HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc50-1W
Mr. Mitchell

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that the number of appeals in cases where rates cannot be paid owing to the householders being affected by the war is likely to be extremely large, he will circularise benches of magistrates with a view to making adequate arrangements with regard to attendances in courts, so that the public will not be unduly inconvenienced?

Sir J. Anderson

My hon. Friend no doubt has in mind the provisions of the Courts (Emergency Powers) Act, 1939, and the rules made thereunder, whereby persons summoned for non-payment of rates can be given an opportunity of showing cause why the discretion of the court should be exercised in their favour. I fully agree that it is important that proper arrangements shall be made by benches of magistrates for such applications to be heard and considered, but I have no doubt that these considerations will be present to the minds of magistrates and their clerks, and I do not think there is any need for me to issue a circular on the subject.