HC Deb 30 November 1906 vol 166 cc439-40


Order for the Second Reading read.


, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said the Bill was non-controversial. The hon. Member for Blackpool had indeed put down a Motion against the Second Reading, but that was in order to draw attention to a point on which the suggestion of his hon. friend opposite would, he thought, effect an improvement in the Bill, and he was prepared to accept it in the Committee stage. As the law now stood, a duly appointed deputy might act, either in the case of the illness or the absence of a recorder, stipendiary magistrate, or clerk of the peace, but his functions lapsed in the event of the death of such official. The result had been that serious difficulties had more than once arisen. In one case, at Grimsby this year, the sessions were to be held on the 10th April, and the recorder died on the 9th. The functions of the deputy ceased, and the result was that the sessions had to be postponed for several weeks. Several persons were detained six weeks for trial, and one who was in prison the whole of that time was found to be innocent. In another case, at Chester, two men who pleaded guilty wore liberated because, on account of the death of the clerk of the peace; the recorder holding that it was doubtful whether his court was legally constituted, he had no power to try the case. It was quite clear from those two cases that the state of the law required to be remedied, and this Bill was brought in for that purpose, and that purpose only.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the second time."—(Mr. Herbert Samuel.)

MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

said he did not wish to delay the passage of the Bill. The hon. Member in charge of the measure had met him in a very fair and courteous manner, and had done all that was possible to meet him in the matter, by promising to accept an Amendment in Committee, and there was nothing further to be said. At present there was no law to say when a permanent recorder should be appointed, and his objection to this Bill had been that under it a temporary recorder might be appointed to what was in effect a permanent position. The hon. Member, however, had disposed of that, and he now had no desire to prevent the Bill going through.

The Bill was read a second time, and committed for Monday next.

Whereupon Mr. SPEAKER adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Resolution of the House of the 4th August last.

Adjourned at twenty-four minutes before Four o'clock till Monday next.