§ The Report of the Committee on the proposition for increasing the Salary of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland was brought up. On the motion that the Resolution be agreed to,
§ Mr. Horner
said, that the proposed increase of the income of the Irish Master of the Rolls still appeared to him to be a most objectionable grant. The Master of the Rolls in Ireland ought not to have his salary placed on the same footing with that of the Master of the Rolls in England, as the latter had much more business brought before him, and had besides higher duties to perform. The proposed augmentation of the income of the Irish Master of the Rolls would make it nearly equal to that of the same officer in this country, as it went to raise it to 4,300l. while the emoluments of the Master of the Rolls in England, including every thing, did not exceed 4,500l. Till within these few years the office of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland had been a mere sinecure. Certainly it was not so now; but still he saw no reason for making the proposed addition to the salary attached to the situation.
in bringing forward the proposition now under consideration, had 657 wished the same principle to be acted upon which had been adopted with respect to the puisne judges of Ireland. He had not intended to place the salaries of the Masters of the Rolls in England and Ireland on the same footing. The resolution which he had submitted to the House went to give the Master of the Rolls for Ireland an income of 4,300l. Irish currency. This, in British currency, was reduced to 4,000l. He had considered such an augmentation was but just, as a compensation for the Six-clerks Offices, which had formerly been at the disposal of the Master of the Rolls, but which had ceased to be so. The character of the present Master of the Rolls could furnish no objection to the grant, as in the discharge of his official duties, his conduct had given such general satisfaction, that only three appeals from his decisions had yet been received.
§ Sir S. Romilly
raised no objection on the character of the individual holding the situation of Master of the Rolls for Ireland, but he did not consider the proposed addition to his income to be necessary as compensation for the disposal of the Six-clerks Offices being withdrawn from him. In lord Kenyon's time those offices were never sold. The sale of them, he believed, though established by usage, was not sanctioned by law.
said, that in the last session an Act was passed, intituled "An Act for the further prevention of the sale or brokerage of offices," in which the offices of Six-clerks were recognized as being saleable.
§ Sir Frederick Flood,
although in general disposed to disapprove of measures which went to charge Ireland with additional incumbrances, yet from the nature of the present proposition, and a conviction of its justice, he should give it his support.
Mr. Serjeant Onslow
felt it painful to object to a grant proposed for the remuneration of a person holding a judicial situation, but he could not refrain from saying that the reasons given for the large increase of income now called for, were not such as ought to be satisfactory to the House.
§ Sir J. Newport
did not think it necessary for the salary of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland, to be placed on the same footing with that of the Master of the Rolls in England. He wished time to be given for making further inquiries on the subject, and thought it might be well to defer bringing in the Bill till the next session.
§ Mr. J. P. Grant
thought he had the authority of Parliament itself for saying, that it had never intended the salaries of the Masters of the Rolls in England and Ireland to be placed on the same footing; as when the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland was created, that difference was established between the emoluments of the two situations which existed at present. What the House had to consider was, whether the salary of the Irish Master of the Rolls was sufficient to support the dignity of his situation, and unless proved to be inadequate, no increase ought to be sanctioned. The repeated applications of this nature made to the House ought to be strictly investigated.
of Dublin spoke in favour of the resolution, and in flattering terms of the manner in which the present Master of the Rolls in Ireland performed the functions of his office.
§ Mr. Horner
thought, if the Irish Master of the Rolls had been in the habit of receiving money for the Six-clerks Offices, he had been guilty of a gross breach of the law, and of a misdemeanor for which he might have been impeached. It might be sanctioned by the Act passed at the close of the last session, when very few members were present, and the subject could not be fully examined; but with the exception of the provisions of that Act, such conduct had no justification in law.
was not aware that any vacancy in the Six-clerks Office had occurred, since the appointment of the present Master of the Rolls, but he believed it had invariably been the practice of the person holding that situation to make a profit of them. Besides the purchase-money, a fee had usually been paid to the Master of the Rolls, which fee would now no longer form a part of the emoluments of that individual.
§ The Report was agreed to, and leave was given to bring in a Bill.