HC Deb 29 July 1937 vol 326 cc3292-4
31. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the action of the stipendiary magistrate for Merthyr Tydvil who, at a meeting of the Carmarthen Conservative and Unionist Association, on 26th July, proposed the adoption of a certain candidate; whether he is aware that this is the second occasion upon which the stipendiary has taken an active part in political work in South Wales; and, in view of the fact that his active participation in politics must adversely affect his work as stipendiary magistrate in an important industrial area, what action he proposes to take in the matter?

40. Mr. Dingle Foot

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the action of the stipendiary magistrate for Merthyr Tydvil in attending a meeting of a political association at Carmarthen, on 26th July, and there moving that the said association should agree to support a certain prospective Parliamentary candidate for the Carmarthen division; whether he is aware that the same stipendiary magistrate issued a statement at the last General Election urging the electors of Carmarthen to support a certain candidate and reject another candidate; and whether, since it is generally recognised that stipendiary magistrates should avoid identifying themselves prominently with party politics, he will say what action, if any, he proposes to take?

Sir S. Hoare

My attention had not previously been called to this matter, but I am in communication with the stipendiary magistrate.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his predecessor in office secured from this stipendiary an undertaking after the last General Election that he would take no further part in political life; and in view of the fact that this stipendiary has broken this undertaking, what action does he propose to take?

Sir S. Hoare

I was not aware of that fact, but, as I have told the hon. Member, I am making inquiries, and I prefer not to give an opinion on the question until I have got the facts.

Mr. George Hall

Will the right hon. Gentleman receive a deputation consisting of the hon. Member who put down this question and hon. Members who represent the area over which the stipendiary presides in order to deal with this and other complaints?

Sir S. Hoare

I am always ready to discuss these questions with my colleagues in this House, but, at the same time, as I have asked for information on this particular question, I prefer to go no further than I have to-day until I have heard from the stipendiary.

Mr. Griffiths

Will the Secretary of State communicate to me the reply he receives from the stipendiary?

Sir S. Hoare

Yes, Sir, I think I can give the undertaking, certainly in substance.

Mr. G. Hall

Will that include information as to ,he action of the Home Office?

Sir S. Hoare

I think that would naturally follow.

Mr. Ede

Should not this man have exactly the same consideration as the dockyard worker?