HC Deb 20 July 1953 vol 518 cc17-8
18. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked Mr. Attorney-General the cost of the prosecution of Christie.

The Solicitor-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)

This information is not yet available.

Mr. Hughes

When it is being made available can the Solicitor-General provide us with information about the cost of the defence, who paid for it, and how much was paid out of public funds?

The Solicitor-General

I do not think that that question arises out of the answer to the original Question. Particulars of the costs incurred by the defence are not available.

Mr. S. Silverman

Is it not a fact that the cost of the defence in this case was borne at the public expense—it was a legal aid case—and in those circumstances would not the cost of the defence be as readily available as the cost of the prosecution?

The Solicitor-General

If it had been a legally-aided defence it would have been much easier to determine the cost of the defence.

19. Mr. Hollis

asked the Attorney-General whether he will institute an inquiry to discover whether any conditions were attached by any newspaper which made a financial contribution to the defence of Christie in his recent trial with regard to the method of defence; and whether the attachment of such conditions constituted an offence.

The Solicitor-General

The only inquiry my hon. and learned Friend could institute would be an investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions, which would, in practice, be carried out by the police. In the absence of any information tending to show that any unlawful arrangement was made in connection with the defence of Christie, my hon. and learned Friend does not think it right to request the Director to make such an investigation.