HC Deb 28 June 1962 vol 661 c1333
15. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Central African Office) what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government with regard to the employment of advocates in local courts in Nyasaland.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The revised Local Courts Bill in Nyasaland provides for the extension of the jurisdiction of those courts to include cases involving non-Africans. This extension may only be made with the consent of a Secretary of State and in that event legal representation will be permitted.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Will my right hon. Friend explain why Dr. Banda said that Europeans who were legally represented in these courts would be thereby prejudiced?

Mr. Butler

I do not think it is necessary to put a misconstruction on what Dr. Banda said. I do not think this could be taken as implying that the courts would not be fully judicial in character.

Mr. Elwyn Jones

Should not the principle be accepted that any accused person is entitled to be represented in all courts by an advocate?

Mr. Butler

I see that the hon. and learned Gentleman is looking after his own affairs.