HC Deb 27 February 1893 vol 9 cc431-2

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Mr. Justice Mathew will draw a salary as Judge of the High Court in England during the period of his absence from duty outside the jurisdiction of that Court; whether such absence occurred while that Court was sitting, and whether it was due to any temporary incapacity, by reason of health or other usual reason, for the particular duties in respect of which such salary is charged upon the Consolidated Fund; if not, by whom was such leave of absence granted; and on what authority can salary be drawn for the period of absence?


I respectfully submit, Sir, that this question is not in Order. Have you not repeatedly ruled that there is but one method by which the House of Commons can impugn the conduct of a Judge?


The question is in Order. I can see no imputation in it.


Is there not a direct, straightforward and constitutional method of challenging the conduct of Mr. Justice Mathew?


The salary of a Judge is a permanent annual salary, not dependent on or measured by the actual time of his sittings; and there is no authority for stopping the salary, so long as a Judge retains his office. There is no authority over a Judge to grant leave of absence, or otherwise; his conduct is subject only to the power of removal by the Crown on an Address of both Houses of Parliament. I may add that Judges have been frequently requested to sit on important Commissions; and have done so with advantage to the Public Service, and without question of the propriety of their doing so.


Have the Judges sat upon the Commissions arising out of their jurisdiction?


Royal Commissions on which Judges have sat are not within their jurisdiction.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Have the Commissions been of a Party political character?

[No answer was given.]