§ Mr. Ede
I beg to move, in page 36, line 37, to leave out from the beginning, to the end of line 42, and to insert:(1) Notwithstanding anything in Section two of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1865, as amended by Section three of the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, the prosecution shall not be entitled to the right of reply upon the trial of any person on indictment on the ground only that documents have been put in evidence for the defence.The Clause in the Bill was moved by the hon. and learned Member for Daventry (Mr. Manningham-Buller), and accepted. It is felt that the words on the Order Paper are rather more appropriate than those which appear in the existing Clause. I thank the hon. Member for South Belfast (Mr. Gage) for what he said about the efforts of my hon. Friend in regard to the drafting of the Amendment we have just discussed. We have made another effort to improve the drafting here, and I hope that we have succeeded.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr. Ede
I beg to move, in page 36, line 43, to leave out from the beginning, to the second "or," in line 46, and to insert:(2) A person charged with an offence before a court of summary jurisdiction.This Amendment deals with a matter to which we gave considerable thought in Committee. It deals with a suggestion as to the rearrangement of counsel's speeches in court. I am bound to say that by the time we reached this stage in the Bill, we were prepared to believe from the large number of counsel we had in the Committee that this was a most important matter. There were occasions when we felt that they should be encouraged to make their speeches in court rather than in Committee. I had to point out, when I. accepted the Clause, that I had no intention of accepting the second part of the Clause, which would allow two speeches by defending counsel and solicitor, one before and one after the evidence, because that would involve giving the prosecution the right of a second speech, and four speeches in courts of summary jurisdiction, I thought, would be an excessive number. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), not being without experience in these matters, suggested giving discretion to the courts to allow a second speech by the defence and I undertook to consider this before the present stage of the Bill.
This Amendment and that to line 2 are drafting Amendments. The remaining Amendments to this Clause, in line 4 and line 6, give direction to the court to allow a speech by defending counsel or solicitor both at the conclusion of the case for the prosecution and the conclusion of the evidence, and provide that where this is allowed the prosecution shall be entitled to the right of reply. I hope that I have met the contentions of the various hon. and learned Members engaged in the controversy on this Clause, and I commend the Amendments to the House.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Further Amendments made: In page 37, line 2, at end, insert "at his discretion."1264
In line 4, leave out from second "the," to end of line 5, and insert
person charged, the court may allow him or his counsel or solicitor to.
In line 6, leave out from "both," to end of line, and insert
at the conclusion of the case for the prosecution and at the conclusion of the evidence, but in that case the prosecution shall be entitled to the right of reply. "—[Mr. Ede.]