HC Deb 01 June 1874 vol 219 cc795-7

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)


, in moving the insertion of the following clause:—

(Appointment of magistrates.)

"Immediately after the passing of this Act, and from time to time, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland shall appoint a board of three fit and proper persons who shall from time to time examine into and certify the qualifications of all persons desirous to act as resident magistrate under the hereinbefore recited Acts, including therein especially an examination of all such persons as to their knowledge of the duties of magistrates, and the laws relating to same, and of such other branches of knowledge as the said board with the approbation of the Lord Lieutenant may from time to time prescribe; and after the passing of this Act no person shall be appointed a magistrate under the said Acts or any of them, unless such person shall have obtained a certificate of his fitness signed by two of the persons appointed to be such board,"

said, its object was to provide that stipendiary magistrates in Ireland, whose duties were very important, should be required to possess some qualification for the office. He should suggest an examination.


said, he must admit that the hon. and learned Member for Limerick had raised a very important question in the clause which he had submitted to the Committee, but he (Sir Michael Hicks-Beach) did not think he could accept it, as its object was to transfer from the Government of Ireland the responsibility of the appointment of magistrates, and to place that responsibility in the hands of a Board of Examiners. In recent years the Lord Lieutenant had been very careful to appoint persons of proper qualifications to the office of stipendiary magistrate, and he could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that the Government was most desirous that the appointments should be for the benefit of the country. If the same course continued to be pursued by those who were responsible for the appointments, it would be better and safer than the method proposed by the hon. and learned Member. It was quite true that these magistrates ought to have a knowledge of law, but there were other qualifications which a magistrate ought to be in possession of, such as firmness, decision of character, and the like, and which could not be tested by an examination. He trusted that, under all the circumstances of the case, the hon. and learned Gentleman would not press his clause to a division.


said, he would not press the clause against the wish of the Government; but he would point out that he proposed no competitive examination, but simply a test examination, which was a very different thing.

Clause, by leave, withdrawn.


asked why there had been a departure in the case of resident ma- gistrates in Ireland, from the rule that only a certain portion of the salary should be given as retiring pension?


explained that in addition to the amount set down as salary, there were various allowances given which it had been thought proper to take into account in fixing the retiring pension.

House resumed.

Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read the third time To-morrow.