§ MR. LEGH (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he is aware that Mr. Richard Johnson, who was placed upon the Commission of the Peace for the County by him last year, and is also a Justice of the Peace for the Borough of Wigan, has been reported as guilty of corrupt practices at a municipal election in that town; and whether it is 436 intended to take any steps in consequence of the finding of the Commissioner?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY OF LANCASTER (Mr. BRYCE,) Aberdeen, S.
I have seen in a newspaper a statement that the Commissioner who tried an Election Petition at Wigan announced that he proposed to report Mr. Johnson, who is a County Councillor and a Justice of the Peace; but I am as yet entirely without official information on the subject, and do not even know whether a Report has been made. Until I receive such information it is, of course, impossible for me to consider whether any, and what, steps should be taken.
§ MR. TOMLINSON
The right hon. Gentleman has not fully answered the question whether Mr. Johnson was not placed on the Commission of the Peace by him?
§ MR. BRYCE
I understood that that question was answered by my not contradicting the statement made by the hon. Member. All communications which pass between other persons and myself with regard to the appointment of Justices of the Peace are entirely of a confidential nature. I never have stated in any case whatever, and therefore I cannot state in this case either, whether or not I consulted this gentleman or any other gentleman.