§ MR. W. H. SMITH
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department. If his attention has been drawn to a decision of the Magistrate of the Westminster Police Court directing that a penalty imposed under the provisions of "The Nuisances Removal Act, 1855," should be paid to the Receiver of Police for the Metropolis instead of to the Local Board of Works, the prosecuting authority, although the Nuisances Removal Act provides that all penalties under the Act should be paid over to the Vestry, District Board, or other local authority appointing an analyst; and, whether he will consider the expediency of providing that the penalties under this Act imposed in the metropolis shall be paid over to the local authority as in other parts of England?
Sir, I have considered that decision, which appears to me to be in strict accordance with the existing law. There are, undoubtedly, strong reasons of public policy in favour of pay- 904 ing over these penalties to the local authorities, and thereby encouraging active and vigorous enforcement of the laws entrusted to them. On the other hand, the circumstances of the metropolis afford much justification for an exceptional course. The Treasury bears in the metropolis charges which elsewhere are borne by the local funds, especially the cost of the police magistrates and the police courts, and they have therefore a special claim upon these penalties. The subject is not clear of doubt; but I am not prepared to say that a change ought to be made.