HC Deb 08 April 1859 vol 153 cc1564-5

said, he rose to call the attention of the House to the recent appointment of Magistrates far the City of Hereford, and to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what information and at whose suggestion such appointments were made; also, whether he will object to the production of any correspondence which may have taken place on the subject. Without any previous communication with the civic authorities of the city of Hereford, an order had arrived there nominating six new magistrates, all of whom belonged to one political party. The circumstance had given rise to great dissatisfaction among many of the citizens. They had sent up a petition, which he had presented to the House, stating that though there was no want' of magistrates in Hereford, six had all at once been appointed by the Lord Chancellor without any communication with the municipal authorities, and that their appointment was due to the interference of some person or persons unknown. That petition was signed by the Mayor, four out of six aldermen, eleven members of the town council, and several magistrates and gentlemen of local standing. The petition went on to object to some of the persons who had been appointed to the magistracy. Two of them, it was said, were retail traders, and therefore not persons whom it was expedient to make magistrates. His own opinion was, that retail traders might often be as good magistrates as any gentlemen who sat on a county bench; but in this case the two persons in question were at this moment practising their respective trades, and could hardly be expected to have sufficient leisure for the proper and efficient discharge of magisterial functions. The population of Hereford in 1851 was about 12,000; it could not now be more than 15,000, if so many; and there were already eight magistrates for the city when the order in question arrived for the appointment of other six. It might be at the instance of some disappointed local partisan or busybody that those appointments had been made, or as the reward of political services to the Conservative cause. He believed that, if the Session had lasted much longer, similar complaints would have conic from other parts of the kingdom. The leading citizens of Hereford were wholly at a loss to know why those six new magistrates had been appointed at all, and especially why they should all have been selected from one particular party. He need not advert to the evils that might result from the possibility of suspicion attaching to the appointments in question; and under the circumstances, and for the satisfaction of the constituency he had the honour to represent, he would beg to ask the Home Secretary the question of which he had given notice.


said, that so far as he could trust his memory, after the great number of subjects, he was under the impression that the Motion they were debating was as to the adjournment of the House. His right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department had spoken, he would not say upon, but to, that Motion, and therefore could not speak again until it was disposed of. His right hon. Friend would, however, take an opportunity of replying to the question just put to him when answering a question which another hon. Member had given notice of his intention of putting on the House going into Supply. In answer to a question which stood in the name of the hon. and gallant Member for Tralee (Captain O'Connell), and which was as to when the Warrant would issue placing naval medical officers on the same footing as medical officers in the army, he (Sir John Pakington) was unable to state the precise day when the Warrant would issue. He could only repeat what he had before stated, that the matter was under his consideration, and that it was his intention substantially to comply with the requests made by the naval service.