HC Deb 09 November 1893 vol 18 cc542-3
MR. DODD (Essex, Maldon)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether Her Majesty's Government is able to carry out in England the Resolution of this House of 5th May— That it is expedient that the appointment of County Magistrates should no longer be made by the Lords Chancellor of Great Britain and Ireland only on the recommendation of the Lords Lieutenant"; and, if so, what steps have been or will be taken in order to do so?


No doubt there has been something in the nature of a pledge, by the Government on this subject. But the person principally concerned is the Lord Chancellor; and though, as a general rule, a eulogium by one colleague upon another is not of great value, I cannot help saying that I think the Lord Chancellor does deserve credit for the readiness with which, in addition to his customary duties, he undertook the enormous—nay, gigantic—task of reviewing the state of the Magisterial Bench throughout the country. My noble and learned Friend has already in many cases acted distinctly and literally upon the Resolution of the House of Commons, and has appointed Magistrates otherwise than upon the recommendations of the Lords Lieutenant. He still adheres to the intention of going forward with the process which he has undertaken; but it is a process of great difficulty, and he finds that, in order to secure any sound ground of action, he is obliged to incur a great deal of delay in correspondence, such correspondence being necessary in order that he may be certain that he is discharging adequately the task which he has undertaken.


May I ask in respect of what counties the Lord Chancellor has acted otherwise than on the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant?


I cannot answer that question, and it will remain a difficult question to answer, because there may have been cases in which appointments have been made on the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant and of other people as well. I can assure my hon. Friend that the answer I have given is strictly founded on fact.