HC Deb 19 May 1887 vol 315 cc503-4
MR. WOODALL (Hanley)

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that it is intended to increase the number of magistrates acting in and for the borough of Hanley; whether the selection of the gentlemen nominated has been made without the knowledge, consent, or approbation of the Town Council of that borough; and, whether, in view of the fact that the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, under the corporate seal, have memorialized Her Majesty and petitioned the House of Commons to the effect that the suggested appointments would not conduce to the respect in which the Bench should be held by the inhabitants, he will advise the Lord Chancellor to take steps to obtain the concurrence in any selection for these important posts of the governing body most competent to advise as to the gentlemen best qualified in the esteem and confidence of those among whom they will have to administer justice? The hon. Gentleman said, he was informed that since the Notice was put on the Paper and subsequently to the presentation of the Memorials referred to, in spite of the protest of the Corporation, the names of six gentlemen had been added to the Commission of the Peace. Such being the case, he would not trouble the Secretary of State to reply to the Question.


(who replied) said: The hon. Member appears to have been under some misapprehension. On the 28th of April the Lord Chancellor gave the necessary directions for the insertion of additional names in the Commission of the Peace for the borough of Hanley. Before that time a letter was sent to the Town Council by the Lord Chancellor, in terms which are now often used in such cases, inviting observation as to the fitness of the gentlemen proposed. The Council raised objections to certain of those gentlemen; but the Lord Chancellor, after considering the objections, made the appointments. It is not intended to make any further addition to this Bench at the present time. The Secretary of State does not conceive it to be a part of his duty to interfere with the discretion which the Lord Chancellor thinks right to exercise in the selection of persons to be Justices of the Peace.