HC Deb 25 October 1944 vol 404 cc177-8
83. Sir H. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a new Director of Public Prosecutions is to be appointed.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security (Miss Wilkinson)

As my right hon. Friend announced last week, he has now appointed Mr. Theobald Mathew to this post.

Sir H. Williams

Can the hon. Lady say whether this gentleman has had the customary experience of those who are appointed to this important office? Is not this the first time that a person other than a barrister has been appointed?

Miss Wilkinson

The Prosecution of Offences Act, 1908, provides that either a solicitor or a barrister may be appointed. The gentleman in question is a member of a famous firm of City solicitors. He came to the Home Office during the war as a temporary civil servant only. He did so brilliantly that he was made the head of the Criminal Division, so my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary considered that he was the best man available for the position.