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Hungerford Justices' Clerk

Volume 178: debated on Wednesday 24 July 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that the chairman of the Hungerford Bench and the county treasurer for Berks had repudiated liability for £55 5s. penalty and costs collected by the late clerk to the Justices, MR. Hopkins; whether some authority is responsible for this and similar moneys; and, if not, will he take measures to protect these public moneys which are collected in the name of the Crown.

My attention has been called to the matter. The sum mentioned was due from the estate of the late clerk to the Justices, who died insolvent. Neither the Justices, nor the county treasurer, nor any other authority is responsible. I have no power to intervene in the matter, and I am not prepared to propose any charge in the law by which the clerk to the Justices is responsible for fines and fees collected by him.

But ought not securities to be insisted on in this and other cases? The money has been lost.