HC Deb 10 December 1964 vol 703 cc1793-4
3. Sir R. Cary

asked the Attorney-General if he is aware that the City of Manchester has been without a stipen- diary magistrate since the retirement of the previous stipendiary magistrate on 6th September, 1964; and what is the present position with regard to the appointment of his successor.

The Attorney-General

Yes. Under the provisions of Section 29 of the Justices of the Peace Act, 1949, no new stipendiary magistrate for Manchester can be appointed, except on a petition presented by the Manchester City Corporation, after consultation with the Magistrates' Courts Committee, to my right hon. and learned Friend, the Home Secretary. I understand that no such petition has yet been received.

Sir R. Cary

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that legal opinion, both inside and outside the city, thinks it quite disgraceful that so great a city should have been without a stipendiary magistate since 6th September? Is he aware that the backlog of work is enormous, and will he make it his personal responsibility to see that an appointment is expedited?

The Attorney-General

If those matters are accurately stated one would expect the legal opinion to be brought to bear on the local authority because, as I said, unless the local authority presents a petition nothing can be done under the arrangements which presently exist.