§ MR. A. C. MORTON
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the Clerk of the Peace for Durham charges newly-appointed Justices a fee of £5 5s. on being sworn; whether there is any legal charge whatever; and whether he will inquire into the matter? At the same time, I will ask the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention has been called to the fees charged upon newly-appointed Justices by the Clerk of the Peace for Shropshire on their taking the oaths of office; whether it is correct that a, fee of £5 5s. is charged; whether any legal charge whatever can be made; and, if so, how much; and whether he will inquire into the matter?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I cannot answer either of these questions without further information. I am having inquiry made of till the Clerks of the Peace in the Comities of England and Wales as to the fees charged by them to newly-appointed Magistrates.
§ MR. A. C. MORTON
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether his attention has been called to the fees charged in Lancashire by Clerks of the Peace upon the newly appointed Justices; whether the fees vary from £6 6s. to £10 10s., in the latter case including luncheon and entrance fees; whether there is any legal charge whatever; and whether he will inquire into the matter?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
I am informed that the charges on the appointment of a County Magistrate are £5 5s. for the writ, including payments, and £2 2s., fee to the Clerk of the Peace. There is a Preston Sessions Lunch Club, with an entrance fee of £2 2s. and an annual subscription of £1 1s., but membership of the club is optional. As regards the legality of the charges, there has not been time since the question appeared on the Paper this morning for me to obtain materials for forming an opinion, but I will consider the point.