§ Convictions registered against an accused person or other matters tending to his detriment shall not be placed before the judge presiding over any criminal trial until the court has reached a decision that he is guilty of the offence charged.—[Mr. Weitzman.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ 4.6 p.m.
§ Mr. David Weitzman (Stoke Newington and Hackney, North)
I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.
Since I moved this Clause in Committee, I find that the fact that judges are in possession of a record of the previous convictions of an accused person during the hearing of a case, and before the verdict is given, has aroused a great deal of public interest, and it is surprising how few members of the public and, indeed, how few lawyers were aware of this fact.
The statutory authority which permits questions to be asked of an accused person which tend to show that he has been previously convicted of an offence other than that for which he is standing trial, or that he is of bad character, is to be found in Section 1 (f) of the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898. These questions can only be asked when proof of such previous offences is admissible evidence to show that he is guilty of the offence for which he is charged, or when he gives evidence of good character, or when he casts imputations on the character of witnesses for the prosecution, or when he has given evidence against another person charged with the same offence.
It is true that this refers to the evidence in the hearing of the jury, and it may be said that a list of convictions in the possession of the trial judge, which he does not communicate to the jury during the hearing, is not such evidence. But obviously the object is to permit the jury to decide, and to decide only on what it has heard, and—and this is important—upon the direction of the trial judge.
406 After all, it is trial by judge and jury. I quote again the words of Mr. Justice Parks as long ago as 1823:He knew that he erred sometimes because he was human and nothing that was human could escape error.A judge is human. He is not infallible. Indeed, the Streatfeild Committee, when it rejected the idea of an extension of Crown courts, specifically recognised this. The jury is, of course, the judge of the facts. We all know, however, that when considering the facts, their weight and relevance, the jury pays great attention to the words used by the judge in his summing up. It relies to a great extent on the guidance of the judge in its consideration of the facts.
We often find a judge using such phrases as, "You will think, members of the jury, that such-and-such is the case." Or, "Do you really think, members of the jury, that that is a story you can accept?" It is true that judges very often say, "Remember, members of the jury, that you are the sole judges of fact. If I express a view, you need not accept it."
Surely it must be recognised that the manner in which the judge presents evidence to the jury in his summing up, the views he expresses as to how it may be regarded by the jury, his very gestures and intonations, may well lead the jury to return the verdict it does.
I recognise fully the excellence of our legal system. I pay tribute to the constant effort on the part of our judges to try cases with the utmost fairness and impartiality. But judges are human. How can a judge, knowing that a man has a list of previous convictions, perhaps for the same crime as the one with which he is charged and to which he has pleaded not guilty, dismiss those matters from his mind, as he must, when addressing the jury? To say the least, is it not possible that they may colour his mind and lead him to use phrases, or to present the evidence in his summing-up in such a way as to show prejudice against the accused?
In replying to me in Committee on the Bill, the Solicitor-General said that there were some judges whose practice it was never to look at the list of previous convictions. Is that not a recognition 407 of the force of my argument and of the need to make that practice universal by enacting this new Clause?
It was said by the Solicitor-General that my proposal would render impossible the conduct of a criminal trial as we know it. I do not know what the justification is for that statement. It is true that, when applications for bail are made, a judge must know something of the record of the accused, but such applications are generally made in the magistrates' courts, and, when bail is granted, it is as a rule renewed almost automatically unless there is good reason to the contrary. In the few cases when application has to be made at assizes or quarter sessions, it could be made to a judge who is not trying the case.
It is true that a judge is, in some cases—this was put as a strong argument against me—called upon to exercise his discretion in permitting questions as to character when character is in issue. The judges to whom the Solicitor-General referred, those who do not look at the list, apparently find no difficulty in exercising that discretion without such knowledge. It may be that in certain cases—I think that they will be rare—it would be an advantage for the judge to know the accused's previous record, but such advantage is, in my view, well outweighed by the great majority of cases in which such knowledge may affect the judge's mind to the detriment of the accused. It is said that if a defendant does not give evidence of good character the judge will know that there is something against him. That is very different from supplying to the judge a detailed list of previous convictions.
We were told by the Solicitor-General that the practice had existed for eighty years, and probably longer. My hon. Friend the Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) asked what authority there was for it. I have diligently searched the law books, but my researches have failed to reveal any reference to the practice. Perhaps the Solicitor-General will tell us a little more about it.
It is a fundamental principle of our law that a man is presumed to be innocent until he is proved—I emphasise the word "proved"—to be guilty. We do not permit sub-judice comments. When an argument as to the admissibility 408 of evidence is presented, the jury is sent out so that it may not hear any reference to the evidence mentioned during the argument. If counsel were during the hearing to pass to the judge a note referring to the character of the accused or of any witness, this would plainly be most improper and might well be a ground for a new trial before another judge.
We take the greatest care to see that the rules of evidence are strictly observed, yet here we have the possibility—I emphasise that it need be no more than a possibility for the purpose of my case—that a judge's mind might be influenced, however impartial he strove to be, by knowledge of an accused person's previous convictions. It might be so influenced that his summing up was affected in the way I have described. Having regard to all these considerations, I ask the Government to accept the new Clause.
§ 4.15 p.m.
§ The Solicitor-General (Sir John Hobson)
The Government have considered the point raised in Committee by the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) and other hon. Members, but, having considered it, they still feel that the present practice of placing before the judge of assize at trials by jury a record provided by the Prison Commissioners of the previous convictions of the accused should be continued. In our view, it is a necessary and, indeed, an ancient part of our criminal practice and one of which no criticism has ever been made until now.
The proposal in the new Clause was very fully debated in Standing Committee. Some hon. Members expressed considerable surprise at finding that the practice had existed for so long, though I should have thought that most persons concerned with the administration of the criminal law were well aware that it had existed and been followed for very many years. It is known to have existed for as long as the Prison Commission has existed, that is to say, since 1877, and it is believed that the Prison Commissioners took over a practice which had existed before they were established. Clearly, it is a practice of considerable antiquity—certainly 100 years old and probably much more.
409 The hon. and learned Gentleman asked me for the authority upon which the practice has been carried on. It is within the inherent powers of the courts of record of this country to lay down whatever practice is convenient for themselves provided that it is not contrary to any statutory provision laid down by Parliament. As the hon. and learned Member knows, there are very many practices of the criminal courts which have no statutory authority, but which are hallowed by tradition and usage. They are, of course, subject to alteration either by Parliament or upon consideration by Her Majesty's judges should they decide that it is inconvenient or improper for any such practice to continue.
I say this not to justify the practice—the mere fact that it has existed for a considerable time cannot possibly be a justification by itself—but merely to show that this is no new thing which has suddenly arisen. It is definitely not a furtive practice, as was suggested in Committee. Many people are astonished that so few appear to have been aware of its existence.
The object of all right hon. and hon. Members must be to try to ensure that trials by jury are conducted as fairly as possible and that nothing is done which is likely to prejudice the fair trial of persons whose liberty, or, perhaps, whose life, may be imperilled. I think that hon. Members on both sides of the House agree that our system of criminal trial by jury has been the admiration of the world, that all other countries have said how much they admire it, and that the impartiality and skill of our judges has also been greatly admired. Nobody, until this moment, during the course of the last 100 years, has suggested that this practice has in any way impaired the efficiency, the fairness, or the impartiality of those whose responsibility it is to preside over trials by jury.
I believe that this is a sound practice, and one which can operate, and not infrequently does operate, in the interests of the accused. It is easy to say, as the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North did, that knowledge of the accused's bad record may colour a judge's summing up. So far as judges are inadequate and liable 410 to err, a large number of things may occasionally influence them to take what some people might think is perhaps a prejudiced view of an accused person, but this piece of information which is put on their desks so that it is available for them is one with which over the years they seem to have known very well how to deal. It is, as I said in Committee, necessary and essential at many stages of the trial that they should have the information so that the trial may be conducted properly, and so that decisions which they have to take about the conduct of the trial may be based on accurate and proper information.
Certainly, when summing up to the jury a judge is bound, first, not to disclose the fact of those previous convictions to the jury unless they have properly been admitted in evidence. Secondly, he is bound, in his summing up, to put before the jury fairly the whole of the defence, whatever he may think about it. If he fails to put before the jury what the defendant has said, and what his defence is, as the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North knows, any conviction following on such an inadequate direction to the jury is liable to be reversed by the Court of Criminal Appeal. Therefore, the judge is himself strictly limited as to the way in which he can deal with the matter, and is prohibited from disclosing to the jury that an accused person has been previously convicted unless that fact has been properly admitted in evidence in accordance with our law.
I am sure that hon. Members will remember that it is only the jury who are the judges of fact in a trial by jury, and that the judge who presides does not have any responsibility at all for deciding the facts. The jury alone are the judges of fact and, as the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North said, in almost every criminal trial the jury are reminded by the judge that it is their function alone to come to a determination of the facts upon the evidence which is before them. This will not in the ordinary case include any information at all as to the previous convictions of the accused person.
I do not suppose that in many cases the judge who presides over a trial by 411 jury would need the information long in advance, except in so far as it will be necessary in future for him to look at the records in accordance with the proposals of the Streatfeild Committee so that if there is a plea of guilty he can be ready to deal with it immediately. The whole of the second part of the Streatfeild Report is devoted to seeing that superior courts shall be able to sentence accused persons promptly and upon the fullest possible information, and to seeing that judges who are to preside at such trials have that information available in advance in case there is a plea of guilty.
The proposal in the new Clause would cut straight across that provision and make it impossible for any information about accused persons who are to be sentenced by a judge to be provided to him before the hearing, because he could never know whether an accused person was to plead guilty or not. Therefore, this proposal would inhibit any prior information being given to the judge in any case, and would probably prevent the promptness of sentence which is a desirable object emphasised by the Streatfeild Committee. It would thus lead to frequent remands and adjournments for further information to be obtained.
If the judge is to have the information of previous convictions, it is essential that it should be provided for him before the trial, and that he should have it with him on his desk, because if, in the course of the trial, it became necessary for him to be provided with such information, the mere request for it, and the mere handing up to him of the document containing the information, would be exceedingly embarrassing and would draw to the attention of any member of the jury who knew anything at all about court procedure the fact that a question as to the previous convictions of an accused person was being raised, and that that accused person must have previous convictions because of what was happening.
It is also true that in many instances the fact of the judge having information in his possession and available can be of the greatest assistance to an accused person. Suppose an accused man has an alibi and says that he could 412 not have been at the scene of a particular crime because on that evening he was celebrating with a number of his friends, and the judge knows from the other evidence in the case that the accused lives in the same street as the people with whom the accused says he was celebrating. Suppose the accused is asked, "What was the occasion of the celebration?" and replies, "I had not seen them for a year". He may then well be asked by a judge who is anxious to understand the position, "Are you asking the jury to believe that you were celebrating on this evening with people who lived in the same street as you because you had not seen them for over a year?". He may well have been celebrating with them because he had spent the previous year in prison.
The accused can give the explanation that makes his story probable only by disclosing that during that period he had been in prison. Frequently a line of questioning, or a line of cross-examination, puts an accused person in the awkward position of either telling a lie or of disclosing to the court that he has previous convictions and has at some period of his life been in prison. This happens very often, and judges who preside over trials by jury can divert counsel, and themselves avoid, asking questions which may lead to this awkward position which may well have serious consequences, and might on occasions lead to the whole of a long trial being nullified towards its end.
I was told by an hon. Member who had experience of this kind that he had been engaged in a case that had taken nearly three weeks to try, and that near the end of the second week the learned judge, who was one of those who was not in the habit of looking at the record of previous convictions to see if there were any, embarked on a series of questions of the accused which, fortunately, did not, but very nearly did, admit improperly before the jury the previous convictions of that accused person.
If that had happened, it would have been a disaster for the accused person. It would have meant that the whole trial would have had to start again. The whole of the costs incurred up to that moment would have been thrown away, and the unfortunate accused 413 person would have had to go through the agonies and expense of almost the whole of a second trial.
It is circumstances of this sort which make it necessary for the judge to have available at his hand the information which will enable him to prevent incidents of that sort occurring. It is true that I said during the Committee stage that there were judges who never looked at the list of previous convictions. I think that I stated that too high. I meant that there were judges who were not in the habit of looking at it until it became necessary.
I think that there are occasions in the course of every criminal trial when the judge who is presiding, in order that he may determine questions about the admissability of evidence or the admissability of the character of the accused, must be informed as to the previous convictions of the accused. He cannot possibly exercise his overriding discretion as to whether, even if it is technically admissable, he should in the interests of the accused admit that evidence unless he can see what the character of the accused is, and whether it is such that it would be unfair to the accused person to have the record admitted.
There are other cases, particularly when an accused person is not defended by counsel. There is a famous account in the criminal courts of an accused person who was carrying on his own case in such a way that he was putting the prosecution in a position in which it could have led evidence as to his previous convictions. The line of his attack upon the witnesses for the prosecution would have admitted his bad character. The judge, knowing that he had a bad character, and, I am sure, following the practice that any other judge would have done, wrote a note to the accused person pointing out that if he continued along that line it would result in the jury knowing about his own bad character. The accused, was, naturally, very grateful.
It is occasions and instances of this sort which make it necessary for a judge to have under his hand and available at any moment that he may need it the information as to whether the accused person has been previously convicted, how long ago and how frequently.
§ Mr. Weitzman
I am sure that the Solicitor-General does not want the House to misunderstand what he is saying. He said in Committee:I ought to inform the Committee that there are certain judges who make a practice never to look at the list of previous convictions."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A, 20th February, 1962; c. 140.]
§ The Solicitor-General
I am obliged to the hon. and learned Gentleman. I have said that that was what I said in Committee, but I added that I thought I had slightly overstated it.
The position as far as I know it, and as I knew it then, was that some judges did not make a practice of looking at the previous convictions until it was necessary to do so. I have certainly never of my own knowledge heard of a judge who has never on any occasion found that it was necessary to look at the list of previous convictions.
I am sorry if I overstated it in Committee and misled the hon. and learned Gentleman. Certainly, I put it too high so far as my knowledge and experience go. As I have said, there are occasions when judges who have not taken the precaution of looking at the list have imperilled the trial and put the accused at risk of having to undergo the expense and danger of retrying the whole matter.
From the experience that we have had during the long time that this practice has gone on, I do not believe that there are any harmful results which have on any occasion ever been found to result from this practice, or are likely to result from it. I believe that it assists the judges to secure that there is a fair trial. It has for very long been part of our ordinary procedure, and I therefore ask the House to reject the new Clause.
§ Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)
I begin by offering my congratulations to the Solicitor-General on his first appearance in that capacity at the Dispatch Box. I am sure I speak for all my hon. Friends when I say what a pleasure it is to see him and to have listened to the first speech that he has made today on this Bill, dealing so fully and so carefully with the new Clause moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman).
Having said that, I must go on to say that I am by no means satisfied with 415 the answer which the hon. and learned Gentleman has given to the proposals contained in the Clause. I share with the hon. Gentleman, and, I have no doubt, with other hon. Members, a profound sense of admiration for the way in which British justice is administered in our courts of law, and it is in no sense derogatory to our appreciation of the impartiality and integrity of British justice that the new Clause has been moved. Indeed, it is because we are anxious to do everything possible to enhance and ensure the reputation for absolute impartiality and integrity of British justice that we attach importance to the Clause.
As my hon. and learned Friend has said, since the matter was first ventilated in Committee public opinion, as reflected in a number of organs of the Press, has evinced a good deal of disquiet and dissatisfaction at the revelation for the first time to the public, and, I am sure, for the first time even to a large number of members of the legal profession, that it has been customary in our criminal courts for the judges to be supplied with a list of previous convictions of an accused person. This raises an issue which we think is of fundamental importance to the purity of justice.
The case has been argued by the Solicitor-General both today and in Committee. In Committee, he seemed on more than one occasion to suggest that it was essential for the protection of an accused that the judge should be supplied with a list of the accused's previous convictions. That itself would seem to be an astonishing claim to make, but that was what the Solicitor-General said in Committee and again today. In Committee, he said:There are frequent occasions when, in the course of a trial, a prisoner is cross-examined … by counsel for the prosecution about events that actually took place before the offence for which the man is charged …He went on to say:If the judge does not know that at a particular time the accused was in prison, he cannot assist him …He also said:A stage is very frequently reached in a trial when a person of bad character desires to make imputations against the character of the prosecutor."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A, 20th February, 1962; c. 135.]416 In fact, the whole case both today and in Committee was based upon the fact that there are either some occasions or many occasions—I do not know; there may be few occasions—when it is absolutely essential for the protection of an accused that the judge should have a list of previous convictions. The Solicitor-General today has given us a few instances—no one doubts this—in which it has been possible to steer a prosecuting counsel off a line of examination, or to protect an accused by reason of the fact that the judge has known of previous convictions.
But surely that duty can equally well be discharged by the counsel for the defence. Counsel for the defence must know of the previous convictions of an accused person, and he can equally well discharge the responsibility, which is primarily his and not that of the judge, of preventing an accused person being prejudiced in the kind of way in which the Solicitor-General has described.
Whereas there might, perhaps, be some force in the Solicitor-General's argument, if it were confined to the limited number of cases in which the accused is not represented by counsel, it does not seem to me to have any force in those cases where an accused person is defended by counsel, who can give him precisely the same kind of protection as that which the Solicitor-General says the judge in certain cases can give.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen (Crewe)
Is not my hon. Friend aware that in most cases it is not the prosecuting counsel who is taking the risk, but that it is counsel for the defence who takes this risk, and, at that point, the judge warns him by saying, "Mr. So-and-so, do you think it is really worth while to pursue this matter any further?"
§ Mr. Fletcher
It may be that it is in that sort of instance that it also occurs. It may be that counsel for the defence are more remiss in their duties, because, in some cases, a judge has a list of the previous convictions. I am quite sure that if it were generally known that the judge had no list of the previous convictions, this duty could equally well be discharged by counsel for the defence.
It seemed to me that the Solicitor-General conceded the argument of my hon. and learned Friend and myself 417 when he recognised, both in Committee and again today—except that he somewhat qualified it today—that there are some judges who make a practice never to look at the list of previous convictions. Today, the Solicitor-General told us that he was not sure whether "never" was the right word, but, from my inquiries, I am convinced that it is. It is well known that there are and always have been some judges who do follow this practice, and Lord Hewart, when Lord Chief Justice, was one of them. They did so for a very good reason.
The reason why some judges make a practice of not looking at the previous convictions is because they believe that if they were aware of the accused's previous convictions, they would, to some extent, consciously or unconsciously, somehow or other, and however impartial they might try to be, be influenced by that knowledge. Even if they did their best to conceal that information from the jury, there is the risk that by intonation or inflexion, or the form in which a question was put, they might betray that information, and, thereby, the jury would know of the judge's view of the case.
Therefore, the fact that there is a disparity of custom between some judges and others shows what a very great risk is involved in allowing this practice to be at the whim and discretion of an individual judge. Both arguments cannot be right. The Solicitor-General cannot contend in this House, on the one hand, that judges cannot do their duty in criminal cases unless they have this information, and, on the other, contend that some judges are perfectly well discharging their duties in presiding over criminal cases by deliberately refusing to look at the list of previous convictions.
The Solicitor-General went on to say:I should have thought that sensible judges, if they knew a person proposed to plead not guilty, would not read all the probation reports and the police antecedent history report, and matters of that sort."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee A, 20th February, 1962; c. 140.]What does that mean? The Solicitor-General thinks that sensible judges would take a glance at it, and that is all, but what of the other judges?
What are they supposed to do? The Solicitor-General's observation was confined 418 to those judges whom he described as "sensible judges", but an accused person is liable to come before any judge or any jury.
§ Mr. Fletcher
This is really a serious matter, and it has become far more serious since it was discussed in Committee, and for this reason. Not only were we and the public alarmed to hear that judges had lists of previous convictions, but we now know that, in some cases, the foreman of a jury has a list of previous convictions, and the judge does not interfere. I do not know where we are getting to.
May I invite the attention of the right hon. and learned Attorney-General to something with which he is no doubt familiar—the case of Thompson v. the Director of Public Prosecutions, reported in The Times of 13th February? In that case, it was found, after an accused person had been convicted, that the foreman of the jury had produced to the other members of the jury a list of the accused's previous convictions, and had thereby influenced the verdict. When that fact became known, as one might have expected, counsel for the accused asked for the conviction to be set aside on the ground that the jury knew of the previous convictions. But no, the court refused to set aside the conviction.
The case went to the House of Lords, and the Appeal Committee of the House of Lords, as reported in The Times, did not, apparently, see anything wrong even in the jury having a list of the accused man's previous convictions, and said that it was not going to order a new trial. Lord Simonds, who presided over the House of Lords Appeal Committee, said that their Lordships were well satisfied that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was in all respects accurate. The Court of Appeal had said that it was not going to interfere with the information which came before the members of the jury, even if the members of the jury were supplied with a list of the man's previous convictions.
This seems to me to be a most shocking state of affairs, and it is because of our concern at this state of the law and the position into which we are drifting, 419 though inadvertently, that we are so concerned about this new Clause. As my hon. and learned Friend has said, and as we put it in the Committee, there is no statutory authority for a judge being supplied with a list of previous convictions. It is a practice which has developed without any warrant or approval from this House.
I want to ask some further questions. What is this list, and who supplies it? I am told that it is supplied by the Prison Commissioners, and I am also told that it is not always accurate. I am told that, after a conviction, as is quite reasonable, the police supply a list of previous convictions, and that it is frequently found that the list of previous convictions supplied by the police to the judge differs from the list of previous convictions supplied by the Prison Commissioners. Therefore, if this practice is to be continued, if it is to be upheld by Parliament after we have ventilated it, it is at least important that the list should be accurate.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
My hon. Friend will, no doubt, bear in mind that there is a safeguard at that stage of the case that does not exist earlier in the case. At the moment when it is essential that the judge should know the previous record of the accused, that is to say, after he has been convicted, he is not entitled to take into account at all the list of previous convictions the judge has unless the prisoner admits it or it is otherwise proved. Up to that stage, the judge may be relying on a list of previous convictions that is wrong, and which has certainly neither been admitted nor proved.
§ Mr. Fletcher
I am obliged to my hon. Friend. As usual, his observation has strengthened the case which I am trying to argue.
I did not want the House to assume if it were proposed to adopt this principle—I hope that it will not be adopted—of allowing a judge to have a list of the previous convictions of an accused because that has been the practice since 1898, that the list which at present goes to the judge is in every way accurate. My information is that it is obviously inaccurate and that no steps are taken to check its accuracy. I do not 420 know upon whose authority it goes to the judge.
Apparently the list is prepared by the Prison Commissioners. Do they have all the material with which to check the list? Is it the responsibility of the Home Secretary? Normally, he is responsible for what documents are prepared by the Prison Commissioners and sent to the judge during a criminal case. Is there any machinery for checking the accuracy of the list? Or is it the idea that if a man has previous convictions, so long as some list is sent in, it is not necessary to have machinery to check it? It is just necessary to let the judge know whether a man in the dock has a bad character or not.
The principle of British justice is that a person has a fair trial and is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty. If he has a bad character, and has previous convictions, it is all the more important that he should have a fair trial and that his past history should not be used in any way to his prejudice in deciding whether he is guilty of the particular charge on which he is being tried. That is the reason why it seems to us that this practice however it has grown up, cannot be justified and ought not to be allowed to go on.
The Solicitor-General said that it has gone on in the past, and in future, unless we allow a judge to have this list of previous convictions, it may be inconsistent with some of the recommendations made in Part II of the Streatfeild Report. I do not accept that view at all. We are concerned to see the recommendations in Part II of the Report adopted, because we believe that when it comes to sentencing a person who has been convicted there is no reason why there should not be a short interval between conviction and sentence. We are all anxious to see that when it comes to the judge deciding what is the appropriate sentence for a person found guilty the judge should have the fullest information, not only about a man's previous convictions, but about his background history, aptitudes, mental health and employment, his circumstances and his environment, so that the appropriate sentence may be imposed.
But it cannot for a moment be assumed that those considerations, which are directed to providing the best sentence for a person, should be allowed to 421 override or prejudice the far more fundamental conception, that nothing should be done to prejudice the completely free and impartial trial of a person presumed innocent until he has been found guilty.
It seems to us that this matter is one of the moist grave in the whole system of the administration of criminal justice, and that it has become worse because now we know that jurymen, with impunity and without any correction by the Court of Criminal Appeal—
§ The Attorney-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller) rose—
§ Mr. Fletcher
Let me finish my sentence. The Attorney-General will, no doubt, have an opportunity to reply in due course.
I wish to make this point, because I think it a matter of importance and particularly relevant. Because we attach very much importance to this matter I beg the House to think carefully before rejecting the new Clause.
§ Mr. Graham Page (Crosby)
The hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) has raised a matter of grave consideration. It is a practice which, as we have been told, has been maintained for over 100 years. I admit that during the Committee stage proceedings I voted against the hon. and learned Member. I thought that there must be some authority for this old-established custom.
But since the Committee stage I have tried to find an authority and, like my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General, I have discovered that there is no authority for it. As he says, there is an inherent power in the court to order its own business in this way. He excused it by saying that there was no statutory authority. I should have thought there was a rule of natural justice which might have prevented a custom of this sort from becoming established.
As I understand the arguments they are twofold. The first is the practical argument and the second is the argument of necessity. In putting the practical argument the Solicitor-General said that we must have promptness in sentence following on conviction when there has been a plea of guilty. Surely that relates only to the machinery of the court. The 422 case could be set back for a few moments, or longer if necessary, for the judge to consider a list of convictions when a man has pleaded guilty.
Again, my hon. and learned Friend said that from a practical point of view a judge must know a man's criminal record if he is to protect the man from certain questions which may be asked. My hon. and learned Friend gave the example of a defendent appearing in person who had exposed himself to cross-examination about his character. Whether a judge had such a man's history before him or not, surely he would prevent the accused from exposing himself to this possibility and, if necessary, dismiss the jury from the court while he told the accused what he was letting himself in for.
There again, it is purely the machinery of the court. If a defence counsel is appearing for the accused it merely needs a word from the judge which need not disclose anything of the man's previous character. He could pull up the defence counsel by saying, "Are you wise in pursuing this course?"
It seems not a matter of principle or necessity that a list should be before a judge. The Solicitor-General said that there is no harm in this and it is necessary that a judge should have this list. If it is necessary for judges to have such a list before him and read it, surely it is right that all judges should do so and not that some should set the list aside and not read it. The judge should study the list and it should be seen that he does so.
If it is right for a High Court judge to have such a list before him, why is it wrong that a magistrate should have it before him? It would be a great shock to the public to feel that a lay magistrate had a list of previous convictions of an accused before him when he was trying a case. I agree that there is a distinction, in that the magistrate has to decide a case whereas a trial judge merely sums up to a jury. But a case it not only decided on the evidence. It is tried on the evidence, but it is not only the decision of the court which depends on the evidence put before the court. The whole conduct of the trial should be based on the evidence before the court. In this case, there is 423 an unproven statement before an essential element of the court—the trial judge. The statement before him concerning the accused is not at that stage proved in any way.
A list is before the judge which has not been proved. Not only that, but it cannot be questioned by the accused at that stage. I suppose that it would be possible for the accused to ask that the jury withdraw, and then he could ask the judge what list of convictions the judge had before him, and intimate that he wished to question the list. But I have never heard of that being done. I doubt whether many accused persons know that a judge has such a list. That is the whole difficulty over this issue. Up to the present, the public has not known that it is an established custom for the judge to have the list of convictions of an accused before him. That is what I think is so distressing about the position and the reason why I hope that my hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General will give it serious consideration.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I wish to add a word to the argument because it seems that this is a very important matter and that the balance of argument so far as I have heard it, or know about it, is very heavily against the practice, which is admitted to have no statutory, or indeed other, authority.
The Solicitor-General corrected a statement which he is said to have made in Committee. I was not on the Committee and did not hear the statement. I have not read it, but I am prepared to make my point on the basis of what he told the House this afternoon, namely, that there are some judges who do not look at the list until it becomes necessary to look at it. It seems that that concedes a large part of the attack that is made upon the practice because it concedes that it is not always necessary. If it is not always necessary one is compelled to look a little deeper to see when it is necessary and when it is not.
There is a stage at which it becomes vitally necessary. That is the stage at the end of the trial when the jury, with no knowledge of the previous record of 424 the accused, has decided on the evidence as a whole, which it has heard, that the man is guilty. The judge then is not concerned with the trial of the prisoner any more. He is concerned with what it is appropriate to do with him, the jury having convicted him. It is obviously right and proper, indeed necessary, at that stage that the judge shall go very carefully into his antecedents, not only into those things he has done wrong, but also into any mitigating circumstances in his previous record. The judge must look at the thing as a whole and decide what in all the circumstances of a particular case is the right thing to do.
It is undoubtedly a necessary part of that assessment that he should know at that stage when it becomes really necessary to know it, but at that stage, as I pointed out in an intervention, there are certain safeguards against errors. If the prisoner admits the list of convictions the judge has, well and good. If he denies all of them or some of them, his denial might be accepted and the list corrected. If his denial is wholly or in part rejected, then it becomes just as much a duty of the prosecution to prove the conviction which is disputed as it is to prove any other fact in the case, the onus of proof being still upon the prosecution.
So there is some safeguard against unjustified prejudice, or an unjustified adverse conclusion. But we are not discussing here the right of the judge, or the necessity of the judge, to have a list of previous convictions after conviction. What is suggested is that it might be necessary at an earlier stage, in the course of the trial
I was a little astonished at some of the reasons which were given for that. It was suggested that it was necessary in some cases that the judge should have this knowledge in order to protect the accused from his own counsel. It is said that his counsel might be careless, his counsel might be ignorant, his counsel might be negligent, his counsel might not know that if he did certain things certain consequences might follow. If that is an argument for anything, it is an argument for the better legal education of barristers, not an argument for exposing the accused to a risk which the judge might see in time and correct, or might not.
425 It is said that perhaps the prisoner has not been completely candid with his counsel. I suppose it does frequently happen that he has not told his counsel about his previous convictions. Therefore, the counsel might be led into incurring risks out of ignorance of the facts and the judge can put it right. It seems that there is a very simple way of avoiding that difficulty. If it is someone's duty to prepare a list of convictions and provide the judge with it, he might, at the same time, provide the defence counsel with it so that the ignorance would be removed. Why not, if the judge knows it? Why not, if the judge does not know it? If the prosecution is undertaking to prove it at some stage in the case, even though only after conviction, no harm can be done by allowing defence counsel to know about it in advance.
If this is thought to be mistaken, and if the prisoner chooses to run the risk of not disclosing the facts to his counsel, he must be allowed to do so. His counsel, presumably, will have enough knowledge of the law to warn him in advance by saying, "Now you had better tell me of anything you have been convicted of before, because if you do not tell me that you have been convicted before I may, by ignorance of that fact, involve you in something which would be very damaging to your case. Please be frank." That is on the old system that there are two men in the world to whom a man should always tell the whole truth; one is his doctor and the other is his lawyer. If he does not do that, whatever are the consequences they are consequences he has chosen to ignore.
It is said that there are some difficulties, which, no doubt, are real. I am not pretending they are not, or that they are trivial. Of course they are not, but it is possible to take precautions against them. If we take precautions against them the difficulty of the partial necessity which the Solicitor-General saw disappears. Then it is said, "What does it matter, anyhow? It is not important. A judge will always be judicial, a judge will always be sensible, a judge will always be ready and always be able—which is a much more important point—to prevent his mind being influenced by knowledge of facts which nobody else knows and which are properly withheld from the jury."
426 The Attorney-General has been too long a successful practitioner of his profession to say seriously any such thing. Judges are not always sensible. They are human, like everyone else. They are as capable of error as anyone else. They are as capable of prejudice as anyone else. It is true that they do their best not to be and that they do their best in good faith to avoid falling into errors of that kind. They do their best to prevent their minds being influenced by matters which they know perfectly well they ought not to be influenced by. But all judges are not perfect, and even the perfect ones are not perfect all the time.
Those of us who have practised in this profession for any length of time know that to be true. It is no criticism of the judiciary or of our system of law to recognise that, like everybody else, judges are subject to human failings, human error and all the rest of it. Unless there is some over-riding necessity for his knowing—and I have tried to argue that such necessity as there is is not over-riding and is not such as cannot be guarded against—it is surely better, if there is no necessity or one can guard against the difficulties in some way, that the judge should be as ignorant of the previous record as the jury is. Surely that is very much better. I cannot believe that anyone would think otherwise.
I am aware of one murder case in which a conviction was obtained and a man executed, which conviction and which execution are now widely regarded as being wholly wrong. I do not want to identify the case, nor the judge—I will do so if the right hon. and learned Gentleman wants me to; not here, but afterwards—but the man concerned had been previously convicted of murder and had been reprieved. The circumstances were unusual, but that happened. The judge knew it, the jury obviously did not.
I say that it is impossible to read the transcript of the evidence in that case, the judge's interventions and his handling in the summing-up of important disputed questions of fact in the course of the case without coming to the conclusion that it was very highly probable that, had the judge not known of the previous conviction, his handling of the case, his treatment of the witnesses and of the accused and his 427 summing-up would have been widely different and the conviction probably never obtained.
I do not say that this kind of thing happens very often, but while we retain this practice it is always possible. Therefore, I most sincerely beg the right hon. and learned Gentleman to think about it again.
§ 5.15 p.m.
§ The Attorney-General (Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller)
I am under the disadvantage that, unfortunately, I was not able to be present during the debate on this question in Committee, but I have read carefully through all that was said. I am under the further disadvantage that I was not able to hear the beginning of this debate, but I was present during the speech of my hon. and learned Friend, and, of course, I heard the speeches subsequent to that.
I quite agree that this Clause raises an important and a serious question. It is not a question of politics, but one raised with the object, which I am sure we all share, of securing the fairest possible trial; and that is my approach to the problem. I start with the proposition that I think we would all agree, including my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page), that those who have to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused should not be furnished with particulars of any previous convictions.
The hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) thought it right to state as a fact that in the case of Thompson the foreman of the jury had particulars of previous convictions. That, I know, was the allegation put forward by the convicted appellant, but there was no evidence to support it, and it was on that ground that the Court of Criminal Appeal and the House of Lords refused to entertain the appeal. They would not listen, and rightly, to allegations relating to what went on in the jury box.
I say to the hon. Member for Islington, East, and I hope that I carry the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) with me, that I think we are on common ground when we say that those who have to determine the innocence or guilt of an accused, save 428 in the particular circumstances for which provision is made by Statute under the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, should not be informed of the previous convictions of the accused, and if it is established that they are, then the conviction must be quashed.
I remember a case some years ago—I was concerned in it myself—where the accused had a number of previous convictions to which no reference at all was made by counsel, and then, just before the summing up started, the Chairman of Quarter Sessions turned to the jury and said, "Disregard the accused's previous record," and we all had to start again.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
I am much obliged to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for giving way. I only want to refer to what he said just now about the case of the jury to which my hon. Friend referred. The right hon. and learned Gentleman said that the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected it and the House of Lords refused a petition for leave to appeal because there was no evidence that the jury had the information. With great respect, that is not so. The indications were that there was evidence—I do not know how strong it was—that the ground for dismissing the appeal was that there was no evidence, but that neither the Court of Criminal Appeal nor the House of Lords, or anyone else, would listen to the evidence, however conclusive.
§ The Attorney-General
I am speaking from recollection now, that there was no evidence to establish the allegation, but I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is right in saying that the ground for dismissing the appeal was that the Court of Criminal Appeal could not go into what happened in a jury room. But even if that happened in that case, I think that we can start this discussion not on that case, but on the proposition that those who have to determine guilt or innocence must, except in special circumstances, where proper, not be allowed to have particulars of previous convictions.
I want to deal quite shortly with another point which the hon. Member for Islington, East made.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen
Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman think of any circumstances in which the foreman of 429 the jury could get hold of such a list? I cannot think of any.
§ The Attorney-General
The hon. Gentleman alleges that the police could give it to them. I cannot think that that would happen or visualise any circumstances whereby a man called on to a jury panel would come to the jury box armed with a list of the previous convictions of the man who is to be put into the dock and whose identity he does not know. However that may be, may I deal with the point of the argument?
§ Mr. Fletcher
I raised this point because I have had a number of letters about it, and, in view of what the right hon. and learned Gentleman has said, may I confirm, as my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) said, that it is quite clear that the Court of Criminal Appeal and the House of Lords refused leave to appeal on the ground that whatever the evidence might be they would not inquire into what happened in the jury box? It was alleged by counsel for the accused that one of the jurors had said that a number of jurors had been in favour of acquittal but that in the course of their deliberations the foreman of the jury had produced a list of the defendant's previous convictions and had thereby influenced the verdict.
On that allegation there was an application for a new trial, but the Court of Criminal Appeal and the House of Lords said that they would not inquire into what had happened. I raise the matter because this has added considerably to the disquiet felt on this subject since the matter was first ventilated in Committee.
§ The Attorney-General
I gave way to the hon. Gentleman, but he did not give way to me. However, I make no complaint about that.
Whatever the evidence may be, my complaint is that the hon. Gentleman put it forward as an established fact—I do not think that it was—but the appeal was dismissed on the ground which, I am glad to say, he has now made absolutely clear.
Let me come back to the proposition on which, I think, we all agree. I want to deal with the second point which the 430 hon. Member for Islington, East made when he said that there was often a difference between the list of convictions handed to the judge before the trial starts and that produced by the police after conviction. I do not know on what he founds himself when making that assertion. The procedure, in fact, is that the list is checked with the police before it goes to the judge. I have now had some years' experience, I am sorry to say, in the criminal courts, but I must say that I have never known a case of any such difference being brought to light. I cannot see how he would know if there had been. But that is beside the point. It does not frequently happen, certainly not in my view nor in my experience.
The point of substance here is not whether the judge should have a list of previous convictions handed to him before he passes sentence, but whether, during a trial, there should be a list available for him to refer to.
I do not want to repeat the arguments advanced by my hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor-General. I would only say this. I have listened to all that has been said, our objective being to secure the fairest possible trial. In my view, that is best secured by the judge having the list available for his use if he wants to use it. That does not mean that it is necessary for him to read it in every case. If, however, a question of character, for example, arises, it should be there for the judge to be able to refer to.
I was told of an actual case today which illustrates the need in a rather graphic form. As the hon. and learned Member for Crewe (Mr. Scholefield Allen) pointed out, although it is easy to criticise defence counsel, it is often due to the conduct of inexperienced counsel that these problems arise. I was told of a case in which a man was charged with rape. Defending counsel asked questions which, clearly, would put his character in issue. He asked his questions and prosecuting counsel then asked for leave to cross-examine, the jury being asked to retire, as to character.
The judge replied, quite firmly, "Of course, under the Statute, you are entitled, in view of this line of examination by counsel for the defence, to cross-examine as to character, but I am not 431 letting you do so, because if you did, it would be prejudicial to the accused." The judge was able to take that attitude because he knew from looking at the list that was available to him that there was a previous conviction of rape, the very offence with which the accused was charged. These cases and these points occur from time to time. That is why it is my sincere belief, although others may disagree, that it is advisable in the interests of fair trial that this information should be available to the presiding judge, so that he can see that the accused gets a fair trial.
The case which is put against that view is the case, which can be argued, that the mere fact that the judge has the list available and looks at it may colour and prejudice his mind in the course of the summing-up. This practice has been in existence probably for almost 100 years. So far, I have never heard any serious complaint about it. Although it may not be known to lawyers who do not practise in the criminal field, it is widely known as a practice which has been carried on. If it really is as wrong as has been suggested, I have no doubt that valid criticism would have been advanced long before now.
The hon. Member for Nelson and Colne referred, in particular, to a murder case with which he was familiar. If there is a hostile summing-up, and sometimes it is only right that the summing-up should be somewhat hostile, because it must reflect the balance of the evidence, and if it arises in a case in which one knows also that there has been a previous conviction of murder, it is easy to infer in such a case that it was that knowledge that influenced the summing-up. But it does not necessarily follow.
If a judge conducts the case in an improper fashion and does it in such a way as to make it unfair to the accused, whether or not that be due to his having read particulars of previous convictions, the Court of Criminal Appeal would unhesitatingly interfere, and often does, because of the mishandling or misdirection by the trial judge.
I know that views on this subject differ. I am as keen as any hon. Member opposite to secure the fairest possible trial. In my belief, however, it would in many cases be a disadvantage to the accused 432 if this information was no longer available to Her Majesty's judges who are presiding. I quite agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Crosby that it should never be available to those who have to determine guilt or innocence. In this connection, one cannot compare the position of a presiding judge, where there is a jury, with the position of magistrates at petty sessions. In my belief, it is desirable to retain this facility and we therefore ask the House to reject the new Clause.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen
I was hesitant whether I should intervene in the debate. The new Clause is put forward in the names of six hon. Members on this side of the House and has been supported on this side and also by one Member on the other side of the House. I agree—it is not often that I do—with the speeches of the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General.
I have sat throughout the debate. I know the arguments; I knew of them before. I know that there might be objections to the practice presently carried on, but from my experience I consider that the balance is in favour of the present practice. It has endured for 100 years. It is useless for my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) to pretend that he did not know about this practice. [HON. MEMBERS: "He did not."] My hon. Friend practised in the courts in Liverpool, as I did. It must have been obvious to a beginner at the Bar, or in the solicitors' branch of the profession, that in criminal cases the judge has such a list. My hon. Friend was lacking in observation from the earliest days of his practice if he was not aware of that fact.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
My hon. and learned Friend is under a misapprehension. I have, of course, always known about this practice. I have always objected to it, for the reasons I gave today, and I am taking this, the first opportunity I have ever had in the House of Commons, of stating those objections.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen
I am surprised to hear that explanation from my hon. Friend. He has been a Member of the House since 1935, he takes the keenest interest in the administration of justice and he must have had many opportunities—a Ten Minutes Rule Bill, for example, and all kinds of methods—of 433 ventilating this matter, but to my knowledge this is the first time that he has ever ventilated it.
§ Mr. S. Silverman
My hon. and learned Friend is being a little unjust. No doubt, he was carried away by the enthusiasm of his argument. It is true that I have been here a long time and that I use my opportunities to the best of my ability, but the number of opportunities that a Member has for introducing a Bill under the Ten Minutes Rule are limited and there is always somebody else who wants to do something else.
There have been only two occasions on which the matter could conceivably have been raised. One was during the passage of the consolidating Criminal Justice Act, 1948, in which I was involved with something much more important, and the other is the Bill which now has its Report stage in the House. I should have liked to have been a member of the Standing Committee. I would have supported my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) on this matter if I had been, but, unfortunately, the Committee of Selection thought otherwise.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen
I can only say that I think that the balance is in favour of the present practice. I speak as one who, for twelve years, has from time to time, in the capacity of a judge, had to address a jury. I have had this information myself and I consider it invaluable. It helps one to protect a prisoner rather than the reverse. It is so different from the position mentioned by the hon. Member for Crosby (Mr. Graham Page), that of the magistrates. The magistrates decide the case. They listen to the evidence. They certainly should not have this information. In the case We are discussing, however, the decision is taken by the jury, and every judge points out in the course of his summing-up that they are the masters of the facts. I do not think that I have
§ ever presided at a trial at which the defending counsel has not gone out of his way, in addressing the jury, to look up at me and say, "It does not really matter what the recorder says. It does not matter what the prosecution say. You are the masters of the facts."
Would my hon. and learned Friend tell the House whether he never has on any single occasion had his mind affected in summing-up before the jury by knowing of the convictions of the accused?
§ 5.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Scholefield Allen
In my case, I have had my mind affected. When I have a trial of a man who pleads not guilty, whom I know to be a hardened criminal, my mind is directed carefully and conscientiously in his favour and not against him. That is where the great mistake is made by my right hon. and hon. Friends in this case. The judge is a trained lawyer. He is supposed to be capable of dismissing biassed ideas from his mind. In civil cases, it often happens that when the judge is told something he says, "It does not matter, because I can exclude that from my mind", and he does. In criminal cases, however, the judge is there to see that justice is done. He is there to hold the balance.
In my experience, there are judges such as my hon. Friend referred to, and I grant it. From time to time, we have all suffered from them. No one who has practised at the Bar, or in the profession of solicitor, has not from time to time come across the judge who has pone off the rails. On balance, however, which is what we are considering, I think that it is for the benefit of the accused person that the judge should be armed with this knowledge for the protection of the accused.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 152, Noes 203.437
|Division No. 132.]||AYES||[5.33 p.m.|
|Ainsley, William||Bacon, Miss Alice||Bence, Cyril|
|Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)||Beaney, Alan||Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)|
|Awbery, Stan||Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Benson, Sir George|
|Blackburn, F,||Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)|
|Blyton, William||Herbison, Miss Margaret||Parker, John|
|Boardman, H.||Hewitson, Capt. M.||Pavitt, Laurence|
|Bottomley, A.||Hilton, A. V.||Prentice, R. E.|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Houghton, Douglas||Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Bowles, Frank||Howell, Denis (Small Heath)||Pursey, Cmdr. Harry|
|Boyden, James||Hoy, James H.||Randall, Harry|
|Braddock, Mrs. E. M.||Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Reid, William|
|Brockway, A. Fenner||Hunter, A. E.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper)||Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Rhodes, H.|
|Brown, Thomas (Ince)||Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)||Jeger, George||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Callaghan, James||Jones. Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Cliffe, Michael||Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)|
|Craddock, George (Bradford, S.)||Jones, Jack (Rotherham)||Ross, William|
|Cronin, John||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Crosland, Anthony||Jones, T. W. (Merioneth)||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Cullen, Mrs. Alice||Kenyon, Clifford||Skeffington, Arthur|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)|
|Davies, Harold (Leek)||Lawson, George||Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)|
|Davies, Ifor (Gower)||Lee, Frederick (Newton)||Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)|
|Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)||Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.)||Sorensen, R. W.|
|Dempsey, James||Lipton, Marcus||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Diamond, John||Loughlin, Charles||Steele, Thomas|
|Dodds, Norman||Lubbock, E.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Dugdale, Rt. Hon. John||McCann, John||Symonds, J. B.|
|Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness (Caerphilly)||MacColl, James||Taverne, D.|
|Edwards, Robert (Bilston)||Mclnnes, James||Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)|
|Edwards, Walter (Stepney)||McKay, John (Wallsend)||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Finch, Harold||Mackie, John (Enfield, East)||Thomas, lorwerth (Rhondda, W.)|
|Fletcher, Eric||McLeavy, Frank||Thompson, Dr. Alan (Dunfermline)|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||MacMillan, Malcolm (Western Isles)||Thornton, Ernest|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E,)||Timmons, John|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Manuel, Archie C.||Wade, Donald|
|Galpern, Sir Myer||Mapp Charles||Warbey, William|
|George, LadyMeganLloyd (Crmrthn)||Marsh, Richard||Weitzman, David|
|Ginsburg, David||Mason, Roy||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Gooch, E. G.||Mendelson, J. J,||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Gourlay, Harry||Millan, Bruce||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Grey, Charles||Milne, Edward||Willey, Frederick|
|Griffiths David (Rother Valley)||Mitchison, G. R.||Williams, LI. (Abertillery)|
|Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)||Monslow, Walter||Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)|
|Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)||Morris, John||Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)|
|Hamilton, William (West Fife)||Mort, D. L.||Woof, Robert|
|Hannan, William||Moyle, Arthur|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Oliver, G. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Hayman, F. H.||Oram, A. E.||Mr. Charles A. Howell and|
|Healey, Denis||Owen, Will||Mr. Redhead.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Cary, Sir Robert||Gilmour, Sir John|
|Aitken, W. T.||Channon, H. P. G.||Glover, Sir Douglas|
|Allason, James||Chichester-Clark, R.||Goodhart, Philip|
|Balniel, Lord||Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Goodhew, Victor|
|Barber, Anthony||Collard, Richard||Gough, Frederick|
|Barlow, Sir John||Cooper, A. E.||Gower, Raymond|
|Batsford, Brian||Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Grant, Rt. Hon. William|
|Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Cordle, John||Gresham Cooke, R.|
|Bell, Ronald||Costain, A. P.||Gurden, Harold|
|Berkeley, Humphry||Courtney, Cdr. Anthony||Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)|
|Bidgood, John C.||Critchley, Julian||Harrison Col. Sir Harwood (Eye)|
|Bitten, John||Cunningham, Knox||Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd)|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Currie, G. B. H.||Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)|
|Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hastings, Stephen|
|Bishop, F. P.||Dance, James||Henderson, John (Cathcart)|
|Black, Sir Cyril||de Ferranti, Basil||Hendry, Forbes|
|Bourne-Arton, A.||Digby, Simon Wingfield||Hiley, Joseph|
|Box, Donald||Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M.||Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)|
|Braine, Bernard||Doughty, Charles||Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshwae)|
|Brewis, John||Drayson, G. B.||Hinchingbrooke, Viscount|
|Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry||Duncan, Sir James||Hirst, Geoffrey|
|Brooman-White, R.||Eden, John||Holland, Philip|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Hollingworth, John|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Emery, Peter||Hopkins, Alan|
|Buck, Antony||Errington, Sir Eric||Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John|
|Bullard, Denys||Farey-Jones, F. W.||Hughes-Young, Michael|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Fell, Anthony||Hulbert, Sir Norman|
|Burden, F. A.||Finlay, Graeme||Hutchison, Michael Clark|
|Butcher, Sir Herbert||Fisher, Nigel||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)|
|Campbell, Sir David (Belfast, S.)||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Jackson, John|
|Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn)||Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||James, David|
|Carr, Compton (Barons Court)||George, J. C. (Pollok)||Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)|
|Carr, Robert (Mitcham)||Gibson-Watt, David||Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)|
|Johnson, Eric (Blackley)||Noble, Michael||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Johnson Smith, Geoffrey||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Tapsell, Peter|
|Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)|
|Kerby, Capt. Henry||Orr, Capt. L. P. S.||Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)|
|Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Osborn, John (Hallam)||Taylor, W. J. (Bradford, N.)|
|Kershaw, Anthony||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Teeling, Sir William|
|Kimball, Marcus||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Temple, John M.|
|Leather, E. H. C.||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Leavey, J. A.||Peel, John||Thomas, Peter (Conway)|
|Leburn, Gilmour||Percival, Ian||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry||Peyton, John||Thorneycroft, Rt. Hon. Peter|
|Lilley, F. J. P.||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Lindsay, Sir Martin||Pitt, Miss Edith||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Litchfield, Capt. John||Pott, Percivall||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Loveys, Walter H.||Price, David (Eastleigh)||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Prior, J. M. L.||Vane, W. M. F.|
|McAdden, Stephen||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis|
|MacArthur, Ian||Proudfoot, Wilfred||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|McLaren, Martin||Pym, Francis||Walder, David|
|Macleod, Rt. Hn lain (Enfield, W.)||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin||Walker, Peter|
|MacLeod, John (Ross & Cromarty)||Ridsdale, Julian||Wall, Patrick|
|McMaster, Stanley R.||Roots, William||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Maddan, Martin||Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Maltland, Sir John||Russell, Ronald||Whitelaw, William|
|Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.||Scott-Hopkins, James||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Marshall, Douglas||Shaw, M.||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Mathew, Robert (Honlton)||Shepherd, William||Wise, A. R.|
|Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Skeet, T. H. H.||Wolrige-Cordon, Patrick|
|Mawby, Ray||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Smithers, Peter||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)||Woodnutt, Mark|
|Mills, Stratton||Speir, Rupert||Woollam, John|
|More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Stodart, J. A.|
|Nabarro, Gerald||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Storey, Sir Samuel||Mr. J. E. B. Hill and|
|Mr. Frank Pearson.|