HC Deb 07 December 1937 vol 330 c192
35. Mr. Johnston

asked the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that the provosts of small burghs in Scotland are no longer justices of the peace ex officio, and that there are small burghs, such as Kilsyth, where the provost is over 65 years of age and is thereby ineligible under the present practice for nomination by the county advisory committee as a justice of the peace; and whether, as these two considerations prevent the chief magistrate from being appointed as a justice of the peace, he will take steps to have the age limit for the appointment of justices modified in such special circumstances?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1929, repealed the provision of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, under which the Provosts of certain police burghs were ex officio justices of the peace. I am informed by the Lord Chancellor, with whom I have been in communication, that there is no absolute rule as to the age over which persons will not be appointed to the Commission of the Peace, and that it is open to advisory committees to recommend any provost who is in all respects eligible for the office. The Lord Chancellor does not, however, regard it as generally advisable in the public interest that persons should commence their duties as justices at an advanced age.

Mr. Johnston

In the event of the local advisory committee not making a recommendation in such special circumstances as there are in this case, has the local town council the right to approach the Lord Chancellor as representing His Majesty?

Mr. Elliot

I should not like to say without notice.