MAGISTRATES versus MOTORISTS [To the Editor of THE SPECTATOR.] SIR,—By
way of reply to Mr. Charles Wright I do not need to, and indeed, I cannot, add to any previous letters. We both seem to stick to our opinions and repetition adds to them no force.
By " Follower of Bentham " I am boldly accused of corrup- tion. That is an old dodge to which conservatives have always resorted to discredit reformers.
Nearly all his questions are rhetorical and in the rest I can trace no question. In general reply I would say that curiously enough I have been to London police courts and have always been struck by the efficiency and justice of the stipendiary magistrates' work. The superiority of these courts over lay benches is an irresistible conclusion for those who have studied a fair number of the latter.
I do not want " Follower of Bentham's " support at any price so I will give him no satisfaction about Assize judges' and Recorders' retiring ages ! When someone writes about penology to your paper, Sir, it will give " Follower of Bentham " a better chance of trotting out his pet subject than the narrow limits of my controversy afford. Meantime, the important thing is not to see that a convicted person is sentenced by a penologist but to see that an accused person has a fair trial and that an innocent person is not convicted. In my humble opinion these objects would be better secured by abolishing lay benches. Surprisingly enough I would refuse to be a stipendiary myself and do not care a rap about the money one could earn in that way. " Follower of Bentham " is an impudent fellow to attack me personally. I suppose he cannot imagine a dis- interested motive.—I am, Sir, your obedient servant,