HC Deb 30 November 1920 vol 135 cc1152-3W
Captain O'GRADY

asked the Attorney-General whether his attention has been called to the action brought by a judge of the Chancery Court and others for an injunction against a firm in Battersea in respect of an alleged nuisance caused by a new invention for cutting steel, which injunction would involve the unemployment of 150 men; whether the plaintiffs in the action resisted all applications for trial by jury; and whether, having regard to the fact that the case was tried by a judge usually sitting in the same Court as one of the plaintiffs, the Government will consider the desirability, in order to place the administration of justice above all suspicion, of rescinding the Juries Act of 1918, which was intended for the continuance of the War and for six months thereafter?


I read, in the ordinary course, a newspaper report of the case which appears to be referred to. I do not know whether the plaintiffs resisted applications for trial by jury, but in view of the technical questions involved, and the length of the case, it is obvious that trial with a jury would have been most unusual and unsuitable. There is no foundation for the suggestion that the learned judge who tried the case usually, or at all, sits in the same Court with the learned judge who was one of the plaintiffs, and if what is meant is that the trial was unfair, no insinuation could be more improper. With regard to the last few lines of the question, the Juries Act, 1918, has no bearing upon this case, which was commenced and tried in the Chancery Division, nor is any step required to place the administration of justice in this country above suspicion.