HC Deb 06 December 1933 vol 283 c1484
45. Lord SCONE

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that all recommendations for the office of justice of the peace, made by the lords lieutenant of Scottish counties, have to be approved by the Lord Chancellor; and if he will consider taking the necessary steps to have this function transferred to the Secretary of State for Scotland?

The PRIME MINISTER (Mr. Ramsay MacDonald)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. Justices of the peace in Scotland are appointed by the Crown by a Special Commission under the Great Seal, and the Royal Commission on the Selection of Justices of the Peace, in their report of 1911, recommended that, so long as these appointments are made by the Crown, the Lord Chancellor, as Keeper of the Great Seal, is the most suitable Minister to be entrusted with the duty of advising in the selections to be made. Since then, there has been no occasion to consider the subject.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it is slightly incongruous that a legal luminary who has ho knowledge of Scottish law should appoint Scottish justices?


Is my right hon. Friend aware that the political nature of the Lord Chancellor's appointments is giving widespread dissatisfaction, both in England and in Scotland?