Clause 5. — (Justification.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Defamation (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1952.

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Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields 12:00 am, 27th June 1952

I have already stated what I feel in the interruptions which hon. and learned Members have allowed me to make, but, speaking as a layman, it seems that I am left in a very terrifying position because I have to choose between my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman) and the hon. and learned Member for York (Mr. Hylton-Foster) as to what would happen in the hypothetical case which was put up at first with so much assurance by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North.

That, of course, is exactly what the lawyers like; that the law shall be so uncertain that each can advise his client to go on with the action because, no matter who loses, and no matter what happens, they will both win. It seems to me that the case put by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Leicester, North-East (Sir L. Ungoed-Thomas) is the safest one for a layman to pursue, because the further he keeps away from points on which lawyers have contradictory opinions the better for him and for the State.