Mr. R. Trevor
, after observing that he wished the Judges of Wales to be placed upon the same footing as those of England, and that he for one could not consent to the dividing and mixing up of counties for the sake of making assize districts, presented a Petition from the freeholders of the County of Carmarthen against the Bill for the alteration of the Welsh Judicature. The hon. Member added, that he in a great degree concurred in the prayer of the petition. There might be some improvements in the present system, but he could not agree to its total abolition. Some Gentlemen spoke of the Welsh law as a foreign code; it was, in fact, the old English law differently, and in some respects better, administered.
§ Petition laid upon the Table.
Sir J. Owen
presented a Petition with the same prayer, from between 1,800 and 1,900 freeholders of the County of Pembroke. He concurred heartily in the prayer of the petition.
§ Mr. Jones
presented a similar Petition from the Sheriff, Magistrates, &c. of the Borough of Carmarthen. The hon. Member trusted that no attempt would 9 be made, as had been threatened, to hurry the Bill through the House before Easter. He looked on the proposed plan as an untried experiment, of which the good was doubtful, and before it was carried into execution he wished that the Bill should be printed, and circulated in Wales at least a twelvemonth. The Welsh had not complained of the present system, and when they did it would be time enough to alter it. He did not charge it against any member of the Government; but it had been said, that whether the Welsh liked the measure or not, they should be forced to swallow it. From that he claimed the protection of the House, and complained that the nature of the Bill had been kept as secret from those it was to affect, as if it were a state mystery.
§ Sir C. Cole
said, that the borough of Glamorgan was in favour of the Bill before the House.
denied that any mystery had been kept up regarding the Bill, which had originated in the recommendation of a commission, after due inquiry. It had been submitted to Parliament last year, and he had himself seen sixteen or eighteen gentlemen connected with the Principality on the subject, so that there was no pretence for saying that the matter had been kept secret. He, however, concurred in the objection that had been raised respecting the division of counties, and full time, he said should be allowed, to enable the people of Wales to give an opinion upon the whole measure.
§ Mr. Jones
reiterated his objection to the alteration of the system, excepting as far as regarded placing the Welsh Judges upon the same footing as those of England.
was ready to enter into this compact, that all due time for consideration should be allowed, provided the hon. Member and his friends would not throw needless impediments in the way, so as to prevent the passing of the Bill in the present Session.
§ Mr. Jones
consented to these terms, and laid upon the Table two other Petitions, with the same prayer as that he before presented, one from the Burgesses and Commonalty of Carmarthen, and the other from Kidwelly.