HC Deb 25 June 1928 vol 219 cc35-6
60. Colonel WOODCOCK

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that jurors called upon to attend assizes are frequently put to considerable expenditure, which they can often ill afford, in payment of railway fares in connection with their duties as jurymen; and whether he will consider the introduction of legislation providing that members of juries attending assizes be repaid out-of-pocket travelling expenses incurred in the performance of their duties?


There is a certain amount of force in the suggestion that jurors in criminal cases should be repaid their out-of-pocket travelling expenses, but I fear that my right hon. Friend cannot propose legislation at the present time for putting this new charge upon public funds.


Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that great inconvenience is caused to farmers and others living in rural districts who have to come into the towns to act as jurors and have to pay their own expenses? Did he see the case in the papers last week in which a juror was forced to borrow the money to pay his railway fare?


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware, further, that many workmen who are purchasing their own houses by monthly instalments have been called upon to serve on juries, and that net only can they ill afford to provide railway fares, but they certainly cannot afford to lose their wages?


My right hon. Friend is aware of all the circumstances, but there is a considerable difference between criminal law and civil law in this matter. A big question of principle is involved, and it would not be possible to undertake to introduce legislation.

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