§ MR. CHADWICK
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to a report in the "Times" of the 22nd June, of observations by the Lord Chief Justice in the High Court of Justice, to the following effect:—So long as the Government has not that which is essential to the administration of justice—a public prosecutor—so long every individual, however rash or ill advised, has a right to put the Criminal Law in motion;whether the Government have any intention of proposing to Parliament next Session any Bill which will provide for the appointment of public prosecutors; and, whether they will consider in making provision for such appointments the practicability of authorising clerks to 1520 magistrates, who are paid by salary in lieu of fees, to act as public prosecutors?
MR. ASSHETON CROSS,
in reply, said, his attention had been called to the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice, who felt strongly on this matter. The question of a Public Prosecutor had formed a subject of consideration, not only to the present, but to the late Government. He must, however, warn the hon. Member and the House that the appointment of a Public Prosecutor, though necessary, would be found to be a very expensive luxury when carried out, not only with regard to the Staff to be appointed, but in the prosecution expenses, which would be heavier than at present. He was prepared, whenever an opportunity offered, to bring in a Bill on the subject; and with regard to the suggestion of the hon. Member that magistrates' clerks should be authorized to act as public prosecutors, he would refer him to the remarks of the Lord Chief Justice in the Report of the Judicature Commission, where his Lordship observed that they would not get better duties from the same men by paying them higher salaries and calling them by a different name.