Part of Orders of the Day — Civil Services Supplementary Estimates, 1924–25. – in the House of Commons on 10th March 1925.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Dixey Mr Arthur Dixey , Penrith and Cockermouth

I was not referring particularly to what the hon. Member said, but was referring to what I think is more or less felt on the other side of the House, namely, that this Resolution only affects wealthy men. I do not want that feeling to go unchalleneged, and I should not have taken the trouble of speaking in this Debate if I did not know that, in addition to wealthy men, many poorer respectable people in our towns suffer from this crime. I would ask the Home Secretary, in opposing this Motion, as I hope he will, because he himself, as a lawyer, knows that the principle contained in it is bad, to express some view as to the means by which this problem may be dealt with in another way. I agree with what has been said as to newspapers, but, after all, the damage that is done by newspapers in the gross publication of numbers of these cases is nothing to the good that they do by the publication of gross moral wrongs which bring their lessons home to the people of the country. I know that certain accusations, possibly, can fairly be levelled against certain newspapers, on account of the way in which they publish these cases, but to my mind that is a small ill compared with the criminal responsibility that would rest upon any Government if they allowed secret trials. As hon. Gentlemen opposite know, once you admit that principle in this country, you never know where it is going to stop. Therefore, although I appreciate in told what the Mover of this Resolution has in mind, I nevertheless feel bound to oppose it, because it offends, to my mind, against one of the greatest principles of English justice.