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Case Of The Welsh Fasting Girl

Volume 202: debated on Friday 1 July 1870

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Question

said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, On what principle a larger scale of costs was allowed in the "Sarah Jacob," the Welsh fasting girl case, than is paid or allowed to witnesses in other prosecutions; and, why it was considered necessary to employ counsel to conduct the preliminary investigations instead of "the local agent" mentioned in the Return?

said, in reply, that the larger and more liberal scale of costs allowed in the inquiry into the case of the Welsh fasting girl arose from the fact that the inquiry was conducted by the Treasury Solicitor, and the rule was that in inquiries of that kind, so conducted on the part of the Treasury or the Home Office, the scale of costs adopted was different to the scale usually adopted in the case of ordinary prosecutions. In these cases, also, it was a matter within the discretion of the Treasury Solicitor whether to employ counsel in the preliminary investigation or not. Looking to the difficulty of the law involved in the case, to the peculiar nature of the case, to the great public interest excited in it, and to the strong local feeling which it aroused, the Treasury Solicitor, in the exercise of his discretion, thought he was fully entitled to employ counsel in conducting the preliminary investigation.