HC Deb 19 December 1946 vol 431 c2145
4. Mr. William Wells

asked the Attorney-General whether he will institute an inquiry into the congestion of the cause lists in county courts and into possible means of alleviating it.

The Solicitor-General

I am not aware of any congestion in the business of the county courts. On the contrary. I am informed that throughout the country as a whole the work of these courts is being discharged without delay, but if the hon. Member has any particular court in mind I shall be glad to hear of it.

Mr. Wells

Does my hon. and learned Friend realise that it is often a matter of two months before a case is taken in the county courts, and when, the list is reached it very often happens that the case is not taken on the day for which it is set down, and therefore, the witnesses concerned, and sometimes expert witnesses, such as surveyors, for all of whom the client has to pay, are kept hanging around; that it is often quite indefinite at what time the case will ultimately be reached; and that in consequence there is a tremendous waste of time, money and manpower?

Mr. Turner-Samuels

Does my hon. and learned Friend take into account the fact that county court judges are now trying divorce cases and that that is bound to slow up the county court lists?

The Solicitor-General

I hope that I take all relevant considerations into account. With regard to the first supplementary question, sometimes, unfortunately, a case cannot be heard on the date for which it is fixed. That is regrettable, but it is unavoidable.