HC Deb 03 July 1924 vol 175 cc1497-9

asked the Prime Minister whether, before consenting to the appointment of additional Judges, he will consider whether it would be possible to reduce the periods of the legal vacations at Christmas and Easter and the Long Vacation?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. Webb)

I have been asked to reply. The Long Vacation has been shortened in recent years. The question of its further shortening has been considered from time to time. My right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor is satisfied that the disadvantages which would accrue from any further cutting down of the Long Vacation, not only to the Bench but to both branches of the profession and the general public, far outweigh any advantages which could possibly accrue. By rules made in recent years, arrangements have been made whereby a speedy trial can be secured during the Long Vacation of any case which needs such treatment. As regards the other vacations, the conduct of litigation both by the Bar and by the solicitors' profession would be greatly hampered if they were deprived of the opportunity which these vacations give both for a necessary holiday and for preparing that mass of work which has to be dealt with before the case comes into Court. It should be remembered that Judges are always available during the vacations to deal with applications which require to be immediately or promptly heard.


As the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I am sorry to see, has gone, may I ask the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, in view of the financial stringency and the need for economy, he will bring pressure to bear on the Lord Chancellor to alter his view and allow these gentlemen to work a little longer for their £5,000 or £6,000 a year and who get away with a three months' holiday?


May I ask the President of the Board of Trade whether it is contemplated by His Majesty's Government to appoint two additional Judges?


Will the right hon. Gentleman acquaint the House as to how many holidays in the year these Judges get, because they are always so anxious to see that the working class do not get any holidays, and they are not working for the money the Judges get?


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is not aware that His Majesty's Judges, both in the arduousness of their work and the quality of it, are rendering very much greater service than some of their critics?


They do not work eight hours a day. [An HON. MEMBER: "Nor do you."]

49. Sir K. WOOD

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the number of cases awaiting trial in the King's Bench Division; and whether any steps are to be taken whereby litigants may obtain an early trial of their causes?


I have been asked to reply. The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. In reply to the latter part of the question, the Government have decided to take the necessary steps for the appointment of two additional Judges to deal with the congestion of work in the King's Bench Division.


Will the appointment of the two additional Judges come before the House before it is ratified?


It is necessary that it should come before the House.


Does the right hon. Gentleman propose to put a Resolution down immediately, or before the House adjourns?


That is a matter of the Business of the House, for which I am not authorised to reply.