HC Deb 14 June 1948 vol 452 cc36-7
45. Mr. Symonds

asked the Attorney-General, whether steps will be taken to appoint sufficient Commissioners of Assize to avoid the necessity of courts sitting on public holidays; and thus avoid inconvenience to the public.

The Attorney-General (Sir Hartley Shawcross)

On every circuit the judge tries to avoid sitting on Whit Monday—the only public holiday which occurs during a circuit. Where the need for the appointment of a Commissioner of Assize is foreseen in time, my noble Friend is prepared to recommend the appointment, but this resource would not necessarily enable a sitting on Whit Monday to be avoided, if, for example, a late committal were to make it necessary to alter arrangements at too short notice.

Mr. Symonds

Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that if something could be done to improve the position it would be some small consolation to all those who had to spend Whit Saturday and Whit Monday at Cambridge Assizes?

The Attorney-General

Yes, Sir. I am very much alive to the inconvenience which sometimes occurs through sittings on a Saturday or a Bank Holiday, and I can assure my hon. Friend that the matter will be borne carefully in mind.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Will my right hon. and learned Friend consider diverting these sittings in accordance with the changes of population so as to make them more convenient to the general public?

The Attorney-General

That is another question.

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