HC Deb 19 May 1960 vol 623 cc1471-2
27. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will amend the Magistrates' Courts Act of 1952, to ensure that whenever the justices decide not to sit in open court they shall not make public the names of the accused persons without making public their addresses also.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The whole question of the reporting of proceedings before examining justices was recently considered by the Departmental Committee of which Lord Tucker was Chairman. I have noted my hon. and gallant Friend's proposal for consideration with the recommendations of the Committee, but the matter is a difficult and controversial one and I cannot at present give any further undertaking.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

Is my right hon. Friend aware that when the Work-sop Magistrates' Court adopted this procedure on Tuesday of last week and disclosed only the names and nothing else of ten men jointly accused of an unspecified offence, one of the names was Mr. John Storey, that there was another John Storey, who was a candidate in the Nottingham City Council election two days later, and that, although I am glad to say he is now Councillor John Storey, he suffered great embarrassment during his campaign? As a result of that case alone, would my right hon. Friend give urgent consideration to the Tucker Report with a view to amending the Act.

Mr. Butler

I will undertake to give this further active consideration. This case was brought to my attention.