HC Deb 26 August 1880 vol 256 c90

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that Her Majesty's Government contemplate an increase in the Commission of the Peace of the City of Rochester; whether it is true that there is at present no vacancy in the number of eighteen Magistrates which has existed for many years, and that the Bench has reported that no increase is necessary; and, whether all the additional Justices will be of Liberal politics?


Sir, the appointments to the borough magistracy are vested in the Lord Chancellor, and not in the Home Department, and I am in no way responsible for these appointments. However, I have inquired into such of the facts as seem to be material; and I am informed that four new Justices were appointed by the Lord Chancellor on the 19th of August pursuant to an unanimous Petition of the Town Council of Rochester. The Bench previously consisted of 15 magistrates, one of whom was incapable from age. It is true, I believe, that the Bench reported against the increase of the Bench of Magistrates, desiring to keep the monopoly to themselves—a consideration which the Lord Chancellor was not bound to bear in view. As to the political opinions of the gentlemen in question, as I have never had the honour of canvassing Rochester, I have no knowledge of them.