§ 38. Mr. SHINWELL (for Mr. PRITT)
asked the Attorney-General whether he is aware that the committee appointed by the Lord Chancellor and presided over by Mr. Justice Atkinson, to consider a system for taking an official shorthand note in the Supreme Court, is sitting in secret and has refused to allow a shorthand note to be taken of the proceedings or evidence; for what reasons it is so sitting and has so refused; how many sittings it has held; and when it will make its report?
§ The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Mr. O'Connor)
I am not aware that this committee is sitting in any way other than that which is usual for a Departmental Committee. I have no doubt that the committee will take whatever steps are appropriate to obtain the views of the legal profession and of any other persons if they consider that their evidence is likely to be of assistance to them. The committee has not received any application to allow shorthand notes to be taken of the proceedings or the evidence, but it is for the committee itself to decide whether such a note is necessary. The committee has up to the present moment held four meetings, and I understand that it hopes to present its report at an early date.
§ 45. Mr. SHINWELL (for Mr. PRITT)
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that anxiety has been aroused by the fact that the committee appointed by the Lord Chancellor, and presided over by Mr. Justice Atkinson, to consider and report on the establishment of a system for taking an official shorthand note in the Supreme Court, is sitting in secret and that its report may be made without the general public and the legal profession making their views known to the committee; whether he will propose to this House the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire into the whole subject of shorthand note-taking in the Supreme Court; and whether he will arrange for a Debate on this subject?
§ The PRIME MINISTER
I am not aware that any anxiety has been aroused, and I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by the appointment of a Select Committee to undertake a task for which those appointed by the Lord Chancellor are well qualified. I cannot see any justification for a Debate.