HC Deb 28 February 1901 vol 90 cc48-9
SIR JOHN DOR1NGTON (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the letters patent of 15th February, 1901, relating to the Commission of the Peace and announced in the Gazette of the same date, constitute a new commission superseding and determining the existing commission within the meaning of the statute of Anne 1, stat. 1, c. 8; or. if not, what is the effect of such letters patent; and if such letters patent constitute a new commission, must two justices at least from each county take the judicial oath and the oath of allegiance before the Lord Chancellor or one of His Majesty's judges in order to enable a court of quarter sessions to be formed before which the other justices can take the necessary oaths as required by the Promissory Oaths Act, 1871, or will some person be appointed by His Majesty in accordance with Section 2 of that Act.


I have been in communication with the Lord Chancellor, from whose office the letters patent referred to were issued. The answer to the first and second questions is that the letters patent do not constitute a new commission, and that their effect is not to determine but to continue existing commissions. Consequently the third question does not really arise, but seeing that justices may think it desirable (in accordance with the advice which I stated a few days ago had been given to me) to take the oaths afresh, I am considering whether I shall recommend His Majesty, for the sake of general convenience, to make an appointment under the Promissory Oaths Act. 1871.