HC Deb 01 July 1872 vol 212 c427

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, What course he intends to pursue in the event of the Public Prosecutors Bill not becoming law this Session, or where its provisions may not be adopted, in order to give effect to the assurance of the Government that counties and boroughs should be relieved from all annual prosecution expenses, and that disallowances should hereafter be discontinued?


Sir, the assurance given by me on the part of the Government did not involve a promise that the costs allowed by the local taxing officers should be paid without question or revision. The Government undertook to examine the subject with a view to find a substitute for the present system; so that the Treasury might have adequate control over the expenditure without making counties and boroughs responsible for improper allowances. Such a substitute they think they found in the amended Public Prosecutors Bill, which, if not carried this Session, they undertake to introduce as a Government measure next Session. In the meantime, and until that proposal has been discussed and accepted or rejected by Parliament, it would be premature to suggest any alternative plan. But care will be taken in the interval to apply the present system with as much elasticity and consideration for local interests as regard for the public interest will justify.