HC Deb 31 January 1945 vol 407 cc1481-2W
Sir G. Owen

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the scarcity of agricultural workers, he will make arrangements not to call up farmers and others engaged in agriculture for service on juries during the war emergency.

Mr. H. Morrison

Various steps have been taken to lighten the calls of jury service in war-time, and to avoid calling up for jury service more persons than is absolutely necessary to discharge the business of the courts. Further, under Section 3 of the Juries Act, 1922, a Sheriff has power to excuse a person from attending as a juror if on application made in writing he is satisfied that there is good reason for doing so. I do not think it would he possible to exempt farmers, or any of the many other classes of persons engaged on work of national importance, from the obligation of jury service, but I have no doubt that Sheriffs will exercise their discretion under Section 3 of the Act of 1922 in any individual case in which the fulfilment of this obligation would seriously interfere with work of national importance.