HC Deb 19 February 1908 vol 184 cc831-2
SIR ROBERT HOBART (Hampshire, New Forest)

, rising to a point of order, said that he handed in at the Table on Tuesday a Question which was ruled out of order. The Question had reference to the improper conduct of County Court Judge Gye at Basingstoke, who inquired of a plaintiff whether he had voted at the last election, and said he was foolish in having voted for the present Government. The Question having been ruled out of order, he (Sir Robert Hobart) asked for the Speaker's guidance as to how the matter could be brought before the House or otherwise dealt with.


The reason why the Question was ruled out of order was because there was no Government Department responsible for County Court Judges, or any Judges. The Judicature of this country is separate from the Executive, and the proper course for the hon. Member to take, as at present advised, I should say, is to write a letter to the Lord Chancellor.


I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker, and will act upon your suggestion.


Are not English County Court Judges appointed by the Lord Chancellor? Do they not hold office "during pleasure," and are they not dismissable by him? They have no tenure like ordinary Judges in England, or like Irish County Court Judges. They are in almost the same position as magistrates.


Is the hon. Member making a speech or asking a Question?


No, Sir, I am not presuming to make a speech. I am asking a Question with the greatest deference. My position is this—


I understand the view of the hon. Member is that the Lord Chancellor can dismiss a County Court Judge for an improper action. That is why I suggested to the hon. Member for the New Forest Division that he should write in the first instance to the Lord Chancellor.

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