HC Deb 19 March 1885 vol 295 c1692

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to a recent case before the Leeds Borough Justices, in which a licensed publican was fined; whether two justices had to retire from the Bench owing to their disqualification under the sixtieth section of the Licensing Act, 1872, leaving the case to be tried by two well-known temperance advocates; and, whether he is prepared to recommend an amendment of that section of the Licensing Act, so that a justice shall not be disqualified by reason of his being a shareholder in a Railway Company which may have a hotel or refreshment room within the district for which he sits as a magistrate?


I have seen the account of the case to which the hon. Member refers. It seems to me to be a case in which a man was proceeded against for allowing gaming in a public-house. Two of the Justices, who are described in the papers as connected with the wholesale liquor trade, retired from the Bench, and very properly so, during the hearing. The case, I understand, is under appeal, and I see no ground for interfering.

In reply to a further Question,


said: I know nothing of the case except from the papers which the hon. Member himself sent me, in which the case is described. The paper the hon. Member sent me says— Before the hearing of the case, Messrs. Ewing and Walker were requested to retire from the Bench, it being considered that he-cause they are, or had been, in some remote way or other connected with the wholesale liquor trade, they were not in a position to exercise an impartial judgment. That is all I know.