§ MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the serious inconvenience occasioned at the Metropolitan Police Courts by the indisposition of four Metropolitan Magistrates, which has resulted, as stated on the 22nd instant by Mr. Francis, sitting at Marylebone Police Court, in the proceedings at that court being delayed for two hours owing to the non-arrival of a magistrate; whether he is aware that this detention has necessitated the detention of prisoners in custody two hours longer than necessary, a proceeding described by Mr. Francis from the Bench as very hard on prisoners; and whether arrangements can be made to strengthen the magistracy temporarily in similar emergencies in the future?
§ MR. COLLINGS
The Home Secretary has consulted the Chief Magistrate, and is aware of the great inconvenience caused by the unfortunate illness of so many of the Metropolitan Magistrates. A committee is now inquiring into various questions connected with the administration of justice in London, and they will no doubt consider whether any changes are desirable in the direction indicated in the Question.