Justices of the Peace (Appointment).

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 16th March 1925.

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Photo of Sir George Harvey Sir George Harvey , Lambeth Kennington

39.

asked the Attorney-General if he can see his way to make a recommendation to the Lord Chancellor that for the appointment of Justices of the Peace a name suggested to him by a local council may be brought forward with some prospect of favourable consideration?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

Persons are selected for appointment as Justices of the Peace by local advisory committees appointed in accordance with the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Selection of Justices of the Peace, 1910. All names which are suggested to the Lord Chancellor by local councils or from other sources are put before the advisory committee for consideration.

Photo of Mr Edwin Scrymgeour Mr Edwin Scrymgeour , Dundee

Should not those who are elected by the general body of electors have preference over those who are only accepted as a matter of patronage?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

So far as I know, no one is, or can be, elected to be a Justice of the Peace.

Photo of Mr Edwin Scrymgeour Mr Edwin Scrymgeour , Dundee

That is not my question. Should not those who are elected as public representatives on public authorities have a preference when Justices of the Peace are appointed?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

No. I should have thought the best course was that laid down by the Royal Commission, namely, that all names should go before the Advisory Committee, and the most suitable ones put by the committee to the Lord Chancellor.

Photo of Sir Frank Nelson Sir Frank Nelson , Stroud

40.

asked the Attorney-General whether, in relation to the appointment of justices of the peace, the various advisory committees are appointed by the Lord Lieutenant of the county or by the Lord Chancellor; whether these committees are asked to supply the names of those considered suitable when vacancies occur or merely advise on the suitability of the names submitted to them by the Lord Lieutenant; if the latter is competent to recommend names to the Lord Chancellor for appointment as justices of the peace without reference to his Advisory Committee; and if there is any practice, convention, or rule whereby either the Lord Chancellor, the various Lord Lieutenants, and the advisory committees are precluded from receiving suggestions as to suitable appointments from residents of the district?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

Justices' Advisory Committees in the counties are appointed by the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor consults the Lord Lieutenant regarding the appointments to be made to the Committee, but the decision is with the Lord Chancellor. The Lord Lieutenant is, in most cases, Chairman of the Committee. The committees select the persons whom they consider suitable for appointment, when appointments are needed. All names which are suggested to the Lord Chancellor, from whatever source, are sent to the Lord Lieutenant for consideration by the Committee, but the Committee are also at liberty to consider names suggested either by the Lord Lieutenant or by members of the Committee. The Lord Chancellor has power to appoint justices of the peace without consulting the Committee, whether upon the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant or any other person, but it is not his practice to do so. There is no practice, convention, or rule whereby Lord Lieutenants and advisory committees are precluded from receiving suggestions as to suitable appointments from residents of the district.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

How are the advisory committees selected?

Photo of Sir Douglas Hogg Sir Douglas Hogg , St Marylebone

They are selected by the Lord Chancellor, after consultation with the Lord Lieutenant, as I stated.

Photo of Mr Gordon Hall Caine Mr Gordon Hall Caine , Dorset Eastern

Have women been appointed on every advisory committee?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The hon. Member must give notice of that question.