§ On the motion of Mr. Peel, the House went into a Committee on the Act 41 Geo. 3. c. 25. for the better regulation of the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland, and for augmenting the Salary annexed to the said office.
stated the grounds on which he proposed an increase of salary to the Irish Master of the Rolls. His present income was 3,500l. a year—to this he meant to propose an addition of 800l. to make the annuity 4,300l. The retiring salary of this officer was 2,700l. to which he would move an augmentation of 600l. to make it clear 3,300l. The salary of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland was regulated in 1801. Since that time the salaries of all the puisne judges had received an addition, and when it was considered that he ranked next the Chief Justice of the King's-bench, and above the chief judges of the other courts, it would appear evident that the nature of his station required the means of corresponding dignity. The proposition which he then submitted, had received the approbation of the present and late Lord Chancellors of Ireland; it was last year recognized by the House, in their having given leave for the introduction of a bill, to increase the retiring pension of the Master of the Rolls; but the Bill was not followed up, because it did not embrace the augmentation of the officer, while in the discharge of his duty. 621 The right hon. gentleman concluded by paying a handsome compliment to the individual who now occupied that high station in Ireland, and moved, "That his Majesty be enabled to grant, out of the Consolidated Fund of Ireland, such annuity, in augmentation of the present salary and profits of the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland for the time being, as will make up his salary and profits to the annual sum of 4,300l. Irish currency; and that his Majesty be enabled to grant, under certain conditions to be limited, unto any person who shall have executed the said office, an additional annuity of 600l. Irish currency, such annuity to be granted to him after his resignation of such office."
hoped full opportunity would be given for considering this measure. He believed the Master of the Rolls in England held a situation inferior in income to that of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland; that he received only 4,000l. a year. He knew not whether a house was also found by the public in Ireland. The present Master of the Rolls had declined to receive an augmentation to his salary, when the other judges received theirs.
§ Mr. Horner
hoped the measure would not be acceded to without discussion. Year after year increases were made to the salaries of judges in Scotland and Ireland. The salary of Master of the Rolls was, at present, on a footing of equality, or nearly so, in Ireland and England. Now, he held them to be officers of a totally different rank, and not to be compared together. The Master of the Rolls in England was also an officer of state, and as such, was exposed to considerable expenses. The Master of the Rolls in Ireland had a larger salary than the work he had to perform entitled him to. He protested against the mention to the House of recommendations from judges in measures of this kind. He was not at all surprised that this increase of salary should have had the approbation of the Lord Chancellor. And when the right hon. gentleman should come down in another year with a proposal for augmenting the salary of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, he had no doubt that he would be authorized in like manner to state that such augmentation had also the approbation of the Master of the Rolls. He wished to 622 speak of the judges with respect; but he really thought that in this country, as well as in Scotland and Ireland, increases to their salaries were granted a great deal too easily.
said, that in his situation he could not be considered a competent judge of the adequacy of the salaries of judges. The proposed augmentation had not only the approbation of the present Lord Chancellor, but also of the late Lord Chancellor of Ireland.
§ Mr. Horner
, said he spoke generally; he did not care whether it was lord chancellor Green or lord chancellor Manners who recommended the measure; all he meant was, that the opinions of judges respecting the increase of the salaries of other judges were no authorities, and ought not to be listened to by the House.
was in the sense of the House, if the hon. and learned gentleman had not expressly said that the Lord Chancellor of Ireland would next year come forward for an augmentation of his salary with the approbation of the Master of the Rolls.
asked if the right hon. gentleman considered that lord Manners was always to be Chancellor of Ireland, or that lord Eldon was always to be Lord Chancellor here? His hon. and learned friend could not be supposed to mean any particular lord chancellor.
§ Mr. Lockhart
understood that the late Master of the Rolls had not held his situation many years, and had not retired in ill health. Coming year after year for an increase of salary, had a strong tendency to make the judges dependent on the Crown. No doubt it was with Parliament to grant or refuse the addition; but still the Crown had the power of originating the measure; and he thought, therefore, that this practice ought very much to be guarded against. There was not the same ground for proposing an increase of salary now as formerly; the price of necessaries had very much fallen in Ireland.
thought that the House ought to be informed of the extent of duties which the Master of the Rolls in Ireland had to perform, before they consented to this increase.
§ The Resolution was then agreed to.