case it is necessary to call a greater number than it is intended actually to empanel. You may have to call 25 or 30 to secure a panel of 12. Is the litigant to pay for the 25 or 30, or only for the 12 who happen to be called into the box? All these, points have to be considered and dealt with. If they are to be paid, the only feasible way is that they should be paid some reasonable fixed sum by the Exchequer. If you do not do that all sorts of troubles and difficulties arise, such as those I have pointed out, and many others that I could point out. I submit that this is not an opportune moment to raise this question, especially as there is no great call for jurymen in the trial of civil cases.
§ Mr. RENDALL
The hon. and learned Gentleman speaks with a very large experience, and as mine is a very small one, I differ from him with a certain amount of trepidation, but I feel that he has not quite justly appraised the difficulty which jurymen who have been 2134 and are being called have in making complaint of the fact that they are called and are unpaid. He has told the House that in his long experience he has not known a case of a juryman who has complained of being deprived of earning his own living for a day or two or three days.
§ Mr. GREGORY
It is not a question of his not being paid. The point before the House is that he should be paid only his travelling expenses and subsistence.
§ Mr. RENDALL
That may be, but I think the ordinary juryman brought into a Court of Justice would feel the importance of the place and would feel a very humble person in the presence of the judge and counsel, and it would be by no means an easy task for him to complain, and it is not at all surprising that the hon. and learned Gentleman has not heard of any complaints in even his long experience. Now we have an opportunity of dealing with this question in a perfectly simple Bill with, a very simple Amendment which would go some way towards meeting the difficulty, and it seems unfortunate that the Home Secretary has thought fit to refuse to consider the Amendment. He says, "Have another Bill. Let something be done in the future." That is what every Minister, trying to pass through every Bill, has said ever since this House was invented. It really seems to me that we ought to have some more original doctrine from the Home Secretary in these days than this stale repetition that this is not the time, this is not the place, it is not opportune, we are going to get a lot more information, a thorough inquiry with witnesses, Royal Commissions and Committees, and by and by we shall all agree and the Bill will come. That is not the way things ever get done in this House. The only way things ever get done is when some supporter of the Government, like the hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved the Amendment, is brave enough to put down an Amendment and, as I hope he will, stand by it, putting forward sound arguments in its favour, as I think he has done, and convincing the House that what he wants to do is a reasonable thing. To reply "This is not the time" is playing with the substance of his argument and of his Amendment. It seems to mc it is the time. As the Home Secretary knows better than anyone else, the real difficulty 2135 of this Parliament during this Session is going to be what shall it do with its time? It is a grave discredit to the Government that that should be our position, but it is our position that there is not one Measure of first, second, or even third class importance which is to be produced by the Government during this Session, and so far as I know, one has not even been suggested. We have been hoping against hope that the Government would be brave enough to bring forward proposals for the reform of the House of Lords, but in spite of all the persuasion of the Opposition we have not been able to induce Ministers to say they will introduce Resolutions in the Lords or here, or will do anything to carry out their own programme.
When they will not make a programme for themselves, and when they bring forward, as they have done on this occasion, a really useful Bill, and when they have been offered a chance of making the Bill a little more useful, and know that they have days and weeks of time which they will not know how to kill, it is far better that the House should be engaged in improving the Juries Bill than on something which will be more injurious to their party. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury ought to try to make use of a Bill like this as a safeguard against the disintegration of his own party As long as we are discussing the Juries Bill, Genoa and the House of Lords, and the other difficulties he is faced with to-day with his wretched Parliamentary candidates, will be put on one side, and he can continue to smile sitting on that seat. If he will not try to improve the legislation which his own Government brings forward it will be bad for him, bad for his party, and infinitely worse, bad for the legislation which this House passes. I make one more appeal to the Home Secretary, the kindliest and most courteous of men. Will he not for once in his life say, "The pressure brought to bear upon me is so strong, the Amendment is such a small one—it only grants the principle and does not do much more—I will accept it. We will let it go into the Bill," and that, I think, will do a great deal to make the people think that the lawyers, who are always in control of these matters for some extraordinary reason, are prepared to meet the civil population fairly. In every Court, the Judge is paid anything up to £5,000 or £3,000 a year, 2136 the counsel get big fees, the solicitors are paid, the witnesses are paid, and the only people who are not to receive anything are the jury, who are dragged there in order to try to help the Judge and to help counsel to arrive at a decision. That is most unfair. This Amendment ought to be accepted, and I trust that my hon. and gallant Friend will be as courageous in his action as he has been in his speech, and that we shall go to a Division upon it.
§ Mr. JOHNSTONE
My hon. Friends who have moved and seconded the Amendment must realise the difficulties in which we are placed, and the limitations imposed upon them. They have not been able to bring in an Amendment to cover the whole ground, and have had to confine themselves to civil actions and civil juries. The remedy they propose and the means they propose to adopt in order to reimburse juries for their out-of-pocket expenses do not appeal to me. I am in favour of jurymen being paid their out-of-pocket expenses, but I am not in favour of this proposal that the cost of reimbursing the juries should be imposed upon the litigants. If the juries are to be reimbursed, the cost should fall on the State. In order to deal with this question one would have to consider, as a whole, both criminal and civil actions. I realise that the limitations imposed upon my hon. Friends in bringing forward their Amendment precluded them from making a charge upon the Exchequer. That is not competent for a private Member to do. That can only be done by the Government. I am sorry that the Home Secretary did not, in spirit, accept the principle, and give some promise that on another occasion, when a comprehensive Measure was brought forward, he would try to deal with the question of the payment of jurymen's expenses.
§ Mr. JOHNSTONE
My right hon. Friend says that he did so. If that is so, and if he is in favour of the principle of reimbursing juries their out-of-pocket expenses, my hon. Friends might accept that.
§ Mr. JOHNSTONE
My hon. Friends can scarcely tie the right hon. Gentleman to bring in a Bill this Session. I do not 2137 know that the right hon. Gentleman is the master of hiss own fate in these matters. Perhaps there is a higher authority which regulates the Bills that have to come before the House. In view of the promise that the right hon. Gentleman has made, seeing that my hon. Friends' Amendment does not apply to very many jurymen, and that it involves a serious burden upon the litigants, in that they would have to pay the expenses, not only of those who were empanelled on the jury, but those who were summoned. I hope that they will be content with having raised the question, and that they will accept the promise of the right hon. Gentleman, and pester him until he brings in a Bill, either in this Parliament or the next.
§ Mr. WIGNALL
I was very much surprised to hear the hon. and learned Member for South Derbyshire (Mr. Holman Gregory) say that in 35 years he had never heard a complaint from a waiting juryman.
§ Mr. GREGORY indicated dissent.
§ 10.0 P.M.
§ Mr. WIGNALL
That is what my hon. and learned Friend's words conveyed to my mind. I was going to say that if he had never heard a complaint he must never have stood among the waiting jurymen, and that he had never been summoned to attend as a juryman, that he had never had to travel 20 or 30 miles from his home to answer the summons to attend a jury, and that he had never had to bear the expenses of travelling backwards and forwards, or the expenses of staying in some hotel, or other lodgings, for six days or more. Assizes sometimes last for a month, and jurymen are put to considerable expense. If the hon. and learned Member had been summoned to attend a jury and had mixed with the waiting jurymen, he would have been surprised at the amount of language they use in condemning the system. I can assure the House that if a record were kept of the things that are said by jurymen, the judge would be very busy in sending them for a rest for seven days. I can speak after many years of experience, and I can assure the House that I have never mixed with such a grumbling, grousing crowd as the jurymen who are waiting to be called. I have always been, and still am, in 2138 favour of the system of paying at least the travelling expenses.
There is a difficulty in accepting the Amendment wholeheartedly, because we have to realise that sometimes poor people are litigants, and we do not want to make it more difficult for poor people to avail themselves of the means of adjusting their difficulties in Court. We have to look at the matter from every point of view. Very often jurymen and jurywomen are kept waiting weeks, and when the trials come on they are very paltry cases. They occupy days, and when you sum up the whole thing you wonder why they are there at all. The litigants in those cases are there, perhaps, to enjoy the privilege of appearing as litigants in Court. If they enjoy that privilege, they may be willing to pay for the luxury, and I am sure that the legal gentlemen encourage them to go. It is the poor jurymen who have to suffer all the time, and it is the poor juryman who is losing his earning power and his business in attending there to deal with paltry cases. I think the Home Secretary must take a (sympathetic view of the position, and realise upon whom the burden weighs heaviest, and, if possible, relieve them. That is the only way in which the thing can be done. This reform has been advocated ever since I can remember mixing with the jurymen. All the time they have been crying out for payment, at least to cover the losses which they incurred.
§ Sir R. NEWMAN
I suggest to my hon. Friend who moved the Amendment that he should accept the undertaking which I understood the Home Secretary to give, namely, that the question would be taken into consideration when the whole question of juries is reviewed.
§ Sir R. NEWMAN
I imagine that the Home Secretary will take as early an opportunity as possible. But let us assume that there is a slight delay. This point is not so easy as some hon. Members imagine. If you are going to reduce the expenses of juries, it might be wise to reduce the number of jurors themselves. It strikes me as a layman that we might have fewer jurors than at present. The hon. Member spoke of a juryman summoned from one part of Devonshire on a Saturday, and having to spend 2139 all Sunday and Monday away from home at considerable expense. If the litigant has to undertake to pay the expenses of all the jurors, he might be in this very difficult position. There might be one jury drawn from places distant from where the case was heard and the expense would be very heavy. The next jury might be summoned from places that were near and the expense would be much lighter, and there would be a great deal of ill-feeling and difficulty in connection with these juries, is such differences arise. If all the litigants were rich people, it-might not matter very much, but I agree with what one hon. Member has said, that while we do not want to encourage people to go to law, at the same time we should be careful that we do not make it very difficult for the poorer members of the community to go to law and have their grievances put right, and I do not think that we ought to impose on them a financial difficulty which might be very serious. If the litigant had to pay the expense of the jurors, not only those who serve, but those who are called from all parts of the country, it might be very expensive. In principle, I agree with my hon. and gallant Friend. But now that he has got from the Home Secretary an undertaking that the matter will be considered in another proposal before long, the justice
§ of the case, I suggest, would be met by the Amendment being withdrawn.
§ Mr. R. McLAREN
In connection with this matter may I mention that we have in Scotland a system by which jurymen in fatal accident inquiries are paid. In these cases a jury of seven listen to the evidence, and get paid their expenses. The question is a very large one, so large that while I sympathise with the Amendment, I believe that nothing can be done unless on the broad principle of the Exchequer paying all the expenses. If you ask litigants to pay not only for the jury empanelled, but for all those who are summoned to attend on the jury, it would be a very serious matter, and net severely as against poor litigants. In this matter we in Scotland, as we always do, lead the van, and we have a system of payment in operation. Perhaps in the circumstances it would be a good thing if the Amendment were withdrawn and, in accordance with the view suggested by the Home Secretary, the whole matter discussed later on. I am afraid that under this Bill a satisfactory solution cannot be reached.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided: Ayes, 59; Noes, 151.2141
|Division No. 100.]||AVES.||[10.12 p.m.|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Graham, R. (Nelson and Colne)||Newbould, Alfred Ernest|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Barton, sir William (Oldham)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Grundy, T. W.||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Robertson, John|
|Bromfield, William||Hall, F. (York, W.R., Normanton)||Royce, William Stapleton|
|Brown, James (Ayr and Bute)||Halls, Walter||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)|
|Cairns, John||Hartshorn, Vernon||Sutton, John Edward|
|Carter, W. (Nottingham, Mansfield)||Henderson, Rt. Hon. A. (Widnes)||Swan, J. E.|
|Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Hirst, G. H.||Thorne, W. (West Ham, Plaistow)|
|Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Hogge, James Myles||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Davies, A. (Lancaster, Clitheroe)||John, William (Rhondda, West)||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Wignall, James|
|Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bédwellty)||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Kennedy, Thomas||Wintringham, Margaret|
|Entwistle, Major C. F.||Kenworthy, Lieut.-Commander J. M.||Wood, Major M. M. (Aberdeen, C.)|
|Evans, Ernest||Lunn, William||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Finney, Samuel||Maclean, Nell (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Galbraith, Samuel||Murray, Hon. A. C. (Aberdeen)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Gillis, William||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Lieut.-Colonel Wilson and Lieut.- Colonel J. Gilmour.|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Myers, Thomas|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Barlow, Sir Montague||Briggs, Harold|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Barnston, Major Harry||Broad, Thomas Tucker|
|Armitage, Robert||Barrand, A. R.||Brown, Major D. C.|
|Armstrong, Henry Bruce||Betterton, Henry B.||Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.|
|Ashley, Colonel Wilfrid W.||Bigland, Alfred||Bull, Rt. Hon. Sir William James|
|Atkey, A. R.||Birchall, J. Dearman||Carr, W. Theodore|
|Austin, Sir Herbert||Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Casey, T. W.|
|Baird, Sir John Lawrence||Blair, Sir Reginald||Cautley, Henry Strother|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Blake, Sir Francis Douglas||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A.(Birm., W.)|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)|
|Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill||Howard, Major S. G.||Rankin, Captain James Stuart|
|Clough, Sir Robert||Hudson, R. M.||Raper, A. Baldwin|
|Coats, Sir Stuart||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Ratcliffe, Henry Butler|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Hurd, Percy A.||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Conway, Sir W. Martin||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cowan, Sir W. (Aberdeen and Kinc.)||Jameson, John Gordon||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Davies, Thomas (Cirencester)||Jephcott, A. R.||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Johnstone, Joseph||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Dennis, J. W. (Birmingham, Deritend)||Kenyon, Barnet||Rodger, A. K.|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Rounded, Colonel R. F.|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Law, Alfred J. (Rochdale)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Locker-Lampson, Com. O. (H'tingd'n)||Sanders, Colonel Sir Robert Arthur|
|Erskine, James Malcolm Monteith||Lort-Williams, J.||Seddon, J. A.|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Loseby, Captain C. E.||Shortt, Rt. Hon. E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Lowe, Sir Francis William||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Forrest, Walter||Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Sprot, Colonel Sir Alexander|
|Frece, Sir Walter de||McCurdy, Rt. Hon. Charles A.||Stanley, Major Hon. G, (Preston)|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||McLaren, Robert (Lanark, Northern)||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Green, Albert (Derby)||Macquisten, F. A.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Middlebrook, Sir William||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H.||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Gregory, Holman||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert||Sutherland, Sir William|
|Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Murray, C. D. (Edinburgh)||Taylor, J.|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Murray, John (Leeds, West)||Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)|
|Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Nail, Major Joseph||Thorpe, Captain John Henry|
|Hailwood, Augustine||Neal, Arthur||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor|
|Hall, Lieut.-Col. Sir F. (Dulwich)||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)||Warner, Sir T. Courtenay T.|
|Hamilton, Major C. G. C.||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield|
|Hancock, John George||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Wheler, Col. Granville C. H.|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Norris, Colonel Sir Henry G.||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)|
|Haslam, Lewis||Norton-Griffiths, Lieut.-Col. Sir John j||Williams, Lt.-Col. Sir R. (Banbury)|
|Henderson, Major V. L. (Tradeston)||O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Wills, Lt.-Col. Sir Gilbert Alan H.|
|Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Parker, James||Wilson, Col. M. J. (Richmond)|
|Hilder, Lieut.-Colonel Frank||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike||Winterton, Earl|
|Holbrook, Sir Arthur Richard||Pennefather, De Fonblanque||Wise, Frederick|
|Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn'n,W.)||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray||Worsfold, T. Cato|
|Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Purchase, H. G.||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Hopkins, John W. W.||Rae, H. Norman|
|Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Ramsden, G. T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Captain Tudor-Rees and Mr. Foot.|
Bill read the Third time, and passed, with Amendments.