HC Deb 04 February 1926 vol 191 cc288-9

asked the Home Secretary how many benches of magistrates there are in England and Wales with no women magistrates; and how many with only one woman magistrate?


As the answer is rather long, I propose, with the hon. and gallant Member's permission to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Captain BENN

Can I have the main heads of the answer?


I am giving a very full answer to the question in tabulated form. A certain number come under the category in the question, but not very many.

Following is the answer:

The appointment of magistrates in England and Wales (excluding Lancashire) rests with the Lord Chancellor, who has the assistance in each county and borough of an advisory committee. I understand from my noble Friend that there is at least one woman magistrate in every county commission in England and Wales. The commissions for the counties of Carmarthen, Radnor and Rutland contain only one woman's name. There is more than one woman on every other county commission. There are 221 boroughs in England and Wales having separate commissions of the peace. Sixty-five of these have no women magistrates and 34 others have only one. The majority of boroughs which have no women magistrates are boroughs having populations below 10,000. 1,275 women have been appointed in England and Wales during the last five years. It is the Lord Chancellor's practice, whenever new appointments are proposed, to request his advisory committee to consider the question of including women's names in the list of persons recommended for appointment. I understand from my Noble Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster that the Commission of the Peace for Lancashire includes 81 women; 28 commissions for boroughs include more than one woman; two include one; there is no borough commission with no women.