1. Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Attorney-General if he will consider giving greater publicity to the fact that county courts are closed on the Friday before Whitsun, and thus save those members of the public wishing to go to a county court on that day an unnecessary journey.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir Harry Hylton-Foster)
It is the practice, before a public holiday, to display in county court offices a notice stating the days on which the office will be closed. It would not be practicable to give further publicity to the closing of the court offices.
Mr. Gresham Cooke
Is my right hon. and learned Friend aware that on the Friday before Whitsun a constituent of mine went from Twickenham to Brentford County Court and found the doors closed, with no notice whatever of the closing of the court? He was not aware that it was closed. Would it not be a good idea to give further publicity to this closing or, alternatively, to merge this holiday with the annual holidays instead of having it on the Friday before Whitsun?
§ The Solicitor-General
I knew about my hon. Friend's constituent because he wrote and told me, and I am very sorry about it. It is not easy to think of a way in which wider publicity could be given. It is not at all clear that if a notice about it was given to the Press it would be published. It would not have a very high news value. The amalgamation of the celebration of Her Majesty's birthday with other holidays raises a much wider question. The Statutory Rule and Order which closes county court offices on the Friday before Whitsun follows the practice with regard to the Civil Service as a whole.