HC Deb 08 June 1877 vol 234 c1487

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it be the fact that the Chairman of the Faringdon Board of Guardians is in the habit of acting as one of the justices at petty sessions to hear charges or prosecutions at the suit of the board; and, if so, whether he will intimate to that gentleman that such a combination of the judge and suitor is opposed to the spirit of British Law?


, in reply, said, that he had received a letter from the clerk to the Justices, which stated that it was true that the Chairman of the Faringdon Board of Guardians, in common with other ex officio Guardians, attended the petty sessions when cases were prosecuted by that Board; but he did not, in the discharge of his public duty, make a habit of attending specially for the hearing of those cases any more than other cases. It would, the Justices thought, be detrimental to the public interests were ex officio Guardians to abstain from acting as Justices in such cases. He (Mr. Cross) did not think it would be possible for him to convey such an intimation as was suggested by the Question, inasmuch as the statute expressly stated that no justice of the peace should be disabled from acting as such because he was an ex officio Guardian, and in that capacity connected with any case brought before the Justices.