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would exert their influence for the good of Bill had been in the Order-book for a the people? He heartily approved of the long time, without the possibility of having appointments, and he believed the reason it discussed; and he regretted to observe the House was troubled with this Motion on the other side of the House, something was, because those who brought it forward like a suspicion that it was the wish of the had been disappointed that neither them- Government to pass the Bill without disselves nor their friends had been made cussion. That was not the case; on the Lord-lieutenants. He felt gratified by the contrary, those who supported the Bill appointment of Mr. Fitzgibbon to Lime- desired nothing so much as that its merits rick, as he was a gentleman of great should be well understood. The Court to respectability, of large property, and Cus- which this Bill referred--the Court of tos Rotulorum of that county.

Exchequer in Scotland, had, for a long Mr. Maurice O'Connell said, the mea- period, and up to a very short time since, sure had been canvassed, and the great been composed of five Barons-one Chief objection made by hon. Gentlemen in the Baron, and four Puisne Barons. A ComOpposition, was founded upon the rejection mittee, which was appointed some time of those friends they had recommended since, on the motion of his right hon. to his Majesty's Ministers. It was, after friend, the member for Waterford, recomall, but natural and reasonable that the mended that the number should be reduced Government in its appointments should to four; a struggle to avoid this reduction prefer their own friends, but he believed took place, but in course of time the numthe appointments had been grateful to ber of Judges was reduced to four, namely, the country. With respect to the first one Chief and three Puisne Barons; and appointment (Lord Duncannon) every hon. subsequently, at a much more recent Member must allow there could not be a period, in the year 1830, the total number more honourable, upright, and straight of Judges was to be reduced to two, forward man than that noble Lord. The namely, one Chief and one Puisne Baron; appointment for the county of Waterford, that was to say, when vacancies occurred also, that was objected to, was equally they were not to be filled up, and they would honourable and upright. In some instan- not make the Judges of the Court above ces, however, he must say, that he thought that number. Such seemed to have been the Government had overlooked its best the progress of opinion as to the propriety of friends.

reducing the number of Barons composing Mr. Walker approved of the appoint- this Court, and now another era in its ment for Waterford.

history arose, when it was justly conceived, Colonel Perceval, in reply, expressed a that the business brought before it was not hope that the right hon. Secretary for of sufficient magnitude to justify its conIreland would not suppose he had the tinuance even on these principles. He arrogance to point out any individual to would state what was the object, and what his Majesty's Government for appoint- were the leading provisions of this Bill; ment. He had only discharged his duty the Court at present consisted of a Chief in recommending Mr. Wynne. He dis- Baron and two Puisne Barons, because, claimed all party feeling in bringing for- owing to the unfortunate decease of a ward the Motion. He should, however, member of that Court, a vacancy had always contend, that non-resident appoint- taken place, which, by the Act of 1830, ments were bad. He begged leave to could not be filled up. When another withdraw his Motion.

vacancy occurred, the number of Judges Motion withdrawn.

in the Court would be reduced to the

amount fixed by the Statute of 1830. Court of ExcIIEQUER (SCOTLAND).] | The Bill now on the Table of the House The Order of the Day was read for the proposed that it should be in the power of second reading of the Court of Exchequer all or any of the members of the Court to (Scotland) Bili.

discharge the duties now vested in the Mr. Kennedy trusted the House would whole Court. But in the event of the bear with him, as the task of explaining death or retirement of the Chief Baron and the provisions of this Bill had been confided remaining Puisne Baron, it was provided to him, in consequence of the absence of that the duties of the Court should, in all the learned Lord Advocate for Scotland, respects, be performed by a Judge of the while he made a few observations. The Court of Session, who should be appointed to discharge all the functions of the Court | months there had been one of these arguas it now existed. The effect, therefore, ments, which occupied about an hour. of this measure, would not be to produce This was all the judicial business of this a large saving to the public in the first in- Court-the remaining part of its duties stance, as well as in the result, which would consisted of Treasury business, connected be the abolition of the Court, and the conse- with the taxes in various departments. quent saving of the expenses of the Chief These suits were, as in England, frequently Baron and the one remaining Puisne settled out of Court; but there were some Baron. He would now briefly state the appeals brought before the Barons of the duties of the Court, and the amount and Exchequer, which were despatched by nature of the business which had recently them with great facility, and therefore did been performed. The duties of the Court not require any material consideration. of Exchequer might be divided into two An Act was passed at the instance of an parts, the first consisted of the official duties hon. Gentleman on the opposite side of belonging to the Court, and which related the House, in relation to the corporation to the revenue of the country. Most of rights, with a view to enable trustees to these were questions more of form than of bring their cases before the Court of Exsubstance, being chiefly undefended causes. chequer, but which had not had the effect From Returns which he held in his hand, of preventing the existence of many abuses and which might be relied upon, he would and great malversation. He did not mean state to the House the number of cases to say, that the jurisdiction was not prowhich were tried in the Court of Exchequer, perly exercised; he merely stated the adduring the years 1827, 1828, and 1829, vantages which were taken of it. Indeed, it those being the three last years of the time was not necessary that this expensive Court during which the late Chief Baron pre- should be preserved on thatground. Another sided in that Court. There were three part of the business of the Court, related Terms in the Court-in Candlemas Term to deeds connected with charters, rights there were no defended causes, and five of property in Scotland, and superiorities, undefended; in the next Term none de- of which ihey had heard so much in that fended, and nine undefended; in the House: this jurisdiction must be exercised summer Term one defended and eight un- somewhere or other, undoubtedly. Now defended. In the course of the next year this department of the business had, for there were one defended and eighteen un- some time past, occupied the Court of Exdefended ; and in 1829 there were two chequer about six hours in each Term. defended, and thirteen undefended; so Of course, every reform which had altered that, in the course of these three years, these privileges had greatly diminished there were four defended, and fifty-three the extent of this branch of the business; undefended causes, making a total of fifty- and there could be no difficulty, therefore, seven causes. And during the period in this part of the duty being performed which had elapsed since the retirement of by Judges in whom it was proposed to the late Lord Chief Baron, and during the vest the duties of the Court of Exchequer. time that his right bon. friend, Baron The expenditure in Scotland by the SheAbercromby, had presided in that Court, riffs, had been hitherto discharged from which might be stated at eighteen months, the revenue of Scotland, and supplied there had been one defended cause. So from the general revenue of the country. much, therefore, as to the extent of judicial It was now settled that this sum—about business; he did not mean to say, that 6,0001. a-year-should be voted by Parliathese undefended causes did not come into ment on the estimates, and it certainly Court-on the contrary, one or two wit-would be a very unfit thing that indivinesses were generally examined on the duals, sitting as Judges, should be called part of the Crown; but what he meant to upon to determine matters connected with say was, that no party came to resist the a sum of money which was afterwards to decision of the Court, which was founded receive the consideration of this House ; on the evidence which it was absolutely and, therefore, this expenditure would necessary for it to take.

There was not again be brought under the conanother department of the business of the sideration of the Court of Exchequer. Court, which consisted in hearing the ar- The Treasury business was, in the first inguments of counsel on points of law, stance, substantially conducted by the when they arose : within the last eighteen King's Remembrancer. Under this es

soon

cease

year 1830.

tablishment the amount of the expense taining whether it was possible to comply that was incurred was known. The es- with this recommendation, and, accordingly tablishment was very efficient, but still an inquiry was directed to be made as to the there were irremediable evils arising from propriety of carrying this recommendation the present system, and the whole of into effect; and in 1820 a report was the superintending duty, whether the made, stating that it was deemed by the Court were abolished or not, onght to be heads of all the Courts in Scotland, quite put under the direction of the Board impossible to conduct the business of the of Treasury in London; there surely Court of Exchequer without five Barons : could be no necessity, when that Board this was stated in the strongest and most existed, for sustaining the expense of this decisive terms. No reduction in the establishment. The judicial business of number of the Judges, therefore, was made this Court had been managed according for some time afterwards, but in the year to the English law. Until lately, there 18.30–he would call the attention of the had been four solicitors, or attornies prac- House to this circumstance, in reference to tising in this Court, but in consequence of the charge which had been made against the death of one of these individuals, the the present Government, of acting withnumber was reduced to three, and there was out inquiry—in the year 1830, up came no individual rising to succeed these three the right hon. Baronet, and, contrary gentlemen, who, in the ordinary course of to this strong recommendation, proposed nature, must

to practise. to the House a measure by which one half Such was the state of this Court as it was of the Court would be lopped off at once, left by the Act which was passed in the and without inquiry. He did not mean

Two courses were left open to say that the matter was not maturely for the adoption of his Majesty's late Go- considered, but merely mentioned the fact, vernment with respect to this establish- because it afforded a complete answer to ment; either to superadd to it such func- any charge that might be made against his tions as seemed to accord well with the Majesty's Government, on the ground of character of the individuals placed in it proceeding without inquiry. He hoped for life, as no doubt they were, like any hon. Members would not endeavour other Judges; or if it was thought unft to to excite any sympathy in the mind do so, it was for Parliament to decide of the House in favour of this Court, on whether the Court ought not to be put an the ground of its being one of the ancient end to. He did not mean to disparage institutions of Scotland, because it was the individuals presiding in this Court, but an English Court, for which the Scotch if the Court of Session could discharge had never had any peculiar love; and its the whole of the duties of the Court of constitution was changed in the year 1830 Exchequer, and if the Judges of that without inquiry, wbich was a strong arguCourt were to retire, there might be a ment to shew that his Majesty's Governsaving of the whole expense of the Court. ment might have considered the effect of Various objections to this measure would this measure before bringing it forward. be brought forward ; it had been thought When a member of this Court chose to necessary to have an English Baron to resign, an individual would be selected interpret British Acts of Parliament, from the jurisdiction to which he had adwhich Scotch lawyers were not supposed verted, who would be called upon, by a to understand; but by the sixth report of special commission, to discharge the duties the Comtoissioners appointed to inquire of the office. This Bill originated in the into this subject, it was declared, that it other House of Parliament, in which bills was no longer necessary or requisite to for amending the judicial establishment keep up the office of the English Baron. were wont to originate: it had passed the Their report contained this recommen- House of Lords without objection, alteradation :-- With the exception of one of tion, or comment, and it was now recom

our members we concur in thinking five mended to this House for its consideration. • Barons are entirely unnecessary, and Question put that the Bill be now read • that the business might be conducted by a second time. • four, as it is in the Court of Exchequer Sir William Rae was aware that an• in England, without adding to the labour other opportunity would be afforded for • of the Judges.' In the year 1820, my a more ample discussion of this meaLord Sidmouth had been desirous of ascer- | sure; but he would take this opportunity of saying, that he had no fault to find his own feelings, or to those of the Lord with the statement of the hon, and learned Chief Baron himself, if he did not say Gentleman opposite, as far as it went : that the appointment of his right hon. because, as far as he had explained the friend to that office did great credit to his objects of the Bill, he had done so fairly Majesty's Ministers, and that it had been and satisfactorily; but there were some fully justified by his conduct and talent. words in the preamble of the Bill wliich It was certainly very much owing to his certainly had excited his attention, and representations, that the existing state of which would not have been inserted there the Court of Exchequer had been taken unless they referred to something not pow into consideration; and, therefore, it would in the Bill, or to something hereafter to be quite contrary to all the principles on take place. The words were, “That it is which the Government of this country ' expedient that provisions should be made proceeded, to deprive a Judge of his • for facilitating the retirement of the office, without giving him some compen• Barons.' He did not exactly understand sation for the loss of it. This was the what was meant by these words ; no doubt state of the case; and he trusted the the noble Lord, the Chancellor of the House would think that the circumstances Exchegner, would be able to give some warranted this proceeding. explanation of this passage. Before they Mr. Hume said, the principle on which proceeded to discuss the principle of the they were proceeding was the most exBill, it was important that the meaning of traordinary he had ever heard of in his these words should be correctly under- life. His hon. and learned friend had stood.

given quite sufficient reason to justify the Lord Althorp said, the right hon. Gen- abolition of this Court three years ago; tleman having asked the meaning of these he had stated, that during the three last words, be would beg to give him the years there were only four causes, and yet information which he desired - under when he (Mr. Hume) strongly urged that the existing law, any Baron of the Court on the House two years ago, he was met of Exchequer, who had held his office by assertions that the Court could not be for fifteen years, was entitled to a certain done away with. What did they do only one proportion of his emoluments, by way of year ago ? They increased this Court, by retiring pension. The object of this Bill placing in it a very fit and competent man, was, entirely to do away with this. The no doubt, but so far from his Majesty's Judges who at present presided in that Government receiving any credit for that Court had their pensions taken away, and appointment, which the noble Lord appeartherefore, until they chose to retire, they ed to think they deserved, he (Mr. Hume) would have a riglit to the whole of the condemned it at once, and called it a job, salary attached to their office.

With re

a rank job, for some purpose or other, and spect to the Senior Barons, who had for a if it were done for the purpose of obtainvery considerable time held these offices, ing the support of any nobleman for the it was proposed to give them the option of Ministry, it was an abominable proceeding. retiring on three-fourths of their salary. It had been held that a Judge who was With regard to the Lord Chief Baron, appointed for life should not be removed however, who had been a much shorter so long as he conducted himself properly, time in office, it was proposed, by way of and while no complaint was made of him; holding out an inducement to bim to but were the people of England to be retire, that he should have the option of told, that a Judge who ha l been one year receiving one-half of his salary, as a retiring and a-half in office was to receive a penpension. Thus the saving to the country sion of 2,0001. a-year? This gentleman would be one-half of the Lord Chief had not been in office more than a year Baron's income, and one-fourth of the and a-half, and yet he was to be put down salaries of each of the other Barons. It in the Pension-list for 2,0001. a-year, at a was true the present Lord Chief Baron time, too, when they ought to economise. had been in office but a very short time; This was a most objectionable proceeding : but as the office was granted to him for this Bill came down from the House of life, he would of course retain it, if he Lords without explanation, and they were should not consent to this arrangeinent. to be told now at the last moment--at the With respect to his appointment in the eleventh hour-what it proposed to do. first instance, he should not do justice to Why was not this Court abolished at once? Why were they to have any of Baron, and one Puisne Baron. His hon. these half-and-half measures? Why go and learned friend, in agreeing to this arbeating about the bush in this way? There rangement, acted with the greatest honour were now two legal Bills in progress; one and propriety, because he cut down that had for its object the abolition of a Court, which his long services and high station the other the establishment of one; why so justly entitled him to. During the should not the Lord Chief Baron of the former Administration there occurred a Court of Exchequer preside at the head of vacancy, and he had always viewed the new Bankruptcy Court? Surely, it with the greatest satisfaction the course would be no degradation to him? He adopted by the noble Duke at the head of would take the office after the Lord Chan- his Majesty's Government at that time. cellor : and, upon principle, this would be He well knew the merits of the right hon. the most likely way of doing justice to all Gentleman in question--he recollected the parties. What was there in the Bank- political events which had thrown him out ruptcy Court for four Judges to do? Why of public life-he remembered well his. could not three be dispensed with, and the merits, and he sent to him and offered Lord Chief Baron of Scotland preside in him the appointment. This was a most the Court ? He could not be incompetent honourable trait in the character of his to fill the office ; for he was for many years Grace the Duke of Wellington. The prea Commissioner of Bankrupts, and was sent Lord Chief Baron accepted the office, well acquainted with English law. Why, and he went down to Scotland, considering the office was just fitted for him. It would it as a permanent situation, with 4,0001. be much better to bring in a Bill to abolish a-year; of course he had ascertained that the Court of Exchequer at once. With before he consented to fill the office. Upon regard to the other Judges, if they could that conviction he expended a considernot be made useful, let them have the retired able sum in purchasing a house, and allowance in consequence of their long furnishing it from top to bottom. He soon services; but the idea that the Chief Baron, discovered that the Court afforded him who had been only fifteen months in office, hardly anything to do, and then, instead should receive a pension of 2,0001. a-year, of contentedly receiving this large salary, was monstrous, and he hoped the proposition and doing nothing for it, he was the first was one which the House of Commons would to give an opinion in favour of merging never consent to. Some alteration, there that Court in the Court of Session. He fore, should be made in this Bill in Com- knew that it was sacrificing 4,0001. a-year, mittee, and the services of the Judges but his virtuous mind could not brook the should be made available elsewhere, in- idea of its being kept up as a separate stead of placing them on the Pension-list. Court, merely on account of his personal If the Chief Baron were made the Judge in interest, and, therefore, he gave the advice bankruptcy, the country would save 1,0001. he did with respect to it. There was no a-year, or, if desirable, give him 4,0001. man to whose acts the term jobbing was a-year; but really, to talk of four Judges less applicable. He was almost inclined in bankruptcy appeared to him to be quite to beg the Government not to propose absurd.

giving him a farthing, but to appeal to a Mr. Robert Ferguson expected nothing vote of the House on his conduct. but opposition from the hon, member for Sir George Warrender had not made up Middlesex in questions of this nature; yet his mind as to whether the Court was not he was surprised at the observations he liad useful, or might not be made so, by having made. How could he call the saving of additional business thrown into it. He 2,0001. a-year in one instance a job? If had suggested, on a former occasion, that there was a man in England who would the duties of the Admiralty Court, and of scorn the insinuation of jobbing, it was the Commissary Court, should be transthe present Lord Chief Baron of Scot- ferred to the Court now proposed to be land. During the last Administration, abolished, which would have been much his right hon. friend, the member for Bute, better than transferring them to the Court obtained the appointment of a Committee of Session. These suggestions arose out to inquire into this subject, but it was ulti- of a correspondence he had, not only with mately agreed that the Court of Exchequer | lawyers in Scotland, well acquainted with should remain as it was. In progress of time, the practice of the different Courts, but however, it had been reduced to a Chief with high authorities there, and, had those

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