§ 2.35 p.m.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (VISCOUNT KILMUIR)
My Lords, I hope that your Lordships will allow me to trespass on your time for a brief moment in order to express my regrets for having unintentionally misled my noble friend Lord Teviot, and the House, on Thursday afternoon of last week. My noble friend asked my advice as to whether he should discuss a case which ended the day before. I am afraid that my mind was focused on the more general social problems on which I had to reply, and I said that it was our usual practice to wait for the expiry of the time of appeal. It escaped my mind that this case had been tried on indictment when, of course, there is no appeal from an acquittal. I can only suppose that I must have had in mind that most cases of this sort are tried in magistrates' courts from which the prosecution can appeal on a point of law. At the best this is an explanation and not an excuse, and I must express my deep regret to the House for my lapse and publicly to Lord Teviot, to whom, of course, I wrote at once and from whom I had a characteristically generous reply on Friday.
§ LORD TEVIOT
My Lords, I must thank my noble and learned friend for the very kind way in which he has dealt with this question.