HC Deb 24 April 1828 vol 19 cc51-108
Mr. M. A. Taylor

said, he rose, in pursuance of the notice he had given, to submit a motion respecting the present state of the Court of Chancery. He had at one time thought that this subject would have had the sanction of the government; and had that been so, it would not have been necessary for him to occupy the attention of the House for any length of time; but it was necessary for him to make out a case to induce the government to look into the abuses of that Court, which, he contended, and would prove, was in a worse state than ever; alike injurious to the interests of the country, and to the welfare of the subject. He supposed, that because the motion came from so humble an individual as himself, it would have but little weight with government; but he trusted that the good sense of the country and of that House would support him, if they should see, as they could not but see, that, as the Court was now constituted, it was not fit for the business of suitors, and that they would, one day, come forward and demand that immediate steps should be taken to ameliorate the condition of the people, with respect to Chancery proceedings. If he was in error in thinking that some such measure was necessary, that House participated in the error with him; for that House and the government had, from time to time, agreed that some amendment in the mode of proceeding was necessary. In 1811, the casting voice of the Speaker decided that measures ought to be adopted for the purpose of affording a remedy for the evils complained of; and that House, in concurrence with the House of Lords, agreed that some immediate steps should be taken to give effect to the business of the court. A measure was carried for that purpose in 1813; yet he could prove that, at that time, there was not one third of the business to be disposed of which there was at the present moment. It would not be necessary for him, in support of this, to go in detail into the voluminous, evidence contained in the re ports of the commissioners: a few extracts would be sufficient; for he took it for granted, that no man could go into the purlieus of that court without admitting the evil of which he complained. The House, as well as the public, admitted the necessity of doing something to remove the evil; but it was of such magnitude, that parties were afraid to look it in the face. When the state of the court was talked of, its many imperfections were readily admitted; but then it was asked, "What can be done? How will you remedy it?" So that the very magnitude of the evil operated in favour of its continuance. It had been said, that no evil should be without a remedy; and he was asked, what remedy he had to propose? He had proposed one: and then he was at once met by the parties objecting, that they were not agreed as to the extent of the evil. He, however, could assure his hon. and learned friend, the Attorney-general, that he would still go on—that he would, from time to time, take the sense of the House upon such measures as he thought were required, and were practicable. Many of those evils might be soon remedied, if those who admitted the extent of the evil—if those who experienced it in their attorney's and solicitor's bills of cost, and who saw the injury which the system was doing—if each individual would come forward, state his own particular grievance, and demand redress. He himself had nothing to do with the Court of Chancery: he was not afflicted with the misfortune of being a party in any of its proceedings; for he knew so much of it, that he would willingly forfeit hundreds of pounds rather than be involved in a Chancery suit. Ministers, it would appear, did not think proper to look into the proceedings of this court, and thus the public was sacrificed to political interests. He spoke not of the present moment, but of times past; for he had been told, on a former occasion, when speaking upon this subject to a person high in office, that the fact was, they could not afford to part with the then lord Chancellor, lest it should be the means of breaking up the government. Was not this, he would ask, a departure from the principles on which a Court of Equity was established? Those who were acquainted with the nature of an Equity Court would admit, that it was not created for the sake of the emolument it would give to the person who was placed at its head. It was not set up as an object for political ambition. The office of keeper of the Great Seal of former clays, had not that great political importance which was now attached to it. The principle on which an Equity court was established was for the relief of a suitor in cases to which the common law did not reach, and for no other purpose.

He would not, as he had stated, go into the report of the commissioners, for it went only to part of the practice of the court; but, notwithstanding that that commission took up two years, and that bills were brought into that House founded upon it, and afterwards abandoned, all that the public gained by it was a string of resolutions, or orders, to accelerate the hearing of a cause; but as he should allude to other proceedings before the setting down of the case, it would not be necessary for him to touch upon them at present. He would content himself with saying, that the orders recently made had not gone as far as they might have gone, for the correction of the evils of which he complained. Without intending to depart from the rule which he had prescribed to himself, he might, however, express his objection to the order which compelled a defendant to put in an answer on oath to a bill which was not filed upon oath. He had, he believed, in common with most men who had directed their attention to the subject, beheld with regret the great strides made by the Court of Chancery in extending its jurisdiction. If the Court of Chancery should proceed as it had of late proceeded, the country gentlemen and the commercial interest would take the alarm; for there was scarcely any subject which might not be brought before that court, or any persons who might not be implicated in a suit. The wide jurisdiction of the court reminded him of a passage in Hudibras, in which the writer made that jurisdiction extend to questions of love and match-making. The passage ran thus— And if you follow their advice, In bills, and answers, and replies, They'll write a love-letter in Chancery, Shall bring her on her oath to answer ye, And soon reduce her to be your wife, Or make her weary of her life. The delays which took place in the administration of justice in the Court of Chancery were so great, that if an indivi dual were entitled to 200l. under a will, and the executors, from over caution, did not choose to admit the assets, he would defy the ingenuity of the most active solicitor to get that 200l. out of court in less than six years. Again, unless the assets were supposed to be sufficient to cover all demands and leave a residue, a widow and children would not receive a farthing for years, unless the master should make a special report in their favour. Before he proceeded further, he would put the House in possession of the motion which he meant to submit. The motion was as follows:—"That it appears to this House from the papers laid on the table, as well as from the report of the commissioners appointed to inquire into the practice of the High Court of Chancery, that, notwithstanding the establishment of the office of Vice-chancellor in 1813, further steps are necessary to advance the general interests of suitors in Equity, to provide for the more prompt decision of cases, and to enable the Court of Chancery effectually to discharge the important duties connected with its jurisdiction." That was the motion he should feel it his duty to submit, and to call upon the House for their decision with respect to it.

Having stated the object which he had in view, he would proceed to show the amount of arrears at present existing in the Courts of Equity. In performing this task, he had not the slightest intention to impugn the character of any professional man. It was not of the individuals but of the practice that he complained. It appeared from the papers on the table of the House, that on the first day of Hilary Term, 1818, there stood on the paper of the lord Chancellor, of re-hearings and appeals, sixty-nine. Before the Vice-chancellor, there stood, of causes, three hundred and fifty-one; of pleas and demurrers, seventeen; of exceptions and further directions, one hundred and fifty-eight; making a total, in the two courts, of five hundred and ninety-five. It was important that gentlemen, not conversant with the profession, should understand, that when a cause was heard in Chancery, it was merely put in the progress of being decided. Decision did not take place on hearing the cause. It was sent, after hearing, to the Master, who was some time in making his report; which was heard by the court, and then further directions were to be given. The cause might be brought to a second hearing, and the judge might require the production of other facts. What he complained of was, that the cause often stood on the paper for hearing for two years, and then the further directions of the court often did not come on for nineteen months, and then it was very unlikely that the case: could be heard for a year longer, or even a year and a half. The present Master of; the Rolls was the Vice-chancellor in 1818. When he first occupied this latter office, he was enabled, by great exertions, to arrange, that, after hearing a cause, the further directions should be disposed of, within six or seven months. But business increased upon his hands to such an extent, that, soon after, this six or seven months became eighteen or nineteen months. A cause could not be heard until the process of further directions came on except, indeed, hi peculiar cases. To return, however, to the papers before the House. In Hilary Term, 1828, there were before the Chancellor and Vice-chancellor five hundred and fifty-nine causes; but many of these had been set down before Easter Term, 1826, and many before Trinity Term, 1827. There were now on the paper—re-hearings two, exceptions eighty-one, causes one hundred and forty-seven, making, in all, two hundred and thirty cases for the decision of the Master of the Rolls; so that upon the last Hilary Term, there were altogether eight hundred and twenty-five Equity cases waiting the decisions of the respective judges of the three courts. He understood, from the papers on the table, that the two hundred and thirty cases which stood on the paper of the Master of the Rolls at the period mentioned, had since been all cleared off.

He now claimed the attention of the House to another document; namely, the printed paper usually furnished to counsel, and which was issued about a fortnight ago. From this paper it appeared, that there were then standing before the Court of Chancery twenty judgments, and before the Vice-chancellor two. At the present moment there were causes undecided in the Rolls' Court which were heard before lord Lyndhurst when he sat there. These facts, which he had stated from returns before the House, were evidence of the existence of a state of things which could not be contemplated without the greatest anxiety. For the present Vice-chancellor he entertained the greatest respect. He knew that he would spare no exertions to expedite business in his court; but it was in evidence, from the mouth of that learned person himself, that the state of the court rendered it impossible to despatch business adequately. At the outset of his address he said he pledged himself to prove, that the Court of Chancery was in a worse state at present than it was at the time of the establishment of the Vice-chancellor's Court. In 1811 and 1812 the House thought proper to advise that some steps should be taken with respect to the Court of Chancery. The consequence of that interference of the House was, the establishment of the Vice-chancellor's Court in 1813. He would now compare the state of the court at that period with its present state. At the former period, there stood before the Court of Chancery—of causes, one hundred and fourteen; of appeals, thirty-five; of re-hearings five; of demurrers, fifty-nine: making altogether two hundred and thirteen. In the Rolls' Court, there were—of causes, two hundred and twenty-six; of further directions, forty-four: amounting altogether to two hundred and seventy. Thus, then, it appeared, that at the time when it was considered necessary to establish the Vice-chancellor's Court, the arrears in equity amounted to only four hundred and eighty-three; whereas now they amounted to five hundred and ninety-five. And, but for the great exertions of the Master of the Rolls, that number would have been augmented to eight hundred and twenty-five.

This being the case, then, he was warranted in saying, that the House was called on to take some steps, if they acted consistently with their former views of the subject. He thought that one measure ought to be the separation of the bankruptcy jurisdiction from the Chancellor's Court. In the Vice-chancellor's Court there were, in last Hilary Term, two hundred and forty-five bankruptcy petitions to be heard, besides thirteen that were standing over—in all two hundred and fifty-eight. In 1813, the number was only two hundred and three. It thus appeared, that there existed, for the interference of the House, much stronger reasons at present than those which produced the establishment of the Vice-chancellor's Court in 1813.

He now felt himself bound to refer to the evidence given before the commission. In page 94 of the Report, Mr. Hamilton, a solicitor of considerable eminence, gave the following opinion as to the delays with respect to hearings:—"I see no other way (of altering the time) than that of appointing additional judges; or the Master of the Rolls sitting in the day time from ten till four, instead of the evening, from six till ten, and also sitting more frequently than he does." This question was put to Mr. Hamilton—"If you set clown a cause before the Vice-chancellor in Trinity Term, when is there a probability of its being heard?" Mr. Hamilton's answer was, "I think it could not come on in less than eighteen months, if all the causes which are now set down are fully heard." Mr. Hamilton was then asked—"Supposing the cause to be heard before the lord Chancellor, is there much, and what time, elapses before obtaining a decision?" The question referred to the late lord Chancellor. The answer was, "Certainly; frequently months, sometimes years; and I have heard of many cases, in which the parties have not been able to obtain any decision at all." In a subsequent part of his examination, Mr. Hamilton expressed his opinion of the absolute necessity of separating the bankruptcy jurisdiction from the other duties of the lord Chancellor, if the appeals were ever to be heard in any reasonable time. The evidence of Mr. Cooke, a gentleman well-known, of considerable professional experience, went to prove that the bankruptcy jurisdiction occupied a considerable portion of the time of the court, and more and more every day. In the course of the examination of sir L. Shadwell, the present Vice-chancellor, the following question was put to him:—"Do you conceive that the Court, with its present powers, is capable of the discharge of the duties which you imposed upon it?" His reply was—"I think if you had three angels, you could not get through the business." He believed that the opinion then expressed by the present Vice-chancellor still remained unaltered. The same learned individual expressed an opinion, that the simplest mode of removing the evil complained of was to separate the bankruptcy jurisdiction from the Court of Chancery: he thought that then the three judges would be able to get through the remaining business.—Mr. Bickersteth, a man of as high standing as any in the profession, stated in the course of his examination, that "The delay which happens after the case is ready for hearing, and before it is heard and a decree made, appears to me to be attributable to the Court." He likewise stated, that he considered the present number of judges insufficient. Mr. James Lowe, an eminent solicitor, complained before the commission, that his causes set down for hearing were not heard within any reasonable time. He further stated, that the expense of simply attending the court to get one case heard, amounted to l,000l. He likewise cited the case of "Oldham v. Cooke," in which the Master reported favourably to his client in 1816, and in 1824 the exceptions taken to that report had not been heard. Mr. Bell, the counsel, stated, that considerable time was occupied with bankruptcy cases, and was of opinion, that if all the duties which at present attached to the Courts of Chancery were continued, the three judges could not despatch the business which came before them with sufficient celerity. One of the witnesses examined by the commissioners was Mr. Forster, who once practised at the Chancery bar, but had for some years retired from the profession. Many years ago he drew up certain propositions for amending the practice in the Court of Chancery, which were approved of by lord Thurlow, but which had by some accident been allowed to sleep, and had never been brought into operation. Mr. Forster, in his evidence, said, that any change in the practice to be effectual must be accompanied by a change in the constitution of the Court, and by a different organization and application of its judicial powers. Mr. Winter, the solicitor, stated in his evidence, that no blame was attributable to the solicitors who practised in Chancery. He begged to call the attention of the House to this point, because lord Redesdale, in his pamphlet, had thrown much blame on the solicitors. According to that learned lord, it would be necessary to believe that a solicitor expended all his energy in a court of law, and reserved only his sloth for a court of Equity. Mr. Winter said, that the cause of delay was to be found in the different instruments with which a solicitor worked in a court of law and in a court of equity. The essence of a court of law, he said, was despatch, and the essence of a court of equity was delay. Mr. Heald and Mr. Roupell both stated, that the business in Chancery had lately considerably increased, and that the judges, with all their diligence, were not able to keep it down. Mr. Ellis and other individuals spoke to the same effect.

Now, having detailed this evidence to the House, he would ask whether he was right or wrong in the proposition which he intended to submit for their consideration? He saw no reason why that proposition should be opposed by government. The evil must be admitted. The question then was, what remedy was to be proposed? He had been told that there existed great objections to the remedy which he had always proposed. His opinion, however, had undergone no change. He had stated to the House matter which came home to the business and the bosom of the country. It was every man's case—" proximus ardet Ucalegon." All admitted the evil, but many did not dare to look it in the face. The arguments against reform, in the days of Mr. Burke, were, that the reform was not practicable which he contemplated—that that which was not practicable was not desirable. That great man, in reply to these objections, observed, that every thing of this nature was attainable by well-informed minds of sufficient energy. In that opinion the House concurred, and followed up his principles. To that spirit in the House of Commons of that day—which he hoped would be imitated by the present House of Commons, which had the benefit of a more extensive experience—were to be attributed the great and important reforms which took place in the Exchequer, in the household, and in other branches of the public expenditure. He could not help feeling sorry that the right hon. Secretary for the Home Department was not present. He thought that, when a motion of tins sort was to come before the House, the right hon. gentleman might well have spared it some of his attention. Where a question was to arise which concerned no less than forty millions of the property of the country, he thought the right hon. gentleman did wrong to absent himself; and that, too, at the very moment when many were rotting in gaol, because they could not obtain the decision of the Court—[Just at this minute, Mr. Peel entered the House].—He was glad to see the right hon. gentleman, though he could not but wish that he had been present when he stated to the House what had been the nature of the evidence taken before the commissioners. He would, however, give the right hon. gentleman a copy of that evidence.—[Mr. Peel said, he had read it.]—He was glad to hear that such was the case, for if the right hon. gentleman had indeed read the evidence, how he could hope to get over the circumstances of the case, he did not know. As to the question of bankruptcy, that was one of secondary consideration: he did not intend to insist that that must be taken away, but he did insist most strenuously that something must be done. What was the project that government had for affording relief? to send a portion of the cases to the Exchequer. But, was this either just or fair? What! had he not a right according to the constitution of this realm, to set down his cause in the High Court of Chancery, or to go before the lord Chancellor of England, and prefer the great seal to determine his case if he thought proper? This he understood to be their project, or at least a considerable part of it.—How did the members of his majesty's government treat him when he, on former occasions, brought on the consideration of this subject? When he offered a remedy for the evils complained of in that court, they replied "No, we cannot accept of your remedy, for we do not admit your facts." There were some in that House, who formerly deeply regretted the existence of these grievances, who argued that the motion was not necessary now, and ought to be withdrawn. Was it because there was a new government, and a new lord Chancellor, that this great object, embracing the interests of so large a portion of the population of this country, should be given up? What, he would ask, was the state of the court now? Had any pledge been redeemed since the appointment of the successor of the late lord Chancellor? And here he begged to be understood as not meaning to imply any censure on lord Lyndhurst; for he would admit, that the evil rested not with that noble judge, but with the members of his majesty's government collectively, who remained insensible to the situation of the suitors now labouring under the consequences of being thus deprived of their property, and refused to interfere. He called on government to redress the evils complained of. He entreated ministers to consult the public feeling in this instance. He now charged the government with being accessory to the continuance of this shameful system; and he once more de- manded for the people, justice. He, for one, would never consent to send the suits in Chancery to be tried in the Court of Exchequer; on the contrary, he felt, with many of the gentlemen who had given evidence on the committee, that the simplest mode to relieve the Court of Chancery would be to separate the bankruptcy business from it. Supposing such a separation were to take place, and lord Eldon were appointed judge in bankruptcy cases, would the public deplore such an event? Certainly not. But the difficulty was, who was to have the patronage in that case? That was the question, and the real question. There was the appointment of the clerks in bankruptcy, and under the patentee; the patentee himself, with a salary of 6,000l. a year, besides his deputy with another good salary; all which money was wrung from the wretched creditors and their distressed families. What objection could there possibly be to make the lord Chancellor a judge of appeal in equity, and the occupier of the woolsack in the House of Lords? If the judge of the Rolls court were to sit, regularly assisted by the labours of the Vice-chancery court, and another judge to be appointed in aid of the Chancery court, the business would be satisfactorily, as well as rapidly, got over, and the High Court of Chancery be what it ought to be,—a real court of appeal in equity. To talk of its being so now, was absurd: it was an appeal from a judge in a tie-wig in Lincoln's-inn-hall, to the same judge in a full-bottom wig in the House of Lords, with a snoring bishop perhaps on one side, and a Scotch peer on the other, wishing him and the cause together at the devil? The lord Chancellor would then, in reality, be judge in appeal in his own court, as well as reviser of the opinion and judgments of others in the House of Lords. If this plan were adopted, did ministers suppose the people of this country would make a niggardly provision for carrying the project into execution? He begged the House to recollect, that in his representation of the cause of the evil, as well as the remedy, he had been supported by the Vice-chancellor, by Mr. Bickersteth, and by several intelligent persons about the Court of Chancery. By whom had he been opposed? By his majesty's government. It was to them that all the blame was imputable, and to no other quarter. But he trusted that the public would not be contented, until a thorough reform was effected in the Court of Chancery. The hon. member concluded his speech with the motion which he had read in the course of it.

Lord Rancliffe

seconded the motion. He said he had long been aware of the many mischiefs that the delays in the Court of Chancery entailed on its suitors; and although he had a very high respect for the present lord Chancellor, and did not conceive that the fault rested with him, he nevertheless trusted that such on alteration would be made as to rectify those heavy abuses which made that court a serious evil to all who were so unfortunate as to have business to transact in it.

Mr. Horace Twiss

said, he would hot inquire into the other general causes of delay in Chancery, because he was satisfied that the main source of mischief, to which all the others were as nothing in the comparison, was the length of time that intervened between the setting down of a cause for hearing in any of its stages, and its coming onto be heard before the court. He could make this intelligible in a few plain words. Suppose a cause to commence to-day, and allow a year for the stages prior to the hearing, the answers and the evidence, which would bring the parties to April 1829. The cause would then be set down, but it would not get its turn to be heard for a year and three quarters; that is, till the beginning of 1831. The ordinance of Cromwell, that every cause should be heard on the same day on which it was set down, would not be reasonable; an average interval of two months might be allowed between the setting down and the hearing: but what would be said to the present course of the court, which, instead of averaging a period of two months, averages a period of almost two years? Well! in the beginning of 1831 the cause would be heard, and the judge would direct the necessary inquiries or accounts before the Master, which might occupy another year. In the beginning of 1832, when these were completed, the cause would be set down for further directions, for which it must wait a year and three-quarters more; that is, till the end of 1833. A second reference to the Master was perpetually required; as, for instance, where land was devised to pay debts and legacies; and this would occupy, he would suppose, a shorter time; so that, at the beginning of 1834, the cause would be set down for the final decree. Would the suitor be then put out of pain? Far from it: another period of a year and three-quarters must elapse before the cause could come to the top of the paper, when at last it would be finally disposed of towards the close of 1835.

This was the example of a case, where no undue delays were interposed by any of the parties. Two years and a half, or, with diligence, two years, would have been occupied by them in the necessary business of the cause. That, indeed, is a long time for a widow, an orphan, a creditor, nay, even a legatee, to be kept out of the pittance, they are respectively entitled to; but, long as it is, it is a mere span in comparison of that other amount of time, the aggregate of the three periods of a year and three quarters each, consumed in waiting successively for the first hearing, for the further directions, and for the final decree. The whole time required for the cause having been seven years, or seven years and a half, from five to six of these years, that is, more than two-thirds of the whole time, would have been absolutely wasted and thrown away, not in preparing for justice, but in merely standing still to expect it—wasted, not by the parties, not by the solicitors, not by the practice, not by the court—but solely by that want of means to get through the business, which is now become not more the grievance of individual suitors, than the reproach of the country. He had instanced no extreme case. If an example were selected where a plea, a demurrer, or an exception had been brought on and overruled, he might have had to add another period of a year and three-quarters, making upwards of nine years. If the suit were then carried on to a re-hearing, or an appeal, the number of years would amount to eleven or twelve; of which about nine would have been consumed by the suitor in the mere act, or rather the mere suffering, of waiting for his several turns to be heard before the court. Again, one delay begets another. If, in any of these long intervals, any of the parties die, the suit abates, and another period of a year and three-quarters may elapse before it can again be brought to a hearing. He had been counsel in the very last cause ever heard before sir Anthony Hart, when Vice-chancellor, which was a suit against an Insurance Company for a life annuity; and, as the annuitant was between eighty and ninety, time was a material object. It had been partly heard on the last day of Easter term; but the pressure of other business having obliged the Vice-chancellor to postpone that, and other causes, to a distant day, it happened that before that clay one of the defendants died, and the suit abated. The annuitant, at almost ninety, was left without any provision, but the kindness of some of his relations. Within these few weeks, he also was dead; the annuity being still unpaid, and the cause still unheard; and all this without any blame to the court, or to any individual, from the mere inadequacy of the number of tribunals. In very many cases there were more than twenty or even thirty parties; and it was obvious, that, without calculating on any extraordinary accidents, such suits, if they were to be thus protracted, would be abated perpetually, by the mere probabilities of human mortality. The costs, too, were increased; for, if a solicitor's capital were locked up for ten years instead of three, his charges must be proportionally greater.

It was no good argument to refer to the delay of three terms, which sometimes occurred at common law. That was a delay of almost a year; but it was only half the duration of the delay in each stage of an equity suit; besides, the delay at law was not in the original hearing, but only in proceedings in the nature of appeal—such as motions for new trials, arguments on special cases, and so on. Nine-tenths of all the business at common law began and ended within the year. A cause at common law was usually confined to a single issue, and disposed of by a single hearing; a cause in equity consisted of many separate questions, and could seldom be disposed of in less than two or three hearings. The delays, then, between the periods of setting down and of hearing, were the great, overwhelming grievance of the Chancery, to be now redressed by the legislature. Those who ascribed the evil to the slowness of particular judges, were ignorant or forgetful how ancient a grievance it was; as ancient, at the least, as the time of Henry 8th. The arrear, even then, was so heavy, that it was deemed an herculean labour to discharge it. Fuller, in relating that sir Thomas More achieved this object (on which he observes, in his quaint way, that "as Moore was born in Milk-street, so he was the brightest star that ever shone in that via lactea"), records a quatrain which was written on that occurrence, and which shows how great a feat, even then, it was considered:— When More some time had Chancellor been, No more suits did remain: The same shall never more be seen, Till More be there again. Accordingly, the benefit was not a permanent one. In the reign of James 1st, we find sir Edward Coke complaining that "the Chancery embraceth so many causes as the Chancellor and Master of the Rolls cannot possibly determine them." Yet this was not for want of energy and; capacity in the judges; for the Master of the Rolls, for some years preceding, had been sir Julius Cæsar, than whom few judges have left a higher reputation behind them; and the chancellor was no less a person than lord Bacon himself. Another great effort was made by lord keeper Williams, who succeeded lord Bacon. But how did he set about, his object? Why, by exertions which it would be impossible for the bench or the bar to sustain for; any considerable time: he went into court in the morning, two hours before daylight, and continued his sittings in the evening, till eight or nine o'clock. The present state of business would mock even that degree of diligence and resolution. Oliver Cromwell felt the difficulty—he saw how the delay in reality arose: that it consisted in the length of time intervening between the setting down and the hearing of the causes. Then it was that he put forth an ordinance, requiring: that every cause should be heard on the same day on which it was set down. That was found impossible: the then Commissioners of the Great Seal, of whom Whitelocke was one, remonstrated upon this and several other of the ordinances as impracticable; and, persisting in their opposition, were required to lay down the seals. Lord keeper Guildford, after the Restoration, endeavoured to imitate the examples of More and of Williams; and, during the vacation of parliament, he succeeded, as we learn from Roger North, so far, that his remanets, if any, were few. "This continued," says North, "till the parliament, and more unhappily his own weakness came on, and made him unable to continue that close application to the business of the court; and, for want of due time allowed for hearing of causes, the reins of the court grew loose, and the paper became loaded with remanets, which to see was of itself, to him, a sickness. And I am confident it was one, and not the least ingredient, in bringing forward upon him that fatal distemper, which after it had once seized, never left him till he died." He could have felt no sickness more painful than that which the suitors endure, the "hope deferred," which makes the heart sick.

In a very few years came the Revolution. It does not appear that any extraordinary effort was made by lord chancellor Somers; and the judge whose reputation stands highest of those who have held the seals between lord Somers and lord Eldon, was, undoubtedly, lord Hardwicke. Was he, that celebrated chancellor, successful in reducing the arrear of his court? On the contrary, we find in the letter published by Mr. Cooksey, in his "Memoirs of Lord Hardwicke," that "the length of time to which every cause was protracted made the suitors weary, and glad to submit to any decree suggested, and agreed upon, by their counsel; in which neither party could complain of being aggrieved by the judge of that court."

Thus it had happened, that for almost three centuries, with only two short intermissions, the arrear had been continually pressing; not, indeed, to the weighty amount which bears upon us now, but always to an amount beyond the permanent power of the court to keep it down; until the delays of Chancery have passed into a bye-word and a standing misery. When the mischief had been thus uniform and continued, it was in vain to ascribe it to causes that are temporary. To say that one judge had been, so slow in his habits as to retard the average rate of proceeding, and that another, from his hurry, had swelled the business by the multiplication of appeals, was to speak of causes not peculiar to certain periods, or to certain men, but common to all time, and inseparable from, human nature. Neither would it be of more avail to say, that in certain instances the arrear had been increased by the long-continued illness of this or that among the judges. The four judges in Equity, the lord Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, the Vice-chancellor, and the lord Chief Baron (if indeed, the Chief Baron, so much of whose time was occupied by circuits and other common law business, could be counted as an equity judge), would generally, on an average, be men sixty years old; and of four men averaging sixty years, and all much harassed, with labour, one at least would usually be subject to attacks of ill-health. Now and then some great exertion was made, as by More and Williams, and lately by sir John Leach, who two or three years ago reduced the arrear from a year and three quarters to less than a year. But these efforts could not be kept up by any human strength, and when sir John Leach became Master of the Rolls, the Vice-chancellor's court was deeply in arrear, notwithstanding all his meritorious exertions. And what always renders the particular exertions of any judge the more hopeless, is, that no sooner has he wrought any sensible decrease in the existing arrear, and thus shortened the intervals of delay in his court, than a multitude of those who, in other times were disposed to acquiesce under almost any oppression, rather than encounter the delays of Chancery, take heart upon the prospect of a speedier administration, and crowd in with fresh suits, till again the bitterness overflows, and the same series of hardships is to be repeated. The Vice-chancellor's court, it was true, had been constituted in aid of the Chancellor since the days of sir Edward Coke's complaint as to the inadequacy of the courts to keep down the arrear. But the business of the Chancellor had increased, on the other hand, in great proportion. Appeals in Chancery and in the House of Lords, Bankrupt appeals, Lunatic petitions, miscellaneous matters of a legal nature, requiring the attention and advice of the first law officer of the government, all these things, to say nothing of state affairs, occupied the time of the Chancellor so largely, as to leave him very little leisure for taking any matters of original jurisdiction in Chancery.

It had been said, that there was a part of the time of lord Hardwicke, in which the number of bills filed was as great as in a corresponding period of lord Eldon's time. But the business in lord Hardwicke's days was not productive of the same labour as at present; and, such as it was, it appears that he was unable to keep it under. In those days the hearings, and the further directions disposed of the cases; but now, perhaps, from the increased value of the property in litigation, every other cause gave rise to a motion for an injunction, or for the payment of money into court, or for some (c)th,er important purpose, which occupied as much time as a hearing, and yet did not supersede the necessity of a hearing afterwards. The length of the reports of modern cases also multiplied the topics of discussion, the speeches of counsel, and the labour of judges. The value of the property litigated was not, he allowed, an accurate test of the comparative length, or difficulty, or importance, of causes; but still it was a consideration not to be altogether set aside. Now, in 1740, the money in the hands of the Accountant-general of the court was 1,290,000l.; in 1820 it was 34,000,000l. sterling. But, independently of documents, it was manifest that, with the accumulation of money, stocks, and personal chattels of all kinds, with the complication of civil and commercial rights and relations, with the extension of credits and trusts, and with the invention of securities and charges upon every species of property and title, the equitable as well as legal liabilities of our fellow-subjects had necessarily multiplied in the same proportion: insomuch that the number of the parties to any proceeding, and the number of the points to be adjusted among those parties, had increased to an amount which the Hardwickes and the Camdens of preceding reigns not only had never to struggle with, but probably never even foresaw. It therefore seemed to him, that the business in Chancery could now no longer be despatched as formerly.

But the delay was not owing now—and he doubted whether it ever had been owing—to any want of sedulousness or zeal in the judges. The reputation of the: Master of the Rolls, who was the senior judge on the bench, had been so long established, and so highly and so justly, that it was a familiar theme of applause with almost all who sate around. The Vice-chancellor had been only half a year in office; but no one would assert that, with all his urbanity of manners, he had shewn any want of the decision and diligence which his station required. With respect to the lord Chancellor, who had now had a year's opportunity on the bench of doing justice to his great reputation at the bar, he would say, and he said it confidently, because he spoke from his own personal observation, that he had given himself to the discharge of the business in his court, regularly, strenuously, and diligently: not availing himself of any thing unsettled in political affairs as a plea for remissness in his court; not confining his sittings to the five hours, which had been usually devoted to that purpose, but often extending his judicial mornings to six and even seven hours. So long a sitting might not be practicable as a permanent measure, consistently with the necessary preparation out of court; but in his great anxiety to reduce the arrear, the lord Chancellor had extended his sittings to a longer time than the counsel could well afford to that duty. Add to this, that before lord Lyndhurst no time was ever wasted. His attention was always fixed and intense; and he had amply justified the characteristic commendation pronounced on him last year in the House (by Mr. Brougham) of possessing, in a pre-eminent degree, that faculty of mind which is most conducive to forensic despatch; the faculty of straightway disengaging the kernel from the husk, and seizing, amidst a mass of surrounding matter, the essential points of the case before him. Such being the judges, if the arrear could be got under, they were likely to do it. But all their efforts were unavailing to that end; and meanwhile, their situation was a most painful one. Out of court, they were assailed with perpetual imputations of lukewarmness and negligence; in court, they were besieged and harassed, and almost threatened, with applications the most contradictory and distracting—suppose, continued the hon. and learned gentleman, that a motion of great importance to the suitor, arising in the matter of some appeal from the Vice-chancellor or Master of the Rolls, has been partly heard before the lord Chancellor upon a certain day. The cause, like others, has taken up its eight or ten years in the earlier stages, and may wait two or three more for the decision of the appeal; but the motion, meanwhile, is of the greatest consequence; it will, perhaps, determine the main point of the cause, or secure, or set at liberty, a large sum of money, forming the whole property of the litigating parties. Having been partly heard, it seems to bid fair for being finished on the morrow, in priority to the other business of the day. In the morning, then, the interested parties, believing that the anxieties of ten years are now to receive their quietus, repair to the court, naturally expectant and eager. The chancellor appears upon the bench, and the crisis seems to have arrived. Sir, he has not time so much as to take his seat, before he is assailed by a din of conflicting voices. Here stands one, who represents that, for eighteen months, a motion of his, of the greatest urgency, has been waiting to be heard, and that the property, which is the subject of it, is mouldering away. A second exclaims, that if instant interference be not extended, a dishonest partner will ruin him, by negociating bills in the name of the firm. A third, that unless the Great Seal interpose on the instant, a fraudulent trustee will leave the kingdom with his whole property in his hands. With these is a broken tradesman, beseeching for the decision of a long-deferred question upon his certificate, for the want of which his hopes of re-establishment in trade, and the bread of his children, will be lost for ever. Another, who is in custody, comes up by habeas corpus, and insists that, in favour of liberty, his case be preferred to all others. Some of these applications are made by counsel—some by the parties themselves, who, either from want of funds to retain professional assistance, or from that boldness which despair begets, throw themselves in person on the kindness and sympathy of the court, to give them from compassion that priority which they cannot claim of right. That is the state in which the suitors are placed by the want of tribunals to adjudicate their rights.

Sir, the ill effect of all this is not confined to the suitors already in court. It operates further as a general bounty upon wrong doers. A party who is well-advised, unless his claim be one of great magnitude, will compromise it for a quarter of its value, nay, often surrender it altogether, rather than go through the dreary waste of years which must pass away before his cause can possibly be brought to a decision. So that you injure not only all those who are now claiming justice at your hands, but all those whom the present state of your courts deters or precludes from claiming it. No doubt it is good to diminish litigation; but if you are to diminish it by making your courts inaccessible to half your subjects, you are bound, on that reasoning, to make the benefit complete, by closing them altogether. I am not insensible, as an English subject, or as an English lawyer, to the credit which this country derives from the character of her courts. But if we suffer the approach to those courts to continue much longer choaked as it now is, I am afraid their credit for impartiality will soon resolve itself into this—that against both sides alike they will be closed. What right have we to take from any of our countrymen that first and greatest of the benefits which every government virtually contracts to bestow upon the subject, in return for that portion of his natural liberty which he gives up as a member of society, the benefit of a practicable, available resort, for the decision of his property, and the vindication of his rights? The protection of poor and humble persons, the first object of all government and society, is lost in such a state of your tribunals, when those suitors are unable to hold out against the wasteful delays by which their wealthier adversaries overbear them. It was with apt and good cause that in the well-known provision of Magna Charta, "Nulli negabimus aut differemus justitiam," the king's undertaking not to deny justice, and his undertaking not to delay it, were placed together. The lawgivers of that day coupled them, in the same clause of the same sentence, discerning, even in that dawn of legislation, how nearly akin are the "differere justitiam" and the "negare." The country has long endured a stoppage of justice, while it could be glossed under the name of a delay; but I fear the time is coming when, if we mean to look the evil in the face, we must lay aside that flattering designation, a delay of justice, and call it what it is—a denial. The tide of fresh business has continued to pour in and gain upon us, faster by far than our present force can get it under; and unless we are prepared to increase that force, it must, of a surety, overwhelm us.

The remaining question then was, in what way we should get our additional assistance? It had been thought, that an effectual relief might be given by merely disburdening the Great Seal of the business of bankruptcy. Now, when the measure of separating the bankruptcy was first suggested, the proposal had some substance in it, because the lord Chancellor then heard all the bankrupt petitions. But, since the appointment of the Vice-chancellor, he heard, with a few special exceptions, only those upon which the Order of the Vice-chancellor was appealed from: it was the Vice-chancellor now, who in fact heard the mass of the bankrupt petitions. The question, therefore, which was raised by the proposal for removing the jurisdiction in bankruptcy from the Great Seal, "was not a question whether this relief should now be given to the lord Chancellor; for this relief had been given to him already, and found by experience to be insufficient. The only question that could be raised on this point now was, whether he should be relieved from that small remnant of his judicature in bankruptcy, which consists of appeals upon bankrupt petitions. Now that relief would give him too slight an addition of time to be of any avail for the subduing of such an arrear as now exists in the other departments of the business; and it would, therefore, at best, be inefficient as a remedy. But it would be worse than inefficient—it would be injurious too. Whatever should be your original tribunal for the hearing of bankrupt petitions, whether you might prefer a Vice-chancellor, or a new judge expressly appointed, or a bench of well-selected commissioners, it was clear that, from the important nature of the questions often raised upon such petitions, and from the great number of equitable considerations and principles involved, you must allow the unsuccessful party an appeal to some jurisdiction or other; and this jurisdiction must be one which is conversant with equitable doctrines, such as the administration of estates among various claimants, and the arrangement of substitutions and relative priorities. What, then, shall this jurisdiction be? At present, there is no appeal in bankruptcy to the House of Lords, but only to the Great Seal. If you exclude the Chancellor from sitting in bankruptcy to hear these appeals, will you require the House of Lords to receive them? That course would, no doubt, have this advantage—that as the House of Lords is the Supreme Court of Appeal in all other cases, uniformity of constitution and of ultimate decision would be provided for. But then there would be a great increase of delay, which, in bankruptcy, is most peculiarly injurious; and there would be a great increase of expense, which upon bankrupt funds would be a destructive charge; and, moreover, there would be no saving of the Chancellor's time, as he would still have the hearing of these bankruptcy appeals, only sitting on the woolsack of the House of Lords, instead of sitting on the bench of the court of Chancery. And even as far as uniformity of decision is an object—and certainly it is a material one—you would gain little in practice by the change. It is an object very nearly as well secured by the present course of an appeal to the Great Seal, as it would be by an appeal to the House of Lords; because, in either case, the governing opinion will equally be that of the lord Chancellor.

He would not detain the House by following these considerations into further detail, because he thought that even the points he had already touched on would sufficiently indicate the difficulty of finding, or framing, any other superior court, sufficiently conversant with those principles of equity which must be applied to bankrupt matters; and, at the same time, sufficiently identified (as the lord Chancellor always is) with the supreme appellate jurisdiction, both of common law and of equity, which is administered in the House of Lords, to be substituted safely for that authority which is now exercised by the lord Chancellor upon appeal petitions in bankruptcy. It seemed to be an opinion of the hon. member for Durham, that as the jurisdiction in bankruptcy was originally annexed to the Great Seal, not by the ancient unwritten law of the land, but only by statute, there would be no constitutional change in disconnecting it. But it was a statute, made in times whose institutions are not usually treated without high respect—it was a statute made in the reign of Elizabeth, when sir Nicholas Bacon was lord keeper; and made upon experience, that the earlier law of Henry 8th, which had given the jurisdiction to the two chief justices, common lawyers, with the aid of a third, who was to be one of the great officers of state, was not effectual for its purpose. Indeed, if we were to treat establishments as too modern to be of the substance of the constitution, because they may not be older than the reign of queen Elizabeth, the constitutional character would be taken away, not only from most of the institutions of our law, but from most of the bulwarks of our liberty. But while he strongly adhered to the opinion, formed after the experience of a good many years, both as commissioner of bankrupts, and as counsel in the courts of Equity, that the bankrupt petitions should be heard by Equity judges, with a jurisdiction of superintendance and appeal in the lord Chancellor, yet he was as firmly persuaded as the hon. mover himself, that a remedy ought to be, and must be applied to the present alarming arrears. That remedy, lie thought, was not difficult to be found. It seemed to him, that the Equity business now done in the Exchequer, and the machinery of the officers reached to the Equity side of that court, should be at once transferred, with the necessary adaptations and reforms, to the court of Chancery, and that the appeal should be to the lord Chancellor, as it is from the other tribunals of Equity. And as this arrangement, to be really useful, would require the daily and constant Equity sitting of the chief baron, who has hitherto transacted the Equity business of the Exchequer only between the intervals of the circuits and other common law sittings, it would be requisite, in order to leave the bench of the Exchequer still full, and in order to make that court what it ought to be—a court of common law only, and available for the assistance of the other common law tribunals—that a new chief baron should be appointed to replace the Equity judge of the Exchequer, when his services should thus have been transferred to the court of Chancery. If, in addition to this arrangement, the Master of the Rolls could be induced to hold his court daily in the morning, instead of sitting, as he now does, chiefly in an afternoon, and that not daily, we should then obtain, for the despatch of Equity and Bankruptcy business, the whole time of three judges, beside the Chancellor; that is, we should have, as now, the Vice-chancellor, we should have the whole time of the Master of the Rolls, and we should have the whole time of the Chief Baron as a judge of Chancery. This would make an addition almost equivalent to the creation of one new judge in Equity. The three courts would all be going on together, each with a separate bar; the hurry and distraction of our present condition would be avoided, and the judges and the leading counsel would no longer be drawn aside from their endeavour to do the business in the manner which is best, by a perpetual goading to do it in the manner which is quickest; for really, in the present day, from the pressure of the work, the question with the public was no longer whether this or that judge or counsel did his business usefully for the suitors—not whether he brought out fully, and with their due weight, all the material points in each case; the question was only, how much business does he get through? The consequence is, undoubtedly, that a few individuals evince great faculties, and arrive at great emoluments; but he was persuaded, that it would be better, not only for the public, but even for the bar themselves, that the business of men in leading situations were less than it is, so that their leisure might be something more. The present state of the profession allows no time, as a liberal profession ought, for the general cultivation and improvement of the mind—nor for keeping up with the common current of society—nor for needful exercise and rest. That is not a state of things in which it is desirable that the members of such a profession should be placed; and it was a state which the simultaneous sitting of three courts must necessarily put an end to by obliging the bar to divide; the counsel no longer straining to attend several courts, but each attending only one original court, and the appellate tribunals of the lord Chancellor. Under these favourable circumstances, with the devotion of so much more judicial time, and with the undivided attention of the bar, it might not be impossible that the courts of the Vice-chancellor, the Rolls, and what had been the Exchequer, would be able to keep down the business both of Equity and of Bankruptcy.

With respect to the expense of an additional Equity judge, he thought such a judge might be constituted not only without expense, but with a saving to the public on its present outlay, and with a due regard to the connexion of Bankruptcy and Equity; and he would propose to do that by some modification of the present mode of working the commissions of bankrupt in the country. The House were probably not aware, that the commissioners of bankrupts, who in London are a fixed body, are named in the country upon each commission, by the selection of the solicitor who sues it out. The tribunals of the London as well as of the country commissioners had many defects, which this was not the proper occasion to deal with; but the business of the country commissioners, as might naturally be expected from persons not habituated to the duty, and taking it only by a casual nomination, was much more imperfectly executed than the business of the commissioners in London. At the same time, the number of commissions worked in the country was considerably greater than the number of those worked in London; and thus the greater number were the worse administered. From which state of things it resulted, that the larger proportion of the petitions presented in bankruptcy, and which were now heard by the Vice-chancellor, arose out of country commissions. Now, as the number of country commissions appeared, from the official returns which ended October, 1826, to have been, on an average, seven hundred and nine in each of the ten years preceding that date; the fees of the country commissioners, taken at 16l. or 17l. for each of the three working commissioners in each commission, will have amounted to about 35,500l. a year for every one of those ten years:—a great sum and greatly mis-spent. Eleven permanent lists of competent commissioners in the country, having fixed salaries at an average of 300l. a year, and being placed at nearly equal distances, would do the business with much more experience and responsibility, and would cost the country but 16,500l., which would give, as compared with the present plan, a saving of 19,000l. a year. Out of this saving it was that he would propose the appointment of a new judge in Equity instead of the present Exchequer Court, whose primary duty should be to hear petitions, and applications arising out of bankruptcy. For this purpose that judge should sit on the Monday, and so on from day to day in each week, until he had despatched all the bankrupt business then ripe for determination, which would probably occupy the Monday and Tuesday in every week. The remainder of his time he should devote to the despatch of the general Equity business of the Great Seal, and an appeal should lie from him to the lord Chancellor.

It was in some such mode as this that he apprehended it would be best to afford such relief as could be connected with the business of bankruptcy, and not by any attempt to separate bankruptcy from the Great Seal. But whatever (continued the. hon. gentleman) may be the course which shall seem best to the wisdom of the legislature, I trust that parliament will never sanction the opinion of those who would persuade us that a benefit would be effected to the public by the saving of time which would be gained from what they call the separation of the political from the legal functions of the Chancellor. If it were practically as true as it is untrue, that the Chancellor, by divesting himself of his character as a minister and Speaker of the House of Lords, would gain sufficient time to reduce and keep down the arrears of his court, still, upon general constitutional grounds, there would be the most insurmountable objection to the severance. Would the lord Chancellor, or would he not, be relieved from the task of hearing appeals in the House of Lords, the heaviest part of his duty, and that which engrosses by far the greatest part of his judicial time out of Chancery? If he should not be relieved from that task, you will fail in your object of transferring or restoring to the court of Chancery, the greatest part of his judicial time, now abstracted from it. If he would be relieved from that task, you must appoint some other lawyer in his stead, not as occasional or deputy Speaker, but as permanent Speaker of the House of Lords, to hear the appeals there. But what lawyer shall it be? Shall it be no longer the lord Chancellor?—no longer the individual whom the union of legal with other considerations points out as the fittest individual to preside over the law and constitution of the country—to be the paramount authority on the whole range of legal and constitutional learning—shall the judicial duties of that fittest and ablest man be limited to the particular subdivision of law which is administered, under the title of Chancery, in Lincoln's-inn-hall—and shall some other, some secondary lawyer, be exalted to the presidency of the House of Lords, to be the organ of that pre-eminent judicature, the moderator of the British peerage, the foremost layman after the royal blood? I hardly need ask, whether a choice like this would befit the most august assembly of the realm. Or, suppose that, instead of a lawyer, whether of the first or of the second order of talent and attainment, you assign the high rank and great office of Speaker of the House of Lords to political interest, or the influence of family? Sir, I may be mistaken; but, at least, I speak deliberately and sincerely, when I say, that if the question were, in what manner most effectually to undermine the nobility of the land, and the prerogative of the Crown, and with these, the whole constitution of the country, I can imagine no step more conducive, as a first movement, toward that mischief, than to transfer this great reward from the nation at large, every one of whose sons now has it open before him, to the few possessors of hereditary title. I speak not now of the disparagement to lawyers, from the loss of the reflected light which so illustrious a prize, peculiar to their vocation, diffuses over their whole body. It would not, indeed, be difficult to show, how the suitors, for whose sake alone the professors of the law can challenge any privilege, would suffer by lowering the tone and general feeling of the bar from the pursuit of dignities and honours, to the pursuit of mere pecuniary gain. But I pass over this consideration, because the other, which I have glanced at before, seems to me to be of itself conclusive of the whole argument—I mean the constitutional necessity of keeping open for all the people of the realm, whatever be the rank, the origin, the connexion, of the individual, a path by which eminent talents, united with industry and character, may rise not only to a level with their country's nobility, but to the very head of it. Why is it that the aristocratical branch of the constitution, even in this day of general search and reform, is propped and cherished by the common consent of the people? Because it is the offspring of the people—because it has its growth from them—because it spreads its roots among them:— '' Ergo non hiemes illam, non flabra, neque imbres, Convellnnt; immota manet: multosque nepotes, Multa virum volvens durando sæcula vincit. Sir, I have only further to add, that, with the exception of this one unconstitutional innovation, the severance of the political from the legal character of the lord Chancellor, I shall look at any other proposition of relief with the sincerest goodwill, and with the most earnest wish for its success: the more especially, because I am convinced, that upon the degree of satisfaction which the public receive from the administration of justice by the superior courts, and upon the proportionate respect accruing to the judges and to the law, will depend also that estimation and honour which, far beyond all considerations of emolument, give weight and pride and value, to my own profession of the bar.

The Attorney-general

said, that after the observations with which his hon. friend had introduced the present motion, he could not consider it in any other light than as a motion to propose the appointment of a fourth judge to carry on the business which now came before our courts of Equity. He was well aware that the motion did not involve that proposition in terms, but he conceived it to be impossible for any man to deny that it did involve it in substance. Now, if he had conscientiously made up his mind to consider the appointment of a fourth judge in Equity necessary, he should have no hesitation in publicly saying so. But he had not made up his mind to any such conclusion; and he thought that enough had been said, in the course of the discussion, to restrain the House from affirming such a conclusion by its vote of that night. For, if a fourth judge were to be appointed, where would hon. gentlemen place him? One hon. gentleman had told the House that he must be placed in the court of Exchequer, and must take, not only that part of the Equity business which was at present decided there by the Chief Baron, but also much of that Equity business which was at present transacted in the different tribunals belonging to the court of Chancery: another hon. gentleman had set his face against that project, and had declared that he would oppose it to the utmost of his ability: a third hon. gentleman had told them, that he would separate the jurisdiction in bankruptcy from the great seal, and would transfer it to a separate and independent judge: and a fourth told them, that it would be impolitic to destroy the jurisdiction of the courts of Equity over matters in bankruptcy, since it was for the benefit of the suitor that there should always be an appeal to the Great Seal, from the tribunal which first decided on questions of bankruptcy. Other gentlemen had proposed to separate other parts of its jurisdiction from the court of Chancery; and his hon. and learned friend, who had made a long speech, but he did not mean too long a speech, would carve from it the chief part of that which now constituted its principal jurisdiction. There were thus four or five, or even six, different plans proposed for the remedy of the mischief and the inconvenience which it was said the Court of Chancery inflicted upon the country. It was notorious, too, that his majesty's government had also taken this question into consideration, and had been busily engaged in devising means for amending such parts of the present system as at the present moment appeared to be defective. His hon. friend—whose exertions on this subject he willingly admitted, and whose perseverance in attempting to frame expedients for its improvement he could not blame,—would permit him to say that, though he had now proposed a motion which affirmed that a fourth judge in Chancery was necessary, he had not followed up his motion by stating when and how that fourth judge was to be appointed. Many gentlemen in Westminster-hall had said, that he ought to be appointed by dividing the jurisdiction of the lord chief baron in the court of Exchequer, and by making one lord chief baron to preside over the common-law court of Exchequer, and another to preside over the Equity court of it. He must, however, object to that plan in toto. His hon. friend would make a fourth judge in another way: and what was it? By separating bankruptcy, in some degree, from the jurisdiction of he Great Seal; but no sooner was that proposition made, than up rose others to meet it with the most decided hostility. Under these circumstances, he would ask, why should the House be induced by his hon. friend to affirm an abstract resolution, which no one was ready to follow up by any practical measure of improvement. There was an inexpediency in such a course, which he, for one, could never sanction. If his opinion on this question should be asked, he would give it with that candour and fairness which its importance required. It was only twelve years since the court of Chancery received a third judge, under the title of the Vice-chancellor. Many gentlemen would recollect, that when that project was first introduced to the notice of parliament, it was asserted that a third judge was not wanted. It was said, that all the evils which beset the suitors in Chancery arose from the personal delays of lord Eldon; that two judges were sufficient to transact the ordinary business of the court, and moreover that three were not wanted to keep down its arrears. He would undertake to say, that no proposition was ever more keenly contested than that for the appointment of a third judge in the courts of Equity. Only twelve years had elapsed since that contest, and now it was asserted, not that a third, but that a fourth judge was wanted. Now, if he were convinced that the business in Chancery could not be properly conducted without the assistance of a fourth judge, he would say so frankly. He had heard it said by many gentlemen, that relief must be given to the Great Seal; but he had not heard a word said by any of them as to the mode in which it was to be given. The hon. mover had said, that by and by he would bring the whole subject of the business trans acted in the court of Chancery under the discussion of parliament. He only wished that his hon. friend had brought forward, on the present occasion, all the propositions which he intended to make regarding it. He would not conceal from the House that it was his opinion that the court of Chancery stood at present in need of relief; but he had not made up his opinion, that the relief which his hon. friend wished 'to administer was either useful or expedient. He could not, after an experience of twenty-five years in the court of Chancery, conscientiously say that a fourth judge was necessary to transact the business which came before it; and therefore he could not accede to a motion, which substantially, if not in terms, called upon the House to appoint such fourth judge without further delay. Under all the circumstances of this case, considering that it was already under the consideration of government, and that the bench and the bar had both applied their attention to it,—considering, likewise, that they knew that both the government and the profession of the law entertained a friendly disposition to it, and were mutually striving to mitigate the mischief of the system,—why, he would ask, was the House to be driven precipitately to a vote, which, when agreed to, could not be followed up without the greatest difficulty? Instead of coming-down post-haste to affirm a hasty resolution, we ought to wait with patience till a remedy was discovered for abating the grievances complained of. Would any gentleman come forward and say, "I have considered the nature of the grievances, and I have, after mature deliberation, found out a certain cure for them?" If any gentleman was prepared to make such a statement, he would assure that gentleman that he would give to his plan, the most earnest and studious deliberation in his power. For his own part, he would freely declare, that he could not concur in the opinion which a learned gentleman had delivered a year ago, in a form of expression more remarkable for its metaphorical extravagance than for its sober truth,—he meant, that three angels could not properly transact the business of Chancery. On the contrary, he was of opinion, that expedients might be contrived, whereby, with three judges, the business of the court of Chancery might be transacted, and its arrears kept down. No one would venture to affirm that a fourth judge ought to be appointed, if a fourth judge was not necessary. If the necessity for a fourth judge could be established, then it followed as a natural corollary that a fourth judge ought to be appointed. After giving to the subject mature and repeated deliberation, he could not assert that the first proposition was true, and therefore he could not consent to the corollary, and must therefore meet the proposition with a decided negative.

Mr. D. W. Harvey

observed, that the learned member spoke of the grievances of the court as if they were only in their infancy, and scarcely discernible to any but persons of curious vision, who delighted in hunting up imaginary ills, on which to exercise a distorted fancy; that the people did not complain, for they had no cause for it. But he contended that the hon. and learned member was himself a daily memorial—an hourly witness, of the glaring defects of that court, and largely thrived by their existence. It was not, therefore, his interest to remedy a system on whose abuses he fattened—and so long as the opinions of lawyers were to sway the decision of parliament would those grievances exist, for with them abuse and profit, were synonymous terms; and if they were not the authors, they were at least the eulogists of the system [loud cheers.] The hon. member for Wotton Basset had treated the subject with great ability, yet he (Mr. Harvey) would have been better pleased if the proposition for the increase of judges had proceeded from an hon. member whose professional avocations did not expose him to the suspicion of consulting private rather than public objects. But he contended an increase of judges would be an increase of unnecessary expense. Simplify the laws and despatch must follow—and a decrease of judges rather than an increase would be the beneficial result. We heard much of improvements in the law, and of a disposition to extend them. But where was the evidence of it? Ministers substituted useless change for solid reformation, and touched nothing which simplified the laws or lessened their expenses. The Attorney-general had said it was the duty of those who advocated improvements to suggest them. This he denied. For what purpose had we an Attorney-general at an enormous expense to the country? For what purpose had we a government, which cost hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, unless they proposed those measures which the intelligence and character of the country demanded? The will to do good was not sufficient—there must be an union of will and power, and this the government alone possessed; and on them, therefore, devolved the obligation of watching the progress of decay, and of applying efficient remedies. Delay was far from being the most conspicuous evil; it might, indeed, be deemed a benefit, for it deferred injustice. The whole system required regeneration. Our laws were complicated and unintelligible—sealed to the vulgar eye, and hardly known to the lawyer. Scandalous pleadings entangled the claims of honesty, and gave security to fraud; while the ruinous costs of the law made poverty a blessing. The poor man alone was allowed to pass unheeded and unplundered. The whole was a system by which lawyers flourished and suitors decayed, and formed an opprobrium with all civilized nations. He (Mr. H.) held in his hands the bill of costs in a cause in which his majesty's Attorney-general was plaintiff. It was an information filed by that learned officer against the trustees of the Highgate Charity, for an account of its funds and the mode of their application. Great abuses were suspected to exist in this charity, as they did in others; and some spirited and independent individuals stepped forward to rescue the charity from its misapplication. The sequel confirmed their suspicion; and yet, would the House believe it, the costs of the successful party exceeded 3,000l.! And yet we were told the laws were equal and economical, and so they would be always considered, while lawyers were allowed to be their interpreters. This bill of costs was worth inspection. He observed an office copy of the information was charged 80l.; and the fee given to the leading counsel to peruse it was 88l. 4s., and to the second 66l. Was this then a system to be tolerated? Was this a court to be protected from inquiry, and eulogised by crown lawyers and aspiring barristers as a specimen of matchless perfection and purity? He would repeat, no efficient inquiry had ever been made into the composition of the court of Chancery, and he was fearful there never would be. Nothing effectual could be done except justice were simplified and rendered so economical that it should be applicable to all. The learned Attorney-general would not concur in any plan which was not nicely balanced and proportioned to the subtleties of the existing system; and perhaps no plan could be devised which his keen ingenuity and subtle penetration would not be able to expose, not only as inapplicable and unfit, but ludicrous and absurd. On whom should the duty of finding a remedy for the existing evil devolve? For what purpose had they a government, or dignitaries of the law, if not to place justice on a fair foundation? The hon. member proceeded to argue against the propriety of allowing a jurisdiction in cases of bankruptcy to remain in the hands of the lord Chancellor. It was a jurisdiction, to administer which, in nine cases out of ten, every merchant of the city of London was more capable than the commissioners of bankrupts, because, generally speaking, it involved questions solely of a commercial nature. Commissioners of bankrupts were either young and briefless barristers or men who had grown old in making the dreary round of the courts without obtaining employment. In either case the 300l. a-year attached to the office was eagerly seized, and commissioners of bankrupts, were fashioned out of the infancy or superannuation of the profession. Having contrasted the superior efficiency and cheapness of the insolvent with the bankrupt laws, the hon. gentleman went on to describe the bankrupt jurisdiction, at present vested in the Court of Chancery, as affording support to a colony of professional dependents, and pointed to this circumstance as the only satisfactory reason for the reluctance felt by government to sever bankruptcy cases from the Great Seal. The Court of Chancery was so clogged and loaded with abuses that it had almost ceased to be an individual execration, and had become a public nuisance. He was surprised no allusion had been as yet made to a little volume lately put forth from the Court of Chancery, and containing eighty-one orders for its regulation. Perhaps some half-dozen of these orders might be beneficial; but, take them as a whole, and they must operate as a costly fallacy. As he had no disposition to exaggerate their defects, neither had he any desire to conceal their merits. If these orders, instead of having proceeded from the high legal authority whence they had originated, had been framed by some knot of briefless junior barristers, pining for em ployment, and eager, by whatever means, to obtain it, he should have pronounced it impossible for any scheme to be devised better calculated to insure success, or any stratagem to have been resorted to more deserving of contempt. Every rule was an order, every order a motion, and both a fee. It was the ill fortune of every man who ever had any thing to do with the Court of Chancery to be aware of its defects. There was not a gentleman in the House, and scarcely a man in the country, who, if not in his own person, yet in behalf of somebody else for whom he was interested, but had acquired this information from dear purchased experience. It would be a waste of time to say any thing to establish the proposition that our Chancery system was monstrously hideous and deformed as it regarded the principles of law—odious for its tardiness—dangerous for its uncertainty—ruinous in point of the expense—generally speaking, unequal, cruel, and oppressive, in its operation—a source of profligate private fortune, and an unmitigated public curse.

Mr. Sugden

, said, it was not without feelings of great surprise that he had heard the hon. member for Colchester speak of the Court of Chancery in the terms he had done, and go so far as to describe it as "a public curse"; but that surprise was greatly increased when he heard gentlemen possessing property in the country, and who, from their station and rank in life, must be supposed to be, in some degree, acquainted with the Court of Chancery, unite in cheering the hon. member's expression so loudly. If he thought that expression of disapprobation applicable to the Court of Chancery, he would quit that Court instanter; but he would say, in the face of the country, that the Court of Chancery was not open to the imputations cast upon it: and while it existed as a court of justice, those only who were anxious to produce disorder in the administration of justice, would speak of it in such terms of disapprobation within the walls of that House. Such ought not to be the case—a court which had conferred so many important benefits on the country ought not to be exposed to public odium [cheers and laughter]. Gentlemen might cheer on; and though, as he was not accustomed to speak in that House, those cheers might now daunt him, but he hoped the time would come when, unawed by them, he should be able to address the House with more effect, and obtain a hearing without interruption. If gentlemen would inquire, they would discover that those who found fault with the Court of Chancery consisted chiefly of fraudulent trustees, or—[cries of no, no,]—He hoped no gentleman would think he alluded to him, or to any within those walls: but no man knew better than he did, the nature of the causes in that court; and he would repeat that the most discontented suitors were persons of very doubtful character; and it was by such persons that the vituperations uttered in that House were echoed out of doors. It was in the very nature of the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery to prevent dispatch. A court of law could decide one action at a time, and at once, and leave the parties to bring another action on another point, but when the Court of Equity decided a case, it decided that case finally and for ever; and, therefore, it was necessary to bring all the patties before the court. Then, the nature of the cases consisted of long and intricate accounts—of dark frauds which took a long time to examine and unravel. It was impossible for a human tribunal to deal with them otherwise than by long consideration. He would contend that it was impossible to put down the jurisdiction of the Court of Equity. If it were once put down, the gentlemen opposite, on suffering loss through fraudulent accounts from a steward or trustee, would be the first to call for its revival: and that jurisdiction over accounts it was impossible to administer in a short space of time. As to the long interval said to occur between the setting down of a cause for hearing, and the time of hearing, he did not believe the representation correct. He held accounts in his hand of the quantity of business done in the branch of Equity for the last three years, and the House would find, that the despatch was such as rendered it unnecessary for them to interfere with the Court of Chancery. The Master of the Rolls and the Vice-chancellor had decided one thousand and twenty-two causes in the year 1826. The reason why they did not despatch as great a number in the last two years was, because there had been two Vice-chancellors appointed within that space, and it required some time after a judge was appointed before he could be so completely master of the business of his court as to use the ordinary despatch. It was not correct, as had been stated by the hon. member for Wotton Basset, that a year, or seven terms, passed between the setting down of a cause and the hearing. In 1827, the Master of the Rolls disposed of five hundred and forty causes, and in the Hilary Term of the present year one hundred and forty-seven causes, besides eighty-one further directions. Thus the Master of the Rolls had gone through his business in a time incredibly short—so rapidly as to leave time on his hands for hearing those causes which might be taken to him from the Vice-chancellor's court. The great evil, namely, the delay which was now complained of, would, he was persuaded, soon cease to exist.—The government had been blamed for the state of the Court of Chancery; but they did not deserve that censure, for they had many months back proved, by their readiness to grant a commission, their wish to afford assistance to the suitors in Chancery. But there was a great difference between instituting an inquiry into complaints, and adopting the sweeping resolution now before the House. The proposed measure would shackle the efforts of government; and on that ground he should oppose it. Surely the time for making that charge against government was rather ill chosen, just after they had appointed a commission of inquiry into the laws relating to property. Even so early as 1813, they had given assistance to the judicial part of the Court of Chancery by appointing an additional judge—the Vice-chancellor; and, as to any further increase in the number of the judges, there was no necessity for such increase.

The business of the court was, in fact, more rapidly finished than was generally imagined; for any suitor, really disposed to go on with a good cause, could at present, from the manner in which the affairs of the court were conducted, proceed with reasonable despatch to the conclusion of his suit. He was not one of those who looked with satisfaction at the increase of the number of judges as a remedy; for he could only see in it increased patronage, and useless expense. As to the patronage exercised by the lord chancellor Eldon, he could—and quite independently, for he had never sought patronage—declare it to have been fairly and evenly given, with reference to merits alone. The great object of lord Eldon in making appointments, was to look round the bar and pick out the most worthy. The lord Chancellor alone, however, had not been reviled: the court itself had been held up as a curse, and as calculated only to encourage delay and protract judgment. Now, he was ready to say, that a suit could be as quickly decided in the Court of Chancery as in a court of law. It was always necessary, however, to bear in mind, that the nature of the cases brought before these courts was of a very different description; and that the delay in the Court of Chancery arose more from this cause than from any other. It had been said that no decision of the Court of Chancery was final. This was not so: if there was no ground to support the first bill it was dismissed at once, and the litigation put an end to.—He never would consent to sever the bankruptcy business from the Court of Chancery: it would be most unsafe to place the important and intricate business of bankruptcy in any court but the very highest. The shocking cases of false swearing on affidavits, with which bankrupt cases abounded, required the control of the most powerful tribunal. He knew an instance in which a man swore to an act of bankrupt having been committed by a farmer in Kent; the deponent declaring that he had heard the individual call out to his daughter, "Here is such a person, say I am out." Upon an affidavit of this circumstance, the commission was sued out against the farmer, yet, upon the full bearing of the case, it was demonstrated, that no such occurrence could have taken place, from the clear way in which the individual had shown how he was occupied. There were several cases of this kind, and it was quite clear the bankruptcy jurisdiction required the nicest discrimination, and the calmest investigation.—As to what the hon. member had said with respect to the Insolvent Debtors' Court, he would merely observe that the whole aggregate of the dividends there did not amount to a farthing in the pound. Could that, then, with any propriety, be assimilated to the bankruptcy jurisdiction? In reference to the bar itself, he might assume, without fear of incurring the imputation of self-interested flattery, that it had always been a high-minded honourable body, and never more so than now. Indeed, if the profession had a fault, it was an over-anxiety to reform the law. It would be well to remember, that if any great change in the administration of justice were effected, the present lawyers— much as they were charged with obstructing reformation—must be individually gainers by the event. After any great alteration should be made in the courts of justice, a long time must elapse before new proceedings could be fully understood, and litigation must proportionably increase. It was therefore the interest of the profession that such a change should be produced. Let men of property look to it; for they, and not the lawyers, would prove the sufferers eventually. He, as a man who had the welfare of his country at heart, was decidedly averse to a system which he could not but look upon with alarm, as being little less than revolutionary [a laugh]. Quite willing, as he professed himself, to support any measure which he thought beneficial to the public, yet, though an humble individual, he would strenuously oppose himself to schemes which he must again call revolutionary, and striking at the root of the happy system of laws under which the country had flourished for ages.

Mr. Baring

apologized to the House for addressing it on a subject which he was little acquainted with, and requiring so much practical knowledge to understand. Yet, as the hon. and learned gentleman had appealed to the working of the laws, all were competent to judge of that part of the question, without the aid of a professional education. In addition to daily experience, which sufficiently confuted the hon. and learned member, he would mention a particular fact which had come not long ago under his personal observation. A case relating to commercial accounts, which involved no less a sum than 150,000l., had been entered in the Court of Chancery in the year 1795. There did it remain, hanging on from year to year, for thirty years, although both parties were sincerely desirous of having it terminated. To aggravate these vexatious delays, the individuals themselves were meanwhile in a state of the most miserable indigence. They actually subsisted on charity, more, particularly on the bounty of an hon. member in that House, and at a time when this sum of 150,000l. was locked up in the Accountant-general's office. They were each unquestionably entitled to a dividend of 12,000l., although reduced to dependence on the munificence of others. Their solicitor, on being applied to in 1825, stated, that the decision of the case must still be very precarious. Many of the persons interested had died, and whatever should be the judgment of the chancellor, some quibble might arise to interfere with the course of justice. The other solicitor said, that he had been most desirous, all his life, to have the case brought to a speedy decision, and proposed that it should be referred to his (Mr. Baring's) arbitration the next day. To this suggestion he consented, after his friend, Mr. John Smith, had been prevailed on to share the responsibility with him. The result was, that they decided satisfactorily for all parties in two days, devoting an hour and a half each day to the examination of the case. While this sum of 150,000l. was lying in the Court of Chancery, these suitors were literally wanting bread; some of them were aged widows, to whom it was not of the remotest importance that they should wait twenty or thirty years more, in order to have some subtle point of law decided, in which, perhaps, the hon. and learned gentleman opposite would have delighted, as it would seem resplendent with abstract beauty to his mind. While this litigation was swallowing up the funds in dispute, the wretched suitors were living in a state of absolute want. His hon. friend the member for Midhurst, could confirm every part of his statement. He imputed no blame to any person; but this was a state of things which must excite the feelings of every man in the country. He believed that the late chancellor, lord Eldon, was a very conscientious and honourable person. There was no doubt he had administered justice in the Court of Chancery in the most perfect manner. But the system seemed to him essentially bad: it endeavoured to attain a perfection and nicety which were not practicable. The best remedy, he thought, would consist of some mode of applying the system of arbitration. He did not presume to suggest any remedy; for he knew he was little qualified to give advice on this subject. But he could not help saying again, that the essential defect of our system of Equity seemed to be, that it strained at a degree of perfection which was not attainable, by the very delay that arose in the pursuit of it. The decision frequently turned at last on some points in litigation, which were never contemplated by the parties as matters in dispute. Some subtle lawyer, in the progress of the case, found out a point which could not have been antici pated, and the suit ended differently from the expectations of every body concerned in it. When he and his hon. friend came to their decision, and made their decree, they troubled themselves very little as to the opinions of lord Hardwicke, or any of the great Equity judges. They looked only at the common sense of the question. There was a circumstance in the latter part of the case which was rather singular. When the parties had obtained their papers out of the Court of Chancery, they found a pencil-written query on the margin of one of these papers, to this effect—"Has not this case been decided long ago." This note showed no want of proper feeling on the part of the judge; but it showed that it was impossible as the court stood, for the judge to get through the business and attend to what was passing. He had not the presumption to suppose that he could suggest any remedy for these evils; but, without being learned in the law, it was within the observation of all persons, that nothing could be more ruinous or unjust than the mode of deciding questions of property in the Courts of Equity. As they were now existing, he knew they were the objects of admiration and praise with the lawyers; but, as for the suitors, there were no practical means of obtaining justice in a reasonable time; and when they did obtain it, it was frequently at the expense of half the property. If any traveller were to come from a remote part of the world—from China for example—for the purpose of making inquiry into the state of the legal institutions in this country—which was called, and not unjustly, the most civilized community in the world—in order that he might make a report to the government to which he belonged of the state of the law, and of the expense and delay in the courts of justice in deciding questions of property, a faithful statement of the truth would make our practice, from its over refinement, seem to be that of the most barbarous people among whom law could be conceived to exist. A case had been lately mentioned in the newspapers—one of the last of those decided by the late chancellor—which illustrated his remark. A nobleman, it appeared, had appropriated 50,000l. in consequence of some proceedings before the lord Chancellor, to pay the expenses of determining whether he was sane or not. What would a man from the other side of the world say to such a fact as this? Here was a person of large property, certainly; but to decide whether or not he was in his senses, a cost of 50,000l. was incurred. Feeling in common with the rest of the country, that some remedy was necessary for these evils, it was his "duty to call the attention of ministers to the subject. He had great respect for the members of the legal profession. He agreed that the lawyers of this country included as great a number of independent and honourable men as in any profession in the world. But still he firmly believed, that, as long as the reform of the law was left in their hands, the public would never succeed in obtaining effectual relief. He did not know in what hands the Secretary of State for the Home Department had placed the inquiry into the state of the Common-law; but he hoped it would not be solely confided to lawyers; for such was the natural prejudice of the learned gentlemen for the secrets they had been all their lives studying, that they attached a much greater value to them than they really deserved. In some individuals, he was aware a less amiable feeling prevailed, which produced the same consequences. He had never seen any commission of lawyers which had done any good in the reform of the law, though there had been searching inquiries enough into other branches of the institutions of the country; but whenever government had attempted to touch the abuses of the law, they had been resisted by a power which they were not able to overcome.

Mr. Secretary Peel

felt that he owed the same apology to the House as had been made by the hon. gentleman for venturing to enter into a question of this nature, involving so many matters of a professional nature, having neither the education nor the experience that would qualify him to discuss it fully; but he had an additional disadvantage, or perhaps he might call it an advantage—that he had not had any practical acquaintance with the court of Chancery. The hon. member for Colchester had seemed to consider that some peculiar responsibility devolved on him (Mr. Peel) on account of the state of the court of Chancery. But it must be evident to the House, that it was utterly impossible that he, without any professional knowledge or experience, could undertake himself to reform that court. He could only admit that he had a share of that responsibility, if he had obstructed any inquiry for which sufficient ground had been laid, or if he had refused his assent to any measure, with that view, for which a strong and overwhelming necessity had been shewn. He denied the charge wholly. He had never withheld his assistance in the reform of that, or of any branch of the law. He trusted, that in the course of the present session, he had given proof that he was not indisposed to lend his co-operation in any amendment of the law, and he would still further shew his feeling when the inquiry was completed. The hon. gentleman who spoke last, had referred particularly to those commissions which had been issued immediately on his (Mr. Peel's) suggestion, but principally on that of the learned gentleman opposite (Mr. Brougham), and the hon. gentleman had cautioned him against placing persons on them, who, from their professional prejudices, would be disinclined to lend their aid to useful reforms. He assured that hon. gentleman, that the appointment of those commissions had engaged his most serious attention. One of the commissions, that for inquiring into the practice of the Courts of Common-law, was now completed; and he was ready to give every information as to the terms of it, or the persons of whom it was composed. He assured the House, that in selecting the commissioners, he had not been swayed by any personal predilections or partialities. He had not the slightest acquaintance with one of them. Not one of them had applied to him to be appointed. He had conferred no favour on them; for he had to solicit them to take on themselves the office. He had named them, because, in his honest conviction, they were the persons best qualified for the performance of the duty. The hon. gentleman had cautioned him against appointing lawyers on these commissions; but how was it possible to conduct an inquiry into a matter purely technical, if the lawyers were altogether excluded? It was of very great importance that the confidence of the public should be reposed in these commissions. The names would show that it was impossible he could have appointed them with a view to their parliamentary services. He really did not know the political feelings of any one of them. Nobody included in the commission was connected with office. It was limited to five persons, and whoever heard their names would recognise them as engaged in almost the first practice of their profession. Still they had undertaken it, with a determination to discharge their duty zealously. The country, therefore, had as strong a security as it could possibly have before-hand in the character of the commissioners. The other commission was equally important—that to inquire into the law relating to the transfer of real property. The first was completed, and the other would be completed as early as possible, with reference to the persons who were to compose it.—With respect to the present question, he would not enter into any details of particular cases. He would only apply to the consideration of it on those general principles, which, without any professional experience, he might apply. He should take an intermediate view between those which had been stated in the course of the debate that evening. He would not admit the justice of the unqualified terms of reprobation which the hon. member for Colchester had applied to the court of highest jurisdiction in this country. He was sure that his hon. friend who brought forward the motion did not wish its character to be taken from that speech. In the motion he did not concur; but still less did he concur in the terms of obloquy in which the court of Chancery and its judges had been attacked, as well as the members of the legal profession generally. He would leave it to some of them to vindicate the honourable profession to which they belonged; as he had no doubt they would do triumphantly. In the course of his inquiry into the Criminal-law, he had had some intercourse with them, and he could bear testimony to the disinterested co-operation they had given him. He could not agree with his learned friend (Mr. Sugden), that no remedy could be effectually applied to the defects of the law. He thought that alterations might be made, after deliberate inquiry, which would be very important in their results. These alterations would be in the practice of the courts: their object would be to make the decisions more speedy, and to lessen the expenses of the suits. There was a great deal of truth in the observation of his learned friend, that changes precipitately made, led in their consequences to more litigation, by unsettling the decisions, and, instead of diminishing the expenses, increasing them, by rendering the law more uncertain. The proposition of his hon. friend was not for any inquiry of a specific nature, but generally without pointing out what, that there should be something done. It was an abstract proposition, without any particular measure. It was a compendious expedient to pronounce that something should be done, but it gave no notion of the measures to be introduced. His hon. friend had stated, that in a short time he intended to enter more deeply into the subject, when he would make known what specific measure he would propose as a remedy for the evils of the court of Chancery. If that was his intention, he would rather wait till his hon. friend would enter at large into the subject. Instead of acting on his hasty and superficial view, he would prefer to hear his whole and mature proposition. He trusted, therefore, that his hon. friend would consent to withdraw his motion, and not call on the House for any opinion on so loose and indefinite a motion as the present. When he was able to explain specifically what remedy he intended to apply, it would be time enough for the House to interfere.

Mr. M. A. Taylor

said, he had never considered that he was called on to bring forward any measure as a remedy for the evils of the court of Chancery, but he had merely stated, that he had prepared some outlines of a remedy, and probably might hereafter state some specific proposition.

Mr. Secretary Peel

resumed:—Having the intention, then, on some future day, to call the attention of the House to a specific proposition, he would ask again, whether it would not be better to reserve this motion until he could bring before the House the whole question complete? As yet his hon. friend had mentioned only one particular proposition, on which serious doubts were entertained; that of the separation of the bankruptcy jurisdiction from the Great Seal. The hon. gentleman also proposed some additional aid to the Court of Chancery. On the former proposition, he, last session, had made a specific motion, and his hon. friend must recollect, that he was opposed by some of the highest legal authorities, who had expressed their doubts as to the policy of the measure. Many of them were of opinion, that no material alteration of the constitution of the court was necessary, as they considered it possible that the court could retain the jurisdiction of bankruptcy, with three judges to do the busies of Chancery. There was an unwil lingness manifested, on that occasion, to come to any decision, in order that the House might have experience of the labours of the judges before it legislated.—In discussing this question, two matters must be borne in mind; first, whether it was desirable there should be any alteration in the practice of the Court of Chancery? So far as the law of real property was concerned, this would be included in the inquiry of the commission which would shortly be appointed. The commission which his hon. friend had praised in such warm terms, was appointed to inquire into the practice of the Court of Chancery. His hon. friend treated lightly the volume which had appeared a few weeks ago, under the authority of the lord Chancellor, the Vice-chancellor, and the Master of the Rolls, containing eighty-three orders for the regulation of the Court of Chancery. All those orders were founded on the recommendation of that commission, in which his hon. friend had such full and entire confidence, that he adverted to the evidence taken before it as the groundwork of his motion. These eighty-three orders were all founded on that report, and they were not all that his noble friend, the lord Chancellor, meant to issue.—His hon. friend should bear in mind the circumstances in which government were placed, since he last year had addressed the House on this subject. During the intermediate time he should consider what must have been the occupations of the lord Chancellor, which, though they did not prevent him from attending to the business of his court, had entirely prevented him from considering the changes that should be made in its constitution. The present government itself was constituted only one week before the meeting of parliament. The hon. gentleman, therefore, ought not to convey reflections on government because they had not been able to bring forward any general proposition for the reform of the Court of Chancery. He apprehended, it was impossible to deny the great arrear of causes, and of business generally, in that court; and it was equally impossible to deny, that it would be a manifest advantage, not only to the suitors of the court, but for the public at large, and for the character of the country, if causes could be conducted at less expense, and decided in less time. Delay not only added to expense, but to anxiety, and that suspense was almost a worse evil than adverse adjudication. These were subjects, which, of course, the government was not unwilling to consider, while it was admitted that there was a greater arrear than ought: to exist; but, it ought to be recollected, that it was a diminishing arrear, although perhaps it did not diminish sufficiently fast, so as to leave the court, at any period; that could easily be fixed, free for the decision of new matters. The topic of the Court of Chancery had been necessarily mixed up with others of high importance which had pressed upon his (Mr. Peel's) attention; but, nevertheless, he had had frequent conferences on the subject with a view to alteration. It was not to be disputed that there was a consider- able and an accumulating arrear in the King's-bench, arising from no fault of the judges; who devoted as much time as it was possible for men to apply to their duties. The lord Chief Justice, and Mr. Justice Bailey, had both made representations to him upon the subject, and the point touched upon by the learned member for Wootton Basset (Mr. Twiss) had also engaged the attention of government. Here, then, were two courts—the Chancery and King's-bench—overwhelmed with a mass of business. In one instance, the mass was so ponderous that Mr. Shadwell had declared that it would require not three human beings, but three; angels, to get through it.

Mr. Brougham

observed, that Mr. Shadwell's statement was, that three angels: could not get through it.

Mr. Peel

trusted that, as that gentleman had been advanced to the bench, and had thus become one of the three, he: would display not only human strength, but something of the angelic powers to which he had alluded. If, then, three judges were unable to overcome and to prevent the accumulation of the arrears, the next question was, whether any permanent provision ought to be made for the discharge of the duty; and he was sure that it would not be fit to appoint a new judge, until it had been established that the present number was insufficient. The multiplication of judges and of judicial establishments did not, in his opinion, tend to facilitate the transaction of business. Appeals from one judge to another had decidedly a contrary effect, and constituted one of the chief evils of which we had now to complain. What he contended was, that sufficient experience had not yet been obtained, to enable the government or the House to decide, whether I there should or should not be a permanent addition to the judicial establishment of the kingdom. If it were found necessary, the country would not grudge the expense; but the necessity ought first to be established. A plan had been suggested of making the Court of Exchequer more efficient. At present it exercised three jurisdictions—equity, revenue, and common-law; and the limitation of the business had been attributed to the fact, that a certain number of solicitors only were qualified to practise in it. He bore willing testimony to the great ability and learning of the barons of the Exchequer, and that the small quantity of business was not to be ascribed to any deficiency on their part; but, certain it was, that, compared with the judges of the King's bench and Common Pleas, they had little to do. The learned member opposite (Mr. Brougham), had suggested the opening of the Exchequer to attornies generally; and the quantity of revenue business had of late been so decreased by the new laws regulating the Customs and Excise, that in future it was not likely to occupy any very material portion of time. The equity business of the Exchequer, excepting in tithe cases, gave little relief; to the Court of Chancery: if, by the addition of another judge, or in any other way, it could be made efficient for that purpose, an important object would be gained; and he believed that this addition might be made without augmenting the establishment of inferior officers in the Exchequer. If it should appear that, when the present amount of arrear was wiped away, the Court of Chancery, as now constituted, would be sufficient for the current business, there might be an advantage in the appointment of a commission, temporary in its duration, to assist in removing the existing accumulation. He forbore from expressing any opinion upon these points, and he had only adverted to them to show that they had not escaped the attention of government. They were, however, involved with other considerations of importance; and; that of expense only was enough to induce ministers to pause before they adopted, definitively, any of the alternatives; offered to them. With respect to the precise, motion, he thought he had good parliamentary grounds for resisting it. without incurring the imputation of an endeavour to procure delay. He was unwilling to assent to an abstract proposition; especially when the hon. mover himself had given notice of his intention to submit a more specific motion on a future occasion. There was no ground for any reflection upon government, and such a proposal was not usually persisted in, unless there were good ground for thinking, that government was determined to resist all inquiry and to impede all remedy. If the hon. member found that the subject was neglected, he might revive it hereafter; and, in order that he might do so more conveniently, he would not meet the motion by a direct negative, but by the previous question, which would not require the House to pronounce any decided opinion.

Sir J. Scarlett

concurred with the right hon. gentleman, that the proper time for coming to a decision was when a specific motion was brought forward; but after what had already passed, he thought there was no necessity for the indefinite proposition in the hands of the Speaker. If his hon. friend had proposed a motion for the purpose of engrafting upon it a bill, he might have voted differently; but as his hon. friend stated, that the subject was to be brought under consideration again, this was a good ground for voting against the motion. He was disposed to concur with the right hon. gentleman, that the number of judges ought not to be increased. He recollected the opinion expressed by the late sir S. Romilly, that no addition was required to the number of judges in the then Court of Chancery. Even if it were a question of doubt, he should be disposed to wait until the present Chancellor had had an opportunity of trying the effect of such reforms and amendments as it was known he was disposed to introduce, to facilitate the practice of the court. From a long and intimate acquaintance with that noble person, he was satisfied that it was his sincere desire to remedy existing evils, and not to oppose prejudice to the real utility of propositions for the improvement of the Court of Chancery. He did not contend that the Court of Chancery did not require improvement; but improvement was not to be had by increasing the number of the judges, but by an alteration of the forms of procedure, and by facilitating the progress of causes. One of the chief difficulties of the Court of Chancery was, that the same individual had to determine both the law and the fact. It was the same in other countries, and was attended with similar inconveniences. It was impossible, in a complicated case, for the same individual to judge of the law and [the fact, from the same argument, too, without great delay and inconvenience. It occurred to him, that a very useful improvement in the course of proceeding in the Court of Chancery would be to separate the adjudication of the law from the fact. The right hon. gentleman had said, that he would leave to the gentlemen of the bar the task of vindicating themselves from the reproaches cast upon them by the hon. member for Colchester. He thought that before that House, the bar of England required no vindication. With those who from education, connection, or long intercourse, had become acquainted with the members of the bar, in this and in the other House of parliament, he was sure it would not suffer from the imputations to which he alluded. He did not deny that at some periods, into so large and mixed a body, individuals might have been introduced, whose characters and conduct had thrown a slur upon the profession; but those who, of late years, had been intrusted with the duty of preventing the intrusion of unworthy candidates, had not been deficient in watchfulness to exclude those who, from a spirit of chicanery, and a deficiency in the upright feelings and just principles which distinguished gentlemen (although in some cases not unaccompanied by great talents), were deemed unfit to become members of this branch of the profession. Their endeavour was to vindicate the bar by purifying it; and in many instances, he was happy to say, their efforts had been attended with success. But of all the charges against the bar of England, that was the least deserved which was derived from the pay they received; their emoluments were purely honorary; and if he knew any thing of the early history of the hon. gentleman, he must know that a suitor was entitled, on any terms, to the assistance of the profession; therefore, to speak of it as a mercenary profession, was to use the language of ignorance for the purpose of invective. A more unjust and at the same time a more absurd reproach had never been attempted to be cast upon the bar, than that of doing half the labours for their fee, when, the fee was in the op tion of the party giving it. It was easy to make an attack on an individual. He did not shrink from the charge of being a moderate reformer. He should be glad if those who attacked character would display equal talent when called to defend one. The most ignorant might attack and destroy an edifice, but it required wisdom to build it up. He was not against reform, but the best way to reform was to conduct it with temper. It was impossible in a country like this, that property could be secured without expense. His hon. friend near him had referred to a case in which he had prevented parties from being involved in an expensive process of law. It happened to every professional man that he often advised his client not to proceed, and told him that his case was doubtful. But the clients say—"We do not care for that; nothing will satisfy us short of a judge and jury." If the parties, in the case mentioned by his hon. friend, were disposed to get the 150,000l. out of Chancery by arbitration, well and good; but if all persons having questions of that kind did the same, there would then he no settled rules for property. If it was necessary to have rules, there must be men who understood those rules, and could apply them. It was certainly a difficult thing to get property out of the Court of Chancery, and he always advised persons not to pay money into that court if they could help it; but he did not think that this difficulty was any imputation upon the court. He should support the amendment of the right hon. gentleman, because he did not think it was fit that the House should vote upon an abstract question.

Mr. Brougham

wished to say a few words, that the grounds of his vote might be clearly understood. He agreed that it was, at all times, inconvenient to vote abstract propositions; and, if he understood it rightly, there was one part of the motion to which he could in no way agree. With all respect for his hon. friend, to whom the country was under such weighty obligations for benefits conferred, especially in reference to the Court of Chancery, he could not concur in his proposition of that night without abandoning the principles he had uniformly held and declared. He was called upon to assert, by the motion; not merely that certain great evils exist in Chancery, attending the mode of proceeding and the construction of the law (for to that extent he might be willing to go), but to declare the affirmative of that proposition of which he had maintained the negative from the time when the subject of the Court of Chancery was broached in the year 1811 down to the period when it was introduced by his learned friend, Mr. Williams, then member for Lincoln. It formed the conclusion of the motion in the hands of the Speaker, and declared the inadequacy of the machinery of the court, as at present constituted. For his own part, he was satisfied that there were judges enough, and officers enough, to administer the equitable jurisdiction of the country, without any arrear, if they duly bestirred themselves in the exercise of their functions, and called to their aid certain plain and easy reforms. Great part of those reforms might be made by themselves as matters of practice, and to the rest attention had been directed with a view of obtaining legislative assistance. He fully concurred with a great light, unhappily now extinguished—a high authority upon all subjects, but still higher upon those relating to the laws of the country, and more peculiarly to be revered and followed upon that branch of jurisprudence with which he was peculiarly conversant—he need hardly say that he meant sir S. Romilly—who had declared, not from hearsay, not even from mere accurate observation, but from daily and hourly practical personal experience—that not only three Equity Judges would be sufficient, but that the third judge then recommended to be appointed was unnecessary. This opinion he gave not once, but as often as the subject was brought before the House, and stated his convincing reason most elaborately and impressively, as many present would recollect, and as others might read in the records of parliamentary history. In 1812, or the beginning of 1813, sir S. Romilly opposed the Vice-chancellor's bill, and urged, that if the two judges then existing did their duty, with a few slight changes in the practice of the court, they might get through all the business brought before it. It might be said, that the business had since increased; but the very adoption of the measure opposed by sir S. Romilly had materially contributed to that increase. The bill being carried, the office of Vice-chancellor was created; and thus half as much more judicial power was given, or was supposed to be given, to the court. It was naturally thought by some, that three judges must be adequate to all the business, and to get rid of the arrear. But were not two judges formerly quite sufficient? Was there any arrear under lord Thurlow, or lord Loughborough? [It was intimated, across the table, that in the time of lord Loughborough there was some arrear in Chancery]. There might be a slight arrear; but it did not deserve the name, as compared with the vast accumulation of the present day. He was happy to be able to say that the arrear was not on the increase at the present moment; that it was not even, stationary, for it had been considerably reduced. He also founded his resistance to the latter part of the motion, upon the fact, that previous to the last twenty or twenty-five years, and without a Vice-chancellor, business, at one time, was got through without any arrear; and at another with a very trifling arrear, by the predecessors of the late lord Chancellor. But, in spite of the increased judicial power since 1813, there was still a heavy arrear; and it might be said, that the existence of that arrear increased the slowness and difficulty in hearing and determining new business, while, without that arrear, the judges would be competent to the despatch and decision of the new business. In courts of justice it might be as it was in the private affairs of an individual; in point of economy, where a man had only a limited income, it was good policy to start him in the world without any accumulation of debt; and on similar principles, it would be wise to start the Court of Chancery afresh, without any arrear of business. On this account he had listened with the more favour to the proposition of the right hon. gentleman, for appointing a temporary commission to get rid of the existing accumulation of causes, and thus starting the three Equity Judges fairly and without weight, ascertain whether they could not keep pace with the current business of Chancery. His opinion with respect to the division of business between the Courts of Equity and the Courts of Law was well known. He differed widely on that point from his learned friend the member for Weymouth. He had said, and he repeated it, that a great change was necessary. As much as possible of the business which had, of late years, got into the Courts of Equity ought to be drawn back to the Courts of Law. If that were done, not only would justice be administered more quickly, more satisfactorily, more cheaply, and more surely, and not only would much of the ruinous expense, which at present was so disgracefully attached to the administration of justice, be got rid of; but, instead of there being any doubt, whether the three Equity Judges were sufficient for the despatch of business, the only doubt would be whether they were not too many. As, however, this was a subject which he hoped was in a train for thorough discussion elsewhere, he would abstain, at present, from saying any thing more upon it.—He would now beg leave to say one word with reference to the learned lord on the woolsack, and to the learned judges who were that learned lord's coadjutors in subordinate courts. He was quite ready to agree with those who had expressed their confident hopes that these three learned persons would be found perfectly adequate to the discharge of the important duties imposed upon them. With regard to the late Vice-chancellor, now the Master of the Rolls, his character for ability, learning, perseverance, and diligence, was too well known to render it necessary for him to say more than that there never was a more diligent and active judge, or one who devoted more time to the business of his situation, or one who, in a given time, got through so much business. He had also great confidence in the talent and learning of his learned friend the present Vice-chancellor. Undoubtedly it would be rash to pronounce any decided opinion on this the very morn of his judicial day; but, knowing his general capacity, and his eminence at the bar, he had great expectations that his learned friend would be equally distinguished in his judicial capacity. At the same time, it certainly did not always follow that an able man at the bar made a good judge. God forbid that he should be supposed to throw out the slightest doubt upon the subject; but experience was still wanting with respect to it. As to the learned lord at the head of the Chancery Court, he agreed with his learned friend opposite, that, to a certain extent, that learned lord was new to the practice of Courts of Equity. He must undoubtedly have had considerable difficulties to encounter in the discharge of his high office. As, however, it was acknowledged on all hands, that he was a man of great talents and knowledge, it was impossible not to feel confidence that he would go on with the same success as other learned persons had done, who had gone into Courts of Equity from Common-law courts. About a year ago, ho had expressed his unwillingness not to try what might be accomplished by the arrangement which then existed. A twelve month had elapsed, and the arrears had; not increased; they had not even been stationary; they had diminished. With that diminution his confidence had naturally grown.—The other observations which he wished to make, related to the inquiries which were now going on upon the subject of legal reforms. In these matters the country felt a deep interest. In no one subject were they more anxiously interested, not even in economical reform, retrenchment of public expenditure, and relief from taxation; for, popular as all these questions were, he doubted if even these moved the public mind more deeply than the reform of our system of jurisprudence; and, for this plain and obvious reason,—men had at length begun to feel, be their hopes ever so fond, and their expectations from the Finance Committee ever so sanguine, that, as long as the debt, the dead-weight, and the pension list, continued, it was impossible that any sum which should bear a large proportion to the millions which they must pay for the debt, and the interest of the debt, could ever be removed. That being the case, men naturally looked at other parts of our system which came home to them, and pressed heavily upon almost all, and were more burthensome even than their taxation. His opinion was founded upon an extensive correspondence in which he had been engaged since the question of reform in our jurisprudence had occupied the attention of the House—a correspondence, in the profession and out of it, with those very persons to whom the learned member for Weymouth had alluded, not as victims of the abuses of the law, but as victims of the reforms in the law which that learned member apprehended. He meant men of property, mercantile men, landed men, men who groaned under the effect of the law of real property, under which it was so difficult to tell whether they had a title to the property in their possession, how they could make a title to property they might be going to purchase, or to the fortune they might inherit. It very often happened that mercantile men did not know what funds belonged to them and what to others; who their partners were, or whether they had any partners at all. Good as he believed some parts of the mercantile law to be—good as he believed the common law part of it to be—yet a more vicious and enslaving system than the law relating to partnerships did not, in his opinion, exist. Now that the people were suffering under these abuses, they felt anxious that the law should not exist as it was, but rather that it should be superseded by almost any other system.—He had been induced to mention these circumstances, to show the acute feeling of the country on the question of legal reforms. There had been no disposition expressed on the part of government to oppose these reforms; but then, though it mattered little what the form might be, yet every thing depended on the constitution of the commissions—on the individuals who were to compose them. His learned friend had observed, that professional men ought not to be objected to, because it might be said that they were interested in the preservation of the present system. Nothing could be more just, nothing more practically true. Lawyers were not interested, quasi professional men, because, far from lessening their business, every such change had a direct tendency to increase it. But men were not always actuated by interested motives. Those who had been long used to the system had another bias, quite as dangerous and as strong, though not so sordid. Some men were prejudiced, in favour of a system in which they had been born and bred: they loved the mysteries which they had spent so much time in learning; and they did not like the rude hand which would sweep away the cobwebs, in spinning which they had spent their midnight's oil and their days for, perhaps, half a century. This it was, and not their interest that he dreaded; and therefore, he said, that neither judges, whether chief judges or puisne judges, nor men who were on the verge of being made judges, were the persons best suited to effect a change in the system as it at present stood. He wished to touch lightly and delicately on this matter, as one of the commissions was not yet appointed, and that which was appointed had not yet begun its operations. The latter was past praying for: but for the other, he must express his anxious hope that the greatest care would be taken in constituting it. He would rather it should be composed of three than five; but five he thought quite enough, and he would have such persons named as were totally free from any thing like professional bias or prejudice. That they were here placed between two difficulties, he admitted. They might find a man who had no bias, and who might, for that reason, be the less informed upon the subject; but if they could find men in the profession—and such men did exist—who were not only eminent lawyers, but who joined practical knowledge with an extensive and general acquaintance with the law—if they found such men as these, and did not appoint them, then he knew what the conclusion would be. The world at large would see that they had chosen men, not because they were good lawyers—not because they were strong in equity—not because they were powerful in real property—but because they were weak reformers, because they were powerless in inquiring into abuses, and because, though they could not refuse the investigation, they were determined that the system should pass the ordeal with as little damage, with as little change as possible. Tertium nullum constat. They must either choose good men who would reform, or good men who would not reform. The government had given a pledge, that they were desirous of reform; and, if it were not redeemed by a properly constituted commission, they would defeat the just, general, and ardent expectation of the country. He wished to state this in time. He meant no offence to those persons to whom he had alluded. He had no distrust in the lord Chancellor, or in the right hon. Secretary, with whom these appointments rested; but if he had omitted on the present occasion, in the interval between the appointment of the one commission and the near appointment of the other, to express the fears which he entertained—fears founded, he did not deny on rumours which had come to his ears—and should no good hereafter result from appointments from which he had fondly expected much, the House would have a right to complain; and those out of doors, who had confided in him when he brought forward this inquiry, would have a right to blame him, if he had not spoken his mind upon the subject. One word more with respect to the evil of an improper appointment of the second commission. It would not only defeat the hopes entertained of great improvement in the law of real property, but it would also most injuriously indicate to the commission already appointed what was the disposition of government on the subject. If the members of the first commission saw that certain persons were chosen, or, on the other hand, that certain persons were omitted in the formation of the second commission, they would naturally conclude that government were not over anxious for reformation in the state of the law. Whatever might be their instructions, they would look at facts rather than at words; especially in matters of a personal nature. Such were the observations which he had felt it his duty to make; and he had made them with pain and anxiety; because he was aware that the tendency of all remarks of the kind was to assume the appearance of invidious objection to individuals. His objections, however, were far from being of a personal description, and were exclusively such as he had stated.

After a short reply from Mr. M. A. Taylor, the House divided: For the motion 42; For the previous question 91; Majority against the motion 49.

List of the Majority and of the Minority.
Alexander, H. Eastnor, lord
Alexander, J. Eliot, lord
Apsley, lord Elphinstone, col.
Arbuthnot, rt. hon. C. Fitzgerald, rt. hon. V.
Ashley, lord Foster, hon. J. L.
Atkins, J. Fremantle, sir T.
Balfour, James Gordon, John
Bankes, H. Goulburn, rt. hon. H.
Bankes, G. Graham, Marquis
Beckett, sir J. Greene, T. G.
Brecknock, lord Greville, hon. sir C. G.
Boyd, W. Hart, G. V.
Buller, Charles Hay, Adam
Calvert, John Harrison, Battley
Campbell, arch. Herries, rt. hon. J. C.
Carrington, sir E. Hill, sir G.
Cockburn, sir G. Holmes, W.
Cole, Arthur Horton, rt. hon. J. W.
Cooke, sir H. Hotham, lord
Cooper, R. B. Huskisson, rt. hon. W.
Courtenay, T. P. Innes, sir H.
Dalrymple, A. J. Lamb, rt. hon. W.
Dawson, G. R. Lennard, T. B
Dennyson, J. Lester, B.
Dotten, A. R. Lewis, rt. hon. T. F.
Downe, lord Littleton, E. J.
Dundas, R. A. Ipswich Lockhart, J. K.
Lott, H. B.
Drummond, Home M'Leod, R.
East, sir E. M'Kenzie, sir J.
Malcolm, N. Ross, John
Maryatt, J. Saunderson, A.
Martin, sir T. B. Scarlett, sir J.
Maxwell, H. Sibthorpe, C. D. W.
Moore, G. Somerset, lord E.
Mountcharles, earl Spottiswoode, A.
Morrison, J. Sugden, E. B.
Norton, G. C. Trant, H.
North, J. H. Talmash, L.
Owen, sir E. Talmash, F.
Pettit, L. H. Thynne, lord W.
Palmerston, lord Tindal, sir N. C.
Peachy, general Ure, Masterton
Peel, right hon. R. Villiers, T. H.
Peel, Laurence Wetherall, sir C.
Prendergast, M. G. Wortley, hon. L. S.
Robinson, G. B. TELLERS.
Rose, sir G. Sir G. Clerk
Rae, sir W. J. Planta.
Bernal, Ralph Martin, John
Carter, J. B. Marshall, William
Clive, E. B. Maberly, colonel
Compton, Samuel Maberly, John
Denison, W. J. Palmer, C. F.
Dundas, hon. T. Pendarves, E. W.
Dundas, H. G. Ponsonby, hon. F.
Dundas, sir R. Protheroe, E.
Ducane, P. Russell, lord W.
Easthope, J. Sebright, sir J.
Ebrington, lord Smith, W.
Ennismore, lord Stuart, H. V.
Fergusson, sir R. Townshend, lord C.
Forbes, John Twiss, Horace
Gordon, Robert Waithman, alderman
Graham, sir J. Warburton, H.
Grattan, James Wilbraham, G.
Harvey, D. W. Wood, alderman
Heneage, G. F. Wood, John
Hume, Joseph
Knight, R. TELLERS.
Lumley, S. Lord Rancliffe,
Marjoribanks, S. M. A. Taylor.