HC Deb 27 February 1891 vol 350 cc1829-30

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to a resolution passed by the workmen on strike at Cardiff, complaining of the conduct of the Stipendiary Magistrate in cases arising out of the labour dispute; whether he is aware that the Stipendiary Magistrate of Cardiff is the brother of Sir William Thomas Lewis, with whom the Cardiff workmen are chiefly at strife; and whether it would be possible to make some temporary arrangement by which another Magistrate might be appointed to whom the administration of justice as between the workmen and their antagonists could be entrusted? I also beg to ask the right hon. Gentleman if he can inform the House how many cases arising out of the Cardiff strike have been heard by the Stipendiary Magistrate at Cardiff since the 30th of January, stating the number of acquittals, convictions, and committals for trial respectively that have resulted there from?


I am informed by the Stipendiary that the only knowledge he has of the resolution is derived from a local newspaper, from which it appears that a man who had been committed for trial that day presided at a meeting of men on strike, and passed a resolution condemning the Magistrate in terms too vague to admit of a definite reply. The Stipendiary is the brother of Sir William Lewis, but he is not aware that the workmen are chiefly at strife with the latter, most of the cases tried by him having arisen from labour disputes in which the Dock Company, of which Sir W. Lewis is manager, is not directly concerned. I have no reason to believe that the conduct of the Stipendiary has been otherwise than strictly impartial and in accordance with the rules of law. His decisions are subject to review by superior tribunals, and the administration of justice can be safely left in his hands. Since January 30, 37 cases arising out of the strikes have been heard by the Stipendiary; 19 persons have been committed for trial, 17 of whom have been allowed bail; 10 have been convicted, one of whom has appealed; three have been bound over to be of good behaviour, and five have been acquitted.

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