HC Deb 18 July 1831 vol 4 cc1444-5

The next vote was, that 29,900l be granted for the expenses of the Commissioners of Law Inquiry.

Mr. Hume

did not know know public benefit had been derived from this expensive Commission, from which several reports had been received, but not acted on. This service could have been performed gratuitously, and the Commissioners had effected no useful object.

Mr. Spring Rice

replied, that the Commissioners had pursued a useful inquiry into the obtaining of cheap and speedy justice. The Commission had been forced upon, the preceding Government by the former Opposition, and it was obliged to find means for carrying it into effect.

Mr. O'Connell

thought, the Commissioners had made great progress in mystifying the subject. Their whole machinery was most expensive, and would never lead to cheap and expeditious justice. Our system of law ought to remodelled. It was of no use to attempt to patch up the old system. With all the expense attending this Commission, only four or five bills had been brought in—and cases would be decided before these could be understood, or known to be in operation. It would on the whole, be infinitely better, to form a new and complete code, particularly as an after had been made by a celebrated individual to devote his time and attention to this subject.

Mr. Robert Gordon

understood there were twelve Commissioners, who received 1,200l. a-year each. He should, therefore, he glad, to know the quantity of labour the public received in return for this expense.

Mr. Burge

said, in the last Parliament, five or six Acts, had been formed, on the reports of these Commissioners, which reports cost a great sacrifice of time, labour, and talent. The eminent persons who devoted their acquirements to so valuable an object as that of effecting a tranquil and complete reform in the law, so as to enable the people to obtain speedy and cheap justice, ought to be well paid for their trouble

Mr. Calley

wished hon. Gentlemen would allow the Reform Bill to be first carried, before they made these objections. After that, he should be very glad to listen to their arguments, however long they might be.

Mr. D. W. Harvey

said, the public had not received one practical advantage from the labours of the Commissioners., and had neither obtained more cheap, nor more expeditious law than before, At no former period had, the law Courts been so full of causes remaining to be tried.

Vote agreed to,

1,846l, 9s. for the purchase of a pension granted by former kings to James Waller and his heirs, and

10,500l, for the expenses of printing Public Records, were voted without remark.