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Speed Limit (Police Methods).

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport. – in the House of Commons on 18th November 1936.

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Lieut.-Colonel SAND EMAN ALLEN:

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the cost to Major Oliver Stewart of defending himself when convicted by the Kingston magistrates on 8th October of exceeding the speed limit in a built-up area, and of his appeal to Surrey Quarter Sessions on 23rd October, at which the conviction was quashed, was over £200; and, in view of the fact that the costs given against the police will fall short of this amount, will he bring in legislation to reduce the costs of appeal in all cases?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

It is impracticable to limit by legislation the amount of costs which an appellant may choose to incur. When an appeal to quarter sessions is allowed and costs are awarded subject to taxation as in the present case, the actual sum to be allowed is such as the taxing officer may consider reasonable and proper in the circumstances. My right hon. Friend sees no occasion for any amendment of the law in the matter.

Lieut.-Colonel SAND EMAN ALLEN:

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this appeal was made because the magistrates considered that the man could afford to appeal, and does he think it is right that advantage should be taken in that way in order that a decision may be reached as a test case which is in the interests of many?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

I understand that the Chairman said that the costs would be taxed.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Does the hon. Gentleman not think that in any event, whatever may be the means, it should be the duty of the Government to see that justice is cheapened?

Photo of Sir Archibald Sinclair Sir Archibald Sinclair , Caithness and Sutherland

Is it not a fact that if the gentleman concerned had not been able to afford an expenditure of £200, he would not have been able successfully to appeal?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

I do not think that follows.

Photo of Mr Robin Turton Mr Robin Turton , Thirsk and Malton

Is it not a fact that if the man had not had money he could have taken advantage of the Summary Jurisdiction Appeals Act, which would have cost him nothing?