HC Deb 09 April 1889 vol 335 cc18-20
MR. WOOTTON ISAACSON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that Mr. Arthur Davies Berrington, the Chairman of the Monmouthshire Quarter Sessions, and Chief Inspector of Fisheries for England and Wales, has, by reason of his hold- ing such appointment of Inspector of Fisheries, been restrained from accepting a seat on the Monmouthshire County Council, although elected without opposition, and not as a candidate of any political Party, whilst Mr. George Henry Llewellyn, the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy for the Newport (Monmouthshire) District, although elected on strictly Party lines, and as the avowed candidate of a political Party, is allowed to retain his present seat upon the County Council, but with an intimation from the Board of Trade that he is not permitted to accept reelection; whether he sanctions the distinction drawn between the case of the Chief Inspector of Fisheries and an Official Receiver in Bankruptcy; and, whether the Judge of the County Court is himself restrained from holding a seat at the County Council, whilst this qualified permission has been given to the Official Receiver, who is an officer of the Court?


I am aware that Mr. Berrington, the Chief Inspector of Fisheries, who holds the position of Chairman of the Monmouthshire Quarter Sessions, was elected to a seat on the County Council. Mr. Berrington, being a Civil servant of the Crown, paid by salary, comes within the terms of the Treasury Minute, like the Inspectors of the Local Government Board and Education Department, and was not, therefore, permitted to serve on a County Council. An Official Receiver in Bankruptcy, paid by fees like Mr. Llewellyn, is not a Civil servant, and persons holding these positions have always been allowed to undertake other work. In consequence, some of them have served as Mayors or Members of Town Councils, and Mr. Llewellyn's appointment as an Alderman of Monmouthshire was therefore not brought to my notice until after he had accepted it. Having regard, however, to the increasingly political nature of municipal contests, and the desirability that Official Receivers in Bankruptcy should not be mixed up with politics, all officers who hold such appointments have been informed that they should retire from County or Municipal Councils when their term of service has expired. County Court Judges are not under my jurisdiction.