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and he certainly was not disposed to impute either the motives he had heard assigned to Lord Brougham, or to interpret the conduct of the noble and learned Lord in the way it had been, as a difference in political sentiments was not, in his opinion, a sufficient excuse to attack the character of a man. Lord Brougham was a man of great talent; and supposing that he were not actuated by a desire to do good and serve his country, yet his high ambition would preserve him from the influence of such considerations as he was sorry to hear imputed to that noble Lord. He certainly did not agree in the political opinions of the noble and learned Lord in question, for he had had a chief part in framing a measure which, in his opinion, was an organ which would lead to other steps ending in the destruction of the Constitution of the country. He did not think that any man, under the circumstances in which Lord Brougham was placed, would be actuated by such motives, and still less did he entertain such an opinion of that noble and learned Lord.

The House went into Committee-Mr. Bernal in the Chair.

man, but he would say, that the head of that man must be very thick, and his understanding very groggy, who could suppose that when he (Sir Charles Wetherell) alluded to political patronage, he was insinuating, that in the framing of this Bill any individual was actuated by the dirty motive of putting emolument into his own pocket. He thus thought that he had removed himself out of the unjust and uncandid atmosphere of the hon. member for Preston--an atmosphere which he did not wish to breathe. He had thus fairly met the hon. member for Preston, and hurled back his dirty insinuations. As to the retiring pension to the Chief Justice, he did not object to it; but would the House give retiring pensions to the Puisne Judges? Assuming, then, that a pension should be given to the Chief Justice, though not to the subordinate Judges, nor to the officers of the Court, he would beg leave to notice what had fallen from the hon. member for Colchester, who told the House that he was a fortnight waiting for an opportunity to deliver his sentiments upon this Bill, and now that it had been given, it did not enable the House to arrive at any very distinct or satisfactory result; for he had not touched any one of the con

On the clause being read, enacting, "that the said Judges, or any three of them, shall and may form a Court of Re-siderations which were of importance view, &c," in the decision of a question of this nature. Sir Charles Wetherell rose to defend The matter in dispute between the Memhimself from the attack which had been | bers on this side of the House and the made on him by the hon. and learned hon. Gentlemen opposite was, not the exmember for Preston (Mr. John Wood). istence of the evils complained of, but the The hon. Member had thought proper to best mode of remedying those evils. The criticise his (Sir Clrarles Wetherell's) vochief difference between them was, respectcabulary, and had found particular fault ing the intermediate Court, or rather the with him because he had said, that the pa- construction of that Court; and upon that tronage granted by this Bill "stunk in his subject the worthy Alderman, who had nostrils." Now when he used that phrase already taken a part in these discussions, he had distinctly stated, that he would not had said, that there were many defects have used so strong an expression, if which ought to be remedied; and so there Lord Brougham, when a Member of that were in this Act many defects which must House, had not given utterance to it. He be remedied before it could be rendered still objected to the extent of patron- useful to the community, or in any respect age provided by this Bill. Not with respect promotive of the ends of justice. In the to any pecuniary advantage that might whole course of these discussions there accrue from it-nothing he had said had was not one hon. Member who had not the most distant approximation to such a thought proper to make him a subject of dirty, paltry, miserable idea; but because animadversion-some had found fault with that patronage might be made the source his arguments, others with his languageof political influence. A more unfounded one objected to his vocabulary as vulgar, charge than that levelled at him by the and others complained of his statements hon. member for Preston never was ad- as exaggerated; but he consoled himself vanced against any one. He wondered by the reflection, that he endured this in how such an idea could enter into, he common with all those who had ever would not say, the muddy head of any maintained the opinions of the minority,

It was not long since, owing to an accident | Notwithstanding all this, they proceeded which left him in that place almost alone, he had as many as six or seven speakers to reply to, supported as those speakers were by a host of cheerers. He was somewhat in the situation of his poor friend Lord Londonderry, who was pelted by half-a-dozen at a time. Being now in Committee, he was in a situation to meet his adversaries-adversaries upon whom he never turned his back, if they were ever so formidable, and the Ministerial cheers by which they were supported ever so loud. The importance he and his party attached to the creation of patronage which would take place under this Bill, had been made a subject of ridicule, in the House and elsewhere; but let it be recollected, that their objection to that patronage did not rest upon any probable use to be made of it by the present Lord Chancellor, and, therefore, the answer that had been given to this argument met no one of their objections. The answer which their adversaries gave was, that Lord Brougham had said, "With respect to the patronage, do not let that be any obstacle; I am perfectly willing to give it up." But there were far other grounds upon which they opposed this Bill, and far other exceptions which they took to it, though the organs of Ministerial opinion were pleased to say that they urged these objections, not from conviction, or a sense of public duty, but from a desire to gain time till circumstances should prove more favourable to their views. They were, in fact, accused by the Press of speaking against time. Such was the miserable organ to which their opponents were compelled to have recourse an organ that would, whenever permitted, issue ukases as violent and as tyrannical as those which were obeyed" hereafter established." Now, if he were upon the banks of the Volga or the Don; to divide the Committee on this point, he and for disregard of these ukases, they should, no doubt, be assailed by the gipsey(the Opposition) were proscribed-they jargon of the day, and told that he was were told by this organ that they were guilty taking a factious part. The present Bill, of a waste of time. The more this Bill was he must say, was the most crude heap of examined, and the more frequent and re- non-existent legislation that he had ever peated the attempts were to expose its seen. faults and imperfections, the more evident must it be to the independent Members of that House, that the present was not a factious opposition-notwithstanding his hon. and learned friend, the Attorney-General, seemed to say as much-and although he did so in the quaint and polite manner peculiar to him, still the accusation amounted to something of that sort.

The next clause enacted, "That all such matters to be heard and determined in the said Court of Review shall be brought on by way of petition, motion, or special case, according to the rules and regulations to be established, as hereinafter provided, subject to an appeal to the Lord Chancellor on matters of law and equity, or on the refusal or admission of evidence only, &c."

Sir Charles Wetherell said, that this clause spoke of rules and regulations to be "hereafter established," by which matters to be heard and determined in this new Court should be brought on. He should be glad to know something of these rules and regulations. Here was a Bill going through the House in October, 1831, which was to come into effect in January, 1832, and yet the rules and regulations by which its proceeding were to be governed in certain cases were to be

notwithstanding all this, they gained ground every day. The hon. member for Buckinghamshire admitted that a good many alterations ought to be made, and the hon. member for London made a similar admission. If the principle of giving the retiring Judge a pension were confined to the Chief Justice, he should not object to it, but even in this case a matter so purely experimental ought not to be allowed to accumulate upon the public so enormous an expense. He had an amendment to propose to that clause under which the Court of Review was to be appointed; but he should, of course, postpone submitting that amendment to the consideration of the Committee, until they had arrived at that particular clause. Clause agreed to.

Sir John Newport contended, that the Bill did contain that provision which the hon. and learned Gentleman complained of as having been omitted. If individuals would look carefully to the clauses of the Bill, they would not fall into such errors, and much time would, in consequence, be saved. In page there was a clause which completely met the hon. and learned

Gentleman's objection. It was there enacted, "That the Judges of the said Court of Review, with the consent of the Lord Chancellor, shall have power from time to time to make general rules and orders for regulating the practice of the said Court of Bankruptcy, the sitting of the Judges and Commissioners thereof, and the conduct of the practitioners therein." What could be more plain than this? The enactment proceeded on the principle acted upon in every Court in this country, each of which had a right to frame rules and regulations for its government.

Sir Charles Wetherell said, his objection was, that the present measure went to overturn an old system of practice, without giving them any insight as to what the new practice was to be.

The Solicitor General said, that the object of the clause was, to allow parties to proceed by motion and by special case, as well as by petition. He was surprised at the objection of his hon. and learned friend, because no one knew better than his hon. and learned friend the inconveniences which resulted from the present jurisdiction.

Mr. Warburton had already stated, that if he were compelled to choose between the present system and this Bill, he should prefer the Bill, defective as it was. He could not, however, help perceiving, that there was flowing a tide of improvement, which would carry away all the defects of the existing system, and he must therefore object to so defective a measure as the present. He could not understand the necessity for this series of appeals-this cascade of appeals-which came so rapidly upon each other, that if the frail bark should escape one or two, and ride for a time in smooth water, yet still it must perish before it cleared the last. Why was not one man of pre-eminent abilities, and with a good salary, placed at the head of the Court, and the ultimate appeal made to him? The hon. Member then read several extracts from evidence of Sir Samuel Romilly, Mr Horne (the present Solicitor General), and Mr. Cooke; all of which, the hon. Member said, justified him in contending, that there would be no necessity for an appeal to the Chancellor, if a Judge of the first abilities were selected to preside over the Court. He valued but as dust the uniformity of decisions which had been so much lauded. Let them reduce their laws to writing; let them bring

their laws together into a code, and all the arguments respecting uniformity of decisions would fall to the ground.

The Solicitor General said, that he had never given any general opinion upon bankruptcy. He was asked to go before the Chancery Commissioners, and he went. The Commissioners put questions in a set form of words, and he was obliged to frame his answers to that form. Surely those answers could not be taken as his opinion upon bankruptcy. If the Commissioners had asked him for his opinion respecting the bankruptcy jurisdiction, het should have stated what he thought the best plan of ameliorating it, and not have contented himself with an opinion, with reasons, or with the exposure of faults, without the suggestion of what he considered remedies for those faults.

Mr. Godson said, it was evident that the hon. member for Bridport (Mr. Warburton) did not understand the appellate jurisdiction created by the Bill. The general objections to appeals did not apply to the appeal given by this Bill, for it would be accompanied neither by the delays nor the expenses which usually attended appeals. The facts would be settled by the Court below, and the appeal would only be made on a matter of law. The Chancellor, therefore, would have, in fact, merely to perform the part of a Court of Error.

Mr. Serjeant Wilde was convinced, that if the hon. Member (Mr. Warburton) opposite would give his attention to the nature of this appellate jurisdiction, the hon. Member would see that his objections to it had no foundation whatsoever. There was no other way of guarding against the mischiefs of conflicting decisions than to promote such an appeal as would ensure uniformity of decision. The hon. Member (Mr. Warburton) had said, that he valued uniformity of decision but as dust, for he wanted a code. This was a very extraordinary position. Take an Act of Parliament-there was the hon. Member's code for him at once. But how did the hon. Member become the better off by means of a code, since Courts would act upon the construction of the Act of Parliament

upon the construction of the code-and upon nothing else? Now the advantage of this appellate jurisdiction was this-it would lessen the expense and the delay of the present system. At present, ninetynine out of every hundred appeals, were

to be regulated.

Mr. Burge could only account for the speech of his hon. and learned friend, on the supposition that he presumed hon. Members on that side of the House were blind to the evils of the present system of Bankrupt Laws, and therefore conceived no remedy to be necessary. If his hon. friend thought so, he misconceived their opinions. They felt and admitted, that there were evils in the present system, but they did not consider the present Bill the proper remedy for those evils. He deci

appeals as to the facts, and not as to law, introduced to each other for the first time and the enormous delay and expense of upon taking their seats in the Court, when such appeals were notorious. Appeals as to they would have to enter upon the immefacts were positively ruinous, but as to law diate discharge of their duties, without they were not attended with much expense, having had an opportunity of consulting and were decided speedily. The author- with each other and settling the rules by ities which the hon. Member (Mr. War-which the proceedings of that Court were burton) had quoted related to appeals as to facts. Sir Samuel Romilly was neither so unlearned nor so inexperienced as to be unaware of the distinction between these two classes of appeals; and it was to appeals as to facts, and to those appeals only, that Sir Samuel Romilly and the other authorities cited, referred. But the appeal given by this Bill was an appeal upon the law, not upon the facts of the case. No disputed fact was ever placed in a special case; special cases were usually contained in three brief-sheets: they involved matters of law only, and indedly thought, that a part of the expenthe Courts in which he practised, not sive system of the new Court was not more than one counsel was usually heard required. With respect to the additional on each side. Such would be the nature patronage that would accrue to the Lord of the appeal to the Lord Chancellor under Chancellor, he saw nothing whatever obthis Bill whereas the appeals under the [jectionable in it, provided it could be existing system, stated all the facts and shown, that the Courts and officers in the disputes upon them, and not unfre- which it would originate were essential quently occupied upwards of 1,000 brief- or necessary to the public interests. In sheets. He would venture to say, that answer to what his learned friend had the appeal given by this Bill was given in stated as to the beneficial result of vivá a more economical, a more speedy, and a voce examinations, he begged to refer to more efficient manner than the ingenuity the Bill itself; the latter part of which of man had ever before devised. Among left open the power of calling for affidavits all the objections which had been urged as much as for oral testimony. In addition against this Bill, that which had surprised to these and other objections, he also him most was, the objection of his hon. thought, that the Judges' salaries were and learned friend (Sir Charles Wetherell), insufficient to lead eminent men to give up that the Judges to be appointed under it their practice and the prospect of advancewere to be appointed forthwith. Now if ment to other judicial appointments. a Court were appointed for new purposes, there would be no great inconvenience, perhaps, in naming the Judges the very day before they were to enter upon the discharge of their duties, because business would come but slowly to such a Court, and the Judges would have time to make their rules as occasions for those rules presented themselves. The Bankruptcy Court, however, would take up every Commission in existence, and would be not only full, but more than full of busi-source of fear to commercial men, next to ness by the 11th of January, the day the delay and expense of the law, came from which the Act was to take effect. its uncertainty, and this would be augWhen, he would ask, if the Judges were mented by the number of Judges. If a not to be appointed forthwith, were the single Judge had been appointed in the rules for the Court to be made? If his new Court as the ultimate Judge of Appeal, hon. and learned friend's suggestion were he should have deemed the measure a to be attended to, the Judges would be great benefit to the country. One Judge,

Mr. Paget said, that while he admired. the able speech of the hon. and learned Member (Mr. Serjeant Wilde) he must, at the same time, say, that the terror felt by commercial men at the ruinous delay in the proceeding in bankruptcy would not be lessened by the present measure. Such would be the result of the additional appeals. For his part he could see no utility in appealing to the Chancellor, and much less to the House of Lords. As the

in his opinion, would be preferable to four | of long and complicated accounts; some -would have given more uniformity to regulation and provision for the due exthe law, and better satisfied suitors. After amination and settlement of such ought, thirty years' experience in business he had undoubtedly, to be made. found the expenses incidental to the present system so enormous, that he believed even this Bill, bad as it was, would be a great relief to the community. In these days, however, of improvement, he trusted that they would see a little more' of the philosophy of law introduced into practical legislation.

Mr. Freshfield said, that three appeals would be unnecessary on the grounds upon which the hon. and learned Serjeant founded his argument, for he was inaccurate in his data. This was also the case with the hon. and learned member for St. Alban's (Mr. Godson), in saying that there were two appeals in every case, and that, therefore, they must be continued. He had stated, that an appeal would be first to the Exchequer, and then to the House of Lords. In this instance, the hon. and learned Member was in error; he, therefore wished the House not to seek for imaginary reasons to support the appeals on this Bill.

Mr. Warburton moved pro forma, as he stated it was not his intention to divide the Committee, to leave out all the words of the clause after the word "provided," in the fourth line of the clause.

Sir Charles Wetherell expressed his satisfaction, that the factious part of the House had received such a useful reinforcement in the two hon. members for Bridport and Leicestershire. He contended, that the prevailing evils in the Bankruptcy Courts would not be removed by the Bill. It was an experimental Bill : there had been no inquiry, no Committee, as there ought to have been. The Bill laid down no rules, established no practice, and would be inefficacious. He agreed with the two hon. Members alluded to, in thinking that there ought to be a superior Judge of Appeal; but he thought that Judge should be the Lord Chancellor or the Vice-chancellor, while those hon. Members thought he should be a separate Judge.

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The Solicitor General observed, in reply to the hon. Gentleman, that it was a part of the duty of the official assignees to take such, matters under their superintendence, and if he would refer to the Bill, he would find the case he put was specially provided for.

Mr. Warburton said, it was perfectly notorious, that by the existing system one set of creditors endeavoured to prevent another from proving their debts, for the purpose of excluding them from voting for assignees. This frequently gave rise to great disputes and very considerable inconvenience and expense among the creditors with respect to the appointment of assignees, and this made it positively necessary that a special provision should be made for the examination of long complicated, and perhaps disputed accounts.

Sir Charles Wetherell quite agreed with the principle laid down by the hon. Gentleman, that accounts should be investigated without reference to strict and technical rules. The great fault of the Bill was, that it proposed to remove existing abuses, but provided no specific remedy for them. He apprehended the mode of proceeding with long and complicated accounts would be, that the single Commissioner would refer them to the three Commissioners, and they would refer them to the Assignees or somebody else for revision and settlement, and this would be the result of this economical and, as it was called, save-all Bill, even in the first stage of its progress.

The Attorney General said, there would be a special arbitrator appointed to decide upon all disputed accounts, and, therefore, he thought such an officer, who, he had no doubt, would do his duty, would fully meet the objection taken by the hon. member for Bridport. Such accounts would be settled by the strict and technical rule of evidence.

Mr. John Campbell thought the Bill contained a sufficient provision for the due investigation of the most complicated accounts. The Commissioners would wholly neglect their duty if they held that matters of account were to be decided by a Jury. The only questions really for a Jury to decide in bankruptcy cases would be simple matters of fact, such as whether an act of bankruptcy had been committed,

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