§ 39. Mr. G. THORNE
asked the Prime Minister when the late Lord Chief Justice sent in his resignation; whether it was then accepted; and, if not, whether he was consulted as to the date on which his resignation should become effective?
The late Lord Chief Justice's letter of resignation was dated 1st November last. He was then asked by the Prime Minister to postpone his resignation, and consented to do so. The matter was again referred to towards the end of January, and his resignation was further postponed with his consent. On Thursday last the Prime Minister wrote to the Lord Chief Justice saying that he was accepting his resignation, and thanking him for his eminent public services. I speak on behalf of my right hon. Friend When I say that I should be extremely sorry if the official announcement of the resignation, so soon after the delivery of this letter, led to any misconception as to the respect and regard felt 1472 for the Lord Chief Justice. The directions for publication were given in the midst of a great press of business. An endeavour was, in fact, made a few hours later to postpone the announcement, but it had already been circulated to the news agencies and the Press.
Is it a fact that the Lord Chief Justice was unaware that he had resigned, and that he announced on Friday that he would sit on Monday, and then learned on Saturday that he had resigned?
That assumption is quite as inaccurate as most of the assumptions of the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
§ Mr. GWYNNE
Is it not a fact that the Lord Chief Justice was in the middle of the trial of a case when the announcement was made?