§ SIR F. BANBURY (City of London)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether he is aware that both political Parties in the borough of Colchester have always jointly recommended names for submission to the Lord Chancellor for appointment as magistrates: whether he is aware that the recommendations of the borough council have been recently rejected, and that consequently the political equality which has hitherto practically existed on the local bench has been destroyed; and whether he will bring the matter to the notice of the Lord Chancellor with the view of restoring the old practice.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I am informed by the Lord Chancellor that it is not true that the recommendations of the borough council have been rejected. Five out of seven names they recommended were appointed. Political equality on the local bench did not practically exist until the recent appointments were made. It does exist now. The Lord Chancellor is not aware that any practice has prevailed in Colchester for both political parties to join in recommending names. There can be no objection to recommendations being so made, but that will not at all affect the duty of the Lord Chancellor to exercise his own discretion and to prevent the position of Justice being treated as a reward for political services.