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Description

An editorial-style article on page 6 of the Cardiff Times, 26 September 1925, expressing concern about the process for appointing magistrates (justices of the peace).

“The Lord Lieutenants are the representatives of the Crown for each county in the United Kingdom…The Lord Lieutenant also recommends those for appointment as Justices of the Peace by the Lord Chancellor.” Source: royalcentral.co.uk/blogs/official-royal-posts-lord-lieutenants-38253, accessed 11/4/17. It is an honorary (unpaid) post.

“Magistrates (also known as justices of the peace) are 21,500 volunteer judicial office holders who serve in magistrates’ courts throughout England and Wales.”
“Once appointed, magistrates are assigned to a local justice area (also known as a bench).”
Source www.judiciary.gov.uk/about-the-judiciary/who-are-the-judiciary/judicial-roles/magistrates/?wbc_purpose=Basic&WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished, accessed 11/4/17.

The article refers to Comrade Tom Mann. "Mann was totally opposed to the First World War and was prosecuted for sedition. In 1917 he joined the British Socialist Party, and in that same year, was a firm supporter of the Bolshevik revolution. In 1919, despite his earlier defeat over 20 years previously, he became the secretary of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, retiring in 1921. He was chairman of the rank and file National Minority movement which built a strong base in all sections of the trade union movement much to the annoyance of the TUC, and he was a founder member of the Communist Party in 1920." Source: www.marxists.org/archive/mann-tom/biography.htm, accessed 11/4/17.

"The Cardiff Times was a weekly English language liberal newspaper established in 1857, and circulated throughout Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire, Breconshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire and the adjoining English counties. For the first forty years the newspaper's main content was Welsh Liberalism, but in 1886 its contents was completely re-modelled to include other features such as contributions by Welsh writers and eminent Welsh bards, serial stories and descriptions of Welsh social life. One of its contributors was William Abraham (Mabon, 1842-1922). From 1857 to 1928 it was owned by D. Duncan & Sons, and from 1930 onwards by the Western Mail. The newspaper was published between 1857-1928 and 1930-1955." Source: newspapers.library.wales/browse/3380665, accessed 10/4/17.

Transcription:

HOW J.P.S ARE MADE.

It is no doubt desirable, as the ”Law Journal” contends, that the distinction of the magistracy should be the object of keen competition, but at the same time we think there are grounds for the protests of a Lord Lieutenant that too many persons are recommended for the position, and too little consideration is given to the question whether they can afford time for the work. It is also certain that in many districts undue importance is attached to the political colour of persons recommended to the Lord Lieutenant, and it is necessary, therefore, to insist that the honour should not be regarded as in any sense a reward for political services. The intrusion of any considerations save those of personal fitness and knowledge, and a readiness to devote the time necessary for the efficient discharge of the duties, cannot be too strongly deprecated. No justice of the peace should be allowed to retain the title unless he is prepared to do the work of the Bench regularly as required by local needs. Nor should any individual be considered who presumes to press his own claims upon a Lord Lieutenant. A case was mentioned recently in which the staff of an English asylum sent a request to the Lord Lieutenant that the time had come when they should be represented on the Bench! No mention was made of the necessity for securing equal representation of the inmates, but doubtless that would be the next step. If such a demand were favourably considered we should soon hear that the Minority Movement was pressing the claims of COMRADE TOM MANN as a suitable person to administer justice to offending members of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. The system of making appointments badly needs revision.

From Microform, Local Studies, Cardiff Library.
Image created by The British Library Board.
Copyright: Media Wales.

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