§ 41. Mr. BATEY
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that the advisory committee for the appointment of magistrates in the county of Durham contains no member of the Labour party and whether he proposes to alter the constitution of such committee so that Labour may have fail representation?
The appointment of members of advisory committees rests with the Lord Chancellor and not with the Secretary of State. 1 am informed by the Lord Chancellor that the general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association was appointed to the Advisory Committee in May, 1917. The Lord Chancellor has not received any notification that that gentleman has ceased to be a member. My hon. Friend's best course will be to communicate with the Lord Chancellor's Department.
§ Sir H. BRITTAIN
Is it not only right that these individuals should be appointed on their merits, irrespective of the party to which they belong?
§ Mr. WESTWOOD
Is it not a fact that appointments hitherto have not been made because of their fitness for the position but simply because of their social status and political opinions?
§ Mr. PRINGLE
Has it ever been the practice to appoint members of the Advisory Committee on the ground that they were members of a particular party? Has it not been the custom to appoint. them because of their representative capacity?
§ Mr. LANSBURY
Is it not a fact that in working out they found the only people with any capacity belonged to the class opposite?