HC Deb 09 November 1916 vol 87 cc460-1W
Commander BELLAIRS

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government have considered the 144 days' litigation concerning gold-mining properties in South Africa in which one counsel spoke for forty-five days; whether he is aware that the case has cost upwards of £150,000; and whether legislative steps are intended to stop such expenditure in the administration of justice?


I understand that the facts as to the time spent on the case to which the hon. Member refers are substantially as stated in the question. I have no moans of estimating the expenditure incurred by the parties, none of which was borne by the public revenue. The control of the proceedings in any litigation and the length of the counsel's speeches must rest with the judge who hears the case, and he alone is in the position to decide as to the necessity. In this case the judge devoted a great deal of his vacation to hearing the case, and thereby effected a considerable saving of judicial time.