§ MR. J. RAMSAY MACDONALD (Leicester)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to the prosecution of a cab driver named Simmons at the Marlborough Street police court on June 29th, when the magistrate, imposing a fine of 40s. with £5 5s. costs, informed counsel for the defence that he declined to reduce the amount on the ground that it was not the accused person but the trade union to which he belonged that was to pay; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter.
§ MR. GLADSTONE
My attention has not previously been called to the case. I have consulted the learned magistrate who tried the case, and he informs me that in fixing the costs he paid no regard to the question who would be responsible for their payment; but when the defending barrister protested against the costs on the ground that they were excessive for a poor man he replied that as the barrister was instructed by the Cab Drivers' Union it was probable that the expense would not fall on the defendant. The question of the amount of costs to be imposed in any given case is by law left to the discretion of the magistrate.