HC Deb 07 April 1938 vol 334 cc512-3
42. Mr. Higgs

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that in Birmingham, or that part of Birmingham which is in the county of Warwick, in order to provide the number of special jurors required, the authorities, to make up the qualification of £100, take the houses, rated at say £50 and over, and add the office premises occupied by them in the city to the value of the residence to make up the £100; and, in view of the fact that those connected with limited companies are not similarly treated and that the £100 qualification was fixed when the Act was passed to ensure the service of men of certain standing and intelligence, will he give instructions to the authorities to discontinue this practice?

Sir S. Hoare

I have no authority to give instructions in the matter or to determine a question of law. By Section 1 of the Jurors Act, 1922, it is open to any person proposed to be marked as a special juror who considers that he should not be so marked to apply to the registration officer for the removal of the mark and, in the event of his being dissatisfied with the registration officer's decision, to appeal to a court of summary jurisdiction.

Mr. Higgs

Is the Minister aware that certain jurors are being called upon once in two years, and is it not possible for him to use his influence to reduce the qualifying figure from £100 to £50?

Sir S. Hoare

No, Sir, I am bound by Statute, and I have no discretion in the matter whatever.

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