asked the Attorney-General how many justices of the peace were 73 years of age, 80 years of age, and 85 years of age, on the latest date for which the information is available?
I regret I am unable to give my hon. and learned Friend this information. There are altogether 319 Commissions of the Peace, and in England and Wales there are 1,006 Petty Sessional Divisions to which justices of the peace are allocated. To ascertain the present age of the justices of the peace would necessitate an expenditure of public time which could hardly be justified in the public interest. The lists of justices in the various divisions are periodically revised by my Noble Friend the Lord Chancellor, and, in his communications to Advisory Committees and individual benches, he suggests by such means as are practicable the withdrawal from the benches of persons whose ages or infirmities disable them from effectively perform- ing the duties of a magistrate. In all fresh appointments to Commissions of the Peace great care is taken to ensure that persons of advanced ages do not receive appointment.