HC Deb 05 June 1805 vol 5 cc174-5

The report of the prize agency bill was brought up, and several amendments, introduced by sir W. Scott, were agreed to.

Mr. Johnstone adverted to the charge brought before the house on a former occasion by admiral Cochrane against the king's proctor, alledging that he permitted his partner, in many cases, to act for the adverse party; and animadverted in strong terms upon such a practice, particularly in an officer who, according to the statement of the hon. mover of this bill, received not less than 13,000l. a year net profit from his business. The hon. gent. remarked that when the charge of gross malversation which he alluded to was made, the learned gent. (sir Wm. Scott), did not contradict it. He concluded with moving a clause, that any proctor who shall allow his partner to take the adverse side, or who shall directly or indirectly receive any part of the profits from the proctor on the other side, or any other person, shall, upon conviction thereof, be utterly excluded from the profession, and any place whatever he may hold in the admiralty or vice-admiralty courts. And also that for every offence the offender shall forfeit 500l. to be recovered on information, &c.

Sir W. Scott did not see the necessity for this clause, as the practice it referred to was already pronounced illegal and was punishable on detection. He had no objection, however, to its import, and therefore should not oppose it.— The clause was adopted, the bill was gone through, and ordered to be read a third time to-morrow.—Adjourned.