§ MR. MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been directed to an article in The Daily News of the 14th March, entitled "A Job Lot," and having reference to the Magisterial Bench at Winchester; whether it is true, as stated in the article referred to, that there are at present 17 magistrates in Winchester and only 19 policemen; is it usual in English cities for judicial officials to be nearly equal in numbers to administrative officials; is it true, as stated in the article referred to, that the Lord Chancellor has sent down a list to the Town Council of Winchester of five other gentlemen, whom he intends to raise to the dignity of the Bench—so that in Winchester there will be 23 magistrates and only 19 policemen; and, whether the Town Council of Winchester have struck out four of the five names sent down by the Lord Chancellor, and have substituted others for his consideration?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
Yes, Sir; I have seen the article in question. The number of magistrates and police is accurately stated. I am informed that the late Lord Chancellor added four names to the list of Justices in 1881, making the total at that time 22. Since that date there have been five vacancies through death; and it is to fill those vacancies, and not to add to the total number of magistrates, that five gentlemen have been recently nominated by the Lord Chancellor. The Town Council have submitted to the Lord Chancellor the names of certain gentlemen from among whom they suggest that he should select four magistrates in lieu of four whom he had nominated, but for whoso rejection they assign no reason. The Town Council have thereby gone beyond their proper function.
§ MR. CLANCY (Dublin Co., N.)
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether all the magistrates recommended by the Lord Chancellor are Tories?
§ [No reply.]