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whether the party was a trader and came the question was important? He could within its provisions, and questions in take time for deliberation instead of sheltergeneral of that sort. The arbitrator would ing his ignorance under a plea of appealinvestigate the accounts, and they would ing to his fellows. He was afraid the be decided upon oath-according to the practical effect of this arrangement would rules of plain common sense. The Com- be to bring people into the Commission missioner ould, in the first instance ex- who were unfit for the office. amine them; if they were complicated he Sir Charles Wetherell said, the case his would call in assistance, but all issues to hon. friend had put, relating to the pracbe tried by a Jury would only relate to tice in the Court of King's Bench, had not questions of fact.

the slightest analogy to what would hapMr. Warburton would take the case as pen under this Bill." Upon such a motion the hon. and learned Gentleman put it, as that made by his learned friend, there was for there could be no doubt, if the Com- no examination of witnesses, and no inquiry missioners were authorized to call in as- whatever. That case simply was, his hon. sistance, they would do so in almost every friend moved, perhaps, “That judgment case. Indeed, in times of mercantile dis- be entered for the defendant,” to which the tress it was impossible they could have Judge answered, “You had better move it time to investigate accounts without further when the Court is more full.” How could assistance. In the year 1826 there were such a case, with any propriety, be said to 10,291 public and private meetings: this resemble the case of the Commissioner would average five meetings a day to each for Bankrupts, who must go through the of the six Commissioners, and he thought whole of the case before him, whether he this duty alone would fully employ them. decided it or not, and who must put in

Clause to stand part of the Bill. motion the whole functions of a Judge

On the question that the clause relating before he could determine whether he to Subdivision Courts stand part of the would decide the question himself or refer Bill,

it to others to decide. This part of the Sir Charles Wetherell said, the effect of Bill was applicable, however, to something this clause would be, that a party would else, he meant a certain Cabinet measure, have to run the gauntlet through all the for which the hon. Gentlemen opposite Commissioners; he might appeal from one said “We are all responsible alike.” The to another until he had run through the Commissioners, who would form a sort of whole list.

demi-Cabinet among themselves, would Mr. John Campbell thought nothing also follow this example, and say, could be more simple than this provision. will make this a Cabinet measure, and then One Commissioner would decide upon we shall be all of us equally responsible.” ordinary questions, but if there was any By these means this double hearing difficulty he had the power to call in as- would be productive of no other results sistance. He was surprised, that the hon. than as a sort of loop-hole through which and learned Gentleman should disapprove guilty parties might escape, and would reof this clause, when he knew that the great Jieve the Judge from individual respondisadvantage of the present system was sibility. He would not move an Amendthat three Commissioners must decide, by ment to the clause, for he despaired of which much labour and money was thrown carrying it, but he could not let it pass away. Besides, the practice was common without shewing he had great objections in the superior Courts to have only one to it. Judge. He frequently made motions be- Mr. Serjeant Wilde said, the operation fore one, when if any question of import of the clause would be advantageous in ance arose, it was postponed by the Judge this way that the parties in all cases of who presided until his brethren were pre- difficulty would have three well qualified sent. This was the practice in the Court persons to decide their case instead of one. of King's Bench, and it would be followed Clause to stand part of the Bill. by the Commissioners appointed under On the question relating to the apthis Bill.

pointment of Registrars and Deputy ReMr. Warburton was most ready to allow, gistrars, that ordinary questions being decided by Sir Charles Wetherell said, this clause one Commissioner was an improvement but was to appoint two Registrars at 8001. why should he appeal to two others if each, and eight Deputy Registrars with VOL. VIII. {s.

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salaries of 6001. a-year each. These were | The most important orders were daily pretty handsome allowances certainly, but made under the simple signature of the he hoped to be told what were the duties Lord Chancellor. they would have to perform ; for besides Clause agreed to. these, there was to be a Secretary for On the clause providing for the apBankrupts with a full establishment of pointment of Country Commissioners and clerks.

the directing fiats to them. The Attorney General said, his bon. Mr. Puget said, if the appointment of and learned friend would of course re- these Commissioners was left entirely to collect, that it was impossible to have a the Chancellor, who ought to be responBankruptcy Court without Registrars, and sible for them, there would be more sewhile the chief of them attended the Court curity for their being proper and respectathey must have Deputies to look after the ble persons than if appointed by the Judges duties of their offices; and as to the ex- of Assize, who must be guided only by pense, this establishment would cost 1,6001. hearsay as to the merit and qualities of the a-year less than the present one.

persons to be appointed. Mr. Warburton said, if these Regis. The Attorney General said, he thought trars could be made the means of taking the case would be quite the contrary. The down the evidence and proceedings of the Judges went the circuit, and had the best Court in short-band it would save much opportunity of knowing, from actual obsertime; every body knew that whole days vation, the merit and capabilities of the were taken up occasionally with putting persons whom they appointed. That was a few questions.

an advantage that the Chancellor would be Sir Charles Wetherell said, he agreed wholly destitute of, from his constant rewith the hon. Gentleman that short-hand sidence in town. writers would be much more useful than Mr. John Campbell supported the clause. such an establishment of Registrars, whose Nothing could be worse than the present appointment in such numbers he thought appointments. The Commissioners were a farce if it was not for the purpose of obtain- mostly country attornies who played into ing patronage. He should, therefore, move each other's hands. To show how the as an Amendment, that the word “ two” as present system worked, he would state a applying to the Registrars be left out, and fact, the truth of which was perfectly well the word “one” substituted, and, that the known to him :—A friend of his, a practiword “ eight” should be left out as apply- tioner at a provincial Bar, was made a Coming to the Deputy Registrars in the clause, missioner; a case of bankruptcy occurred, and that the word “ four" be substituted. and considerable sums of money were col

Amendment negatived, and the clause lected from the estate. “ Now," said my ordered to stand part of the Bill.

friend to the attorney, “I think we may On the clause authorizing the Lord have a dividend." "A dividend !" echoed Chancellor to issue a fiat in lieu of a Com- the attorney with great surprise," let me mission,

advise you never to mention the word Mr. Lefroy said, it appeared that the dividend,' or you will not suit us.” fiat might be issued both for London and Mr. Burge objected to the clause that country Commissions. How was this there would be two kinds of jurisdiction fiat to be authenticated ? The Seal au- established by it. The country Commis. thenticated itself, but that was not the sioners were not to have the same powers case where only the signature of the indi- as the London Commissioners. He wished vidual was attached in London. The to know if these country Commissioners hand-writing might be well known, but were to have the power to direct issues ? how could the country Commissioners be The Attorney General said, if it was desure that it was authentic? and upon the sirable issues should be tried in the country, validity of the instrument depended the he saw no reason why an amendment to legality of their whole proceedings. A that effect should not be introduced. The Commission might be issued at not more object of the clause was only to improve expense than a fiat, and was much more the general practice of such Commissions. easily ascertained to be genuine.

Sir Charles Wetherell said, the plain The Solicitor General observed, in reply matter of fact was, that out of 1,500 to the hon. and learned Gentleman, thai Commissions of bankruptcy annually ishis objection was of no weight whatever. sued, 500 was the outside of those which took place in London-so that two-thirds was not at all likely that the machinery of the bankruptcy cases would never be would be found to suit the new codes. He brought before the new Issue Court as es- had hitherto made no remarks on these tablished by this Bill, and he would never laws, but had confined himself to the new consent to an extension of what appeared Court. When they came to the laws to him likely to be an absurd and trouble-themselves, he feared they would find it a some system.

very difficult task to prevent complaints as The Attorney General was perfectly to their working in particular cases. ready to admit, that the materials could Clause agreed to. not be readily found in a country town for On the clause providing that a discrethe constitution of such a Court as was tionary power of superseding Commissions proposed to be formed in London ; neither should be vested in the Great Seal, was it expedient or necessary, for a large Sir Charles Wetherell objected, that such proportion of the country bankruptcies a power should be delegated to the Lord were brought to London to be worked, Chancellor. It would be a direct interand surely, if every case could not be em- ference with the rules of his Court, as braced, that was a very bad reason why already long since clearly laid down and the management of other cases should not established by long usage. be improved.

The Solicitor General replied, that there Sir Charles Wetherell said, the Bill were sufficient constitutional controls for constituted a new Court, and many of the the prevention of that judicial functionary's questions which would be brought before improperly enforcing this privilege in any it were matters of right ; others were mat- Commission that should come under his ters of discretion. À larger discretionary cognizance, and the Bill expressly propower ought to be allowed, or they would vided, that he should exercise it in no case, find the machinery of this much-lauded except where manifest and valid grounds Court not competent to deal with the laws should be shown for his interference. that were left.

Mr. John Campbell said, the Chancellor The Solicitor General observed, that the might be impeached in this as well as in present measure had nothing whatever to other cases if he abused the power given do with the Bankrupt-laws themselves, but him: all that was done by granting the suonly related to the administration of them. persedeas was simply saying, he should The whole of the present laws were con- have the same authority over the fiat that he solidated about six years ago, by a bill had over the Commission. brought in by Mr. Eden. The new ma- Sir Charles Wetherell said, that by the chinery, he was free to admit, was not rules of the Court, and by the usual pracapplicable to some of their provisions. tice, the Chancellor could only decree A's

Mr. Warburton said, the age of the sta- property to B in certain known cases; but tute was of very little consequence; the the clause enabled him to supersede a great object of inquiry was, whether the Commission at his good pleasure. law were good, and, if not, how it could Mr. Freshfield observed, that instead of be improved. Many gross errors and putting the order or fiat upon the same faults had been pointed out in the Bank- footing as the Commission now stood, this rupt-laws. He would just mention one: clause was so prodigal in its power, as to the law now was, that if a man became a allow the Chancellor to do what he pleased bankrupt thrice, and his estate, in the with the fiat, regardless of existing rules. second Commission, did not pay 15s. Mr. Bonham Carter said, thesej existin the pound on the third bankrupt- ing rules were cases in which former Chancy, the assignees for the second bank-cellors had, in the exercise of their discreruptcy could pounce upon the effects of lion, come to certain decisions. There the third. This operated frequently as were no statute rules. an inducement to fraud. He himself had Sir Charles Wetherell said, certainly been concerned in a case where this effect there were no statute rules, but there was took place.

the usage of two centuries ; and they now Sir Charles Wetherell said, it was a proposed that the Chancellor should wholly whimsical course to make a new Court be- dispense with that usage, and decide wholly fore the anomalies and absurdities of the at his unlimited discretion. He would not, whole of the present system of the Bank- however, press his objection to a division. rupt-laws were revised and corrected. It Clause carried.

House upon it.

On the clause relating to the appoint- | that two-thirds of those who actually voted ment of official assignees being read, should be inserted, instead of a similar ma

Mr. Warburton suggested, that as this jority of the whole of the rate-payers. and other subsequent clauses might give Lord Skelmersdale said, the Committee rise to some discussion, it was advisable had considered that two-thirds of the that at that advanced hour (half-past two actual voters was not enough to decide o'clock) the Chairman should report pro- such a question. gress, and ask leave to sit again.

Viscount Melbourne said, it was the duty Lord Althorp assented to the proposal. of all persons who paid rates to attend the

The House resumed—the Committee to parochial meetings. If they did not attend, sit again the next day.

then the affairs of the parish ought not to

be delayed because of their neglect. ECCLESIASTICAL Courts CONTEMPT The Earl of Harrowby said, there could Bul.] The Attorney General moved the be no question but that the Committee Order of the Day for the second reading thought that two-thirds of the whole numof this Bill, and said, he hoped to be al- ber of rate-payers, was the smallest number lowed to read this Bill a second time. He which could be allowed to decide. moved that it be then read a second time. Viscount Melbourne must persist in his

Mr. Ruthven considered the Bill most Amendment, and he would, therefore, at objectionable, as he understood it was in- once move, that the words “all the ratetended to have a retrospective operation. payers” be left out, and the words “a He was so decidedly opposed to it, that, majority of the votes so given" be inserted if the hon. and learned Gentleman persist in their stead. ed in his motion, he would divide the The Earl of Harrowby said, he was of

opinion there was no meaning in the proThe Attorney General said, he hoped the posed Amendment. It was quite clear hon. Gentleman would not give the House that means would be found to obtain a the trouble of dividing, as he would have majority of two-thirds of the voters, and if ample opportunity of discussing the Bill parishes, upon a majority being procured in the Committee, but he must persist in by any underhand contrivances, once his motion of carrying through the second adopted the Bill, the evils which might reading that night.

result would be irremediable, because the The House divided : --Ayes 35; Noes harm would be already done. He did not 5--Majority 30.

think the noble Viscount had brought The Bill read a second time.

forward any grounds to justify such a material alteration.

Viscount Melbourne thought the regulaHOUSE OF LORDS, tion very absurd as it stood, and as to any Saturday, October 15, 1831. fraud or contrivance being practised, the

same objection would apply to all meetings MINUTES.) Bills received the Royal Assent.

of the same nature. He continued of ings; Charity Commissioners; Money Payment of Wages; Barbadoes Importation; CommonLaw Fees ; Employment opinion, that the question of adoption or for Labourers : Customs Fees: Scotch Turnpikes : Plurali- not ought to depend upon a majority of ties : Special Constables ; Galway Franchise : Poor Relief: two-thirds of those who attended, and Public Works (Ireland): Public Hospitals (Ireland); White Boy Act Amendment, and the Arms (Ireland.) | those who did not think proper to come

Read a third forward and vote ought to be considered time; Valuation of Land (Ireland), and Military Accounts (Ireland.)

as having no interest in the question. Petitions presented. By the Duke of BuccLEUGH, from the The Earl of Harrowby said, there was

Freeholders of the County of Peebles, not to be united to this distinction between an adoption of Selkirkshire, and from the Borough of Selkirk, for an alteration of that district.

the vestry system, and the generality of

matters brought before parish meetings, SELECT Vestries Bill.] The Earl that the latter were open to future reconof Abingdon presented the Report of the sideration, while this could not be; thereCommittee on the Select Vestries Bill. fore, it was necessary that the manner of

Viscount Melbourne understood, that deciding on it should be without shadow the Committee had made the adoption of of suspicion. On these grounds he felt this Bill in a parish to depend on the bimself called upon to oppose the Amendvotes of two-thirds of the rate-payers. ment proposed by the noble Viscount. He begged to propose as an Amendment, The Lord Chancellor said, he had had

Church Build

Read a second time ; Distillation (Ireland.)

some communicationswith parties interested to the noble Duke, that he had not pledged in this Bill, and their opinions were so strong himself to adopt the principle of Mr. against the alteration made in the Commit. Sturges Bourne's Act, or to any particular tee with regard to substituting two-thirds view of the question. His only object of the whole rate-payers for two-thirds of was, to make the measure efficient, and he those who were actually present, that thought the noble Earl's Amendment was such persons had even gone so far as to likely to impair that efficiency, and, say, that they would rather be without therefore, he should oppose it. the Bill than accept it clogged with such The Earl of Falmouth thought, that a condition. He wished, therefore, for property should have its due weight in further tiine for consideration, that he might every parish, and, therefore, he was in fully ascertain what was the general feel favour of the principle of Mr. Sturges ing, and what was likely to be the effects Bourne's Act. He had had practical exof the measure.

He should propose, ac- perience that it worked well where it had cordingly, that the matter should stand been adopted. With respect to the obserover until Monday.

vations of the noble and learned Lord, The Earl of Delawarr had an Amendment that he required time to consider the which he wished to have introduced, and effects of the proposed Amendment, he which he would then mention. It would thought that could be hardly necessary, bave for its object the placing the right of because the clause itself was copied from voting on the same principle as was adopted a bill which was introduced by the present in Mr. Sturges Bourne's Act. He thought Ministers themselves in the last Session of a regulation of that sort indispensable. Parliament. His proposal was, that all those who paid Bill to be re-committed on Monday, and under 501. rent should have but one vote, printed with Amendments. and all those who paid above that sum should have an extra vote for every addi- BANKRUPTCY COURT BILL REtional 251. of rent; but to make such turns.] The Lord Chancellor, in consefurther provision, that no person could have quence of certain misrepresentations which more than six votes.

had been circulated respecting himself and The Lord Chancellor said, the multitude the Bill which he had introduced into that of his avocations had hitherto prevented House for the reform of the administrahin from reading this Bill, and he requested, tion of the Bankrupt-laws, was induced therefore, time to make himself acquainted to move for several returns connected with with it. As the Bill was not yet printed, the subject, the production of which would he thought he could do so if the discussion be the means of disabusing the public mind. were postponed for a day or two, and in He was both astonished and mortified, to the mean time the Bill could be printed | find that an attack of a most singular and with the Amendments proposed.

extraordinary character had been made The Earl of Haddington agreed with the upon him in a publication, by a learned noble and learned Lord. It was most friend-the venerable father of the Bar, desirable their Lordships should know all and the father of Law Reform—for whose the Amendments to be proposed without virtues, talents, and professional acquiredelay.

ments, he had always entertained the reThe Duke of Wellington said, there spect which they were so justly calculated appeared a misunderstanding on all sides to excite. As the attack did not ostensibly with regard to the Bill. He had under- bear the name of his respected and venerstood the noble Viscount (Viscount Mel-able friend, he would abstain from naming bourne), who had the management of it, him in that House, although the author proposed to adopt the principles of Mr. was sufficiently indicated by the character, Sturges Bourne's Act, and make them circumstances, and style of the attack, applicable to the metropolitan parishes, which he could account for only by attrias the operation of that Bill was at present buting it to certain prejudices and theories confined to the provinces, where it had upon the subject which his learned friend given general satisfaction. If the Bill was entertained. The charge was of a most passed, it ought to become the general law extraordinary nature, for it was nothing instead of leaving it to parishes to adopt it less than that he had brought forward the or not.

Bill, and had pressed it through the House, Viscount Melbourne observed, in reply because the effect of it would be, to put an

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