HC Deb 29 March 1938 vol 333 cc1826-7
31. Mr. Arthur Henderson

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a Mr. L. Awbery, a working woodsman of Newbury, was summoned as a juryman to attend the Winchester Assizes on Monday, 21st February; that he duly attended on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of that week, paying his fare of 3s. 6d. return to Winchester daily; that his services as juryman were not required; that his total out-of-pocket expenses for the five days amounted to 22s. 6d., nearly half his week's wages; and whether, having regard to the hardship involved, he will consider taking steps to provide free travelling facilities in such cases?

Sir S. Hoare

My attention had not previously been drawn to this case, but any proposal to provide from public funds for the travelling and other expenses of persons summoned for jury service would require legislation, and I am not in a position to make any statement as to legislation on this subject.

Mr. Henderson

Will the Home Secretary bear in mind that this case is typical of the financial hardship that is caused to many of those who are called to serve on common juries, and will he not review that position of jurymen generally in relation to out-of-pocket expenses?

Sir S. Hoare

I will keep this case and others of the same kind in mind in the event of possible legislation in future. I would, however, remind the hon. Member that it has always been an established principle in this country that the citizen should give his service gratuitously.