HL Deb 29 January 1948 vol 153 cc687-9

4.7 p.m.

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly:

[The EARL OF DROGHEDA in the Chair.]

Clause 1:

Amendment of S. 68 (3) of 15 & 16 Geo. 5. c. 49.

1. In subsection (3) of Section sixty-eight of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act, 1925 (which enacts that the Court of Appeal may sit in three divisions at the same time), for the word "three" there shall be substituted the words "two or more."

THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT JOWITT) moved to leave out "two or more" and to insert "four." The noble and learned Viscount said: I need not trouble your Lordships at any length in regard to this Amendment. which carries out an undertaking I gave on the Second Reading. Suggestions came to me from various quarters, and I think this proposal commended itself pretty widely to all sections of the House It is a fact that unfortunately the Court of Appeal are working under an intolerable strain, and the object of this Bill is to enable me to do what I can to remove to some small extent that strain. It may be possible to find occasions when we can constitute an appropriate fourth Court. At the present time, under Statute, the Court of Appeal are not allowed to sit in more than three Divisions. I never contemplated more than four Divisions under this Bill, and, that being so, it is just as well to say so. It might have been thought that I proposed a vast number of Divisions, but that was never my intention. The Amendment makes it plain that the number is four, and I think all misapprehension which might otherwise have arisen will be avoided. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 1, line 8, leave out ("two or more") and insert ("four").—(The Lord Chancellor.)


Perhaps I may, in one word, thank the noble and learned Viscount, the Lord Chancellor, for so readily accepting the suggestions which were made by some of my noble and learned friends and myself. I hope that all your Lordships will support this Amendment which, I am sure, if I may say so, makes clear the purposes of the Bill.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.

Remaining clause agreed to.

House resumed.