HC Deb 16 November 1911 vol 31 cc671-2W

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to the case of Booth v. The Bury Free Press, in which damages were recovered on account of the publication of the proceedings before an arbitrator, who was assessing a tenant's claim for compensation for disturbance under the Agricultural Holdings Act; whether such proceedings are rightly concealed from the public or whether the arbitrator has an option; and, if the arbitrator has an option, will the Board of Agriculture instruct arbitrators in future to see that such an inquiry is public wherever possible?


My right hon. Friend has seen the report of the case referred to, which my hon. Friend was good enough to send him. An arbitrator can, at his discretion, exclude the public when the case is heard, and the Board of Agriculture have no power to interfere with his discretion in this respect in cases arising under the Agricultural Holdings Act.