HC Deb 19 February 1884 vol 284 cc1323-4

asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is the Law that ex officio Guardians must be acting Justices; whether the position of ex officio springs from the exercise of magisterial functions; whether the Local Government Board are aware that the Clerk of the Peace for Monaghan, MR. Jesse Lloyd, J.P., who is debarred by his office from sitting on the Bench, is an ex officio Guardian and officer of the Monaghan Poor Law Board; whether they will invite MR. Lloyd to surrender his Clerkship of the Peace; or, if not, remove his name from the list of ex officio Guardians; whether the Lord Chancellor will be made aware of MR. Lloyd's decision; and in case he elects to hold a salaried county office, which prevents him sitting on the Bench, will transfer his commission to some person eligible for the performance of magisterial functions; and, whether any precedent exists for the office of Justice, Clerk of the Peace, and ex officio Guardian being centred in the same individual?


The legal points here raised have, on former occasions, been settled. I am advised that the law does not require that ex officio Guardians should be Justices of the Peace exercising magisterial functions. It is sufficient that they reside in the county for which they hold the Commission of the Peace. That has been held by the highest legal authorities to be the true meaning of the word "acting" in the Poor Law Act. The question remains whether MR. Lloyd can continue at the same time a magistrate and a Clerk of the Peace? That question, also, has been decided by high legal authorities. Mr. Lloyd has been a magistrate many years, and was appointed Clerk of the Peace under the old system 12 or 13 years ago; and in a case in which he was involved in 1877, the Court of Exchequer Chamber, affirming the Court below, held that he did not cease to be a Justice on his becoming Clerk of the Peace. Whether there is any similar case to MR. Lloyd's I am not aware. The Statute under which Clerks of the Crown and Peace are now appointed prohibits them from acting as Justices.