HC Deb 07 July 1910 vol 18 cc1918-9W

asked the Colonial Undersecretary whether at the time of the appointment of Colonel Claude Francis to the magistracy of the South-East Essequibo district in British Guiana, the Colonial Office was already in receipt of a despatch from the officer administering the Government of British Guiana setting forth the conditions the Legislature had some time previously decided should govern the appointment of magistrate; whether he is aware that the appointment of Colonel Claude Francis is not in conformity with those conditions; and whether it can be terminated?

Colonel SEELY

So far as I have been able to ascertain, the answer to the first part of my hon. Friend's question is in the negative. There is no legislative restriction as to the qualifications of magistrates for British Guiana, and there is nothing to prevent the Secretary of State from selecting for appointment an officer whom he believes to be well suited for the work, even though he may not possess technical legal qualifications. I may add that the case of Colonel Francis was very carefully considered before the appointment was made.