HC Deb 04 April 1957 vol 568 c571
40. Mr. Blyton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is prepared to bring in legislation to provide expenses and loss of wages for magistrates attending the quarter sessions.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Justices who necessarily incur expense in the performance of their duties are already entitled to a travelling allowance, and if they have to be away from home for a night they can also claim a lodging allowance. The Royal Commission on Justices of the Peace, which reported in 1948, considered proposals that justices should be paid an allowance for loss of time and recommended that they should not. This conclusion was accepted by Parliament when the Justices of the Peace Act was passed in 1949 and I still think that it was the right conclusion.

Mr. Blyton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that magistrates in the County of Durham who attend the quarter sessions do not receive out-of-pocket expenses, nor are they paid for loss of earnings? Is he aware that that is causing hardship to magistrates who arc working-class people?

Mr. Butler

The difficulty is that the Royal Commission recommended against subsistence allowances, although there are travelling and lodging allowances. As at present advised, I cannot go further than the Report of the Royal Commission. If the hon. Member would like to draw particular cases to my attention, I shall be glad to consider them.

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