HC Deb 08 February 1832 vol 10 cc63-6
Mr. Spence

, on presenting a Petition from Ripon, Yorkshire, against the General Registry Bill, said, the petitioners objections principally applied to the establishment of a General Registry in the metropolis, and he agreed with them in that opinion. Although he was anxious to see registration carried into effect generally throughout the kingdom, yet he thought that object could best be effected by local registries which would be much more agreeable to the public generally, than a general register. He feared the Bill before the House had existed so much ill-will on the subject, that it would prevent the question of registration itself, independent of the particular measure to which the petitioners objected, from being considered with the attention its importance deserved, particularly on account of the general benefit it would confer on land proprietors.

Mr. Trevor

said, he opposed one of the leading principles of the Bill. It was proposed by it, that all titles must be registered in the metropolis. This would occasion much loss of time and additional expense in transfers of property, when the parties lived at a great distance from the metropolis. Probably these evils might be mitigated by the establishment of county registers, and therefore, if a registry of deeds was advisable generally, he should prefer distinct offices for that purpose.

Mr. Phipps

said, there was no necessity for any registry in the northern counties. He could take it upon himself to assert that, in Scarborough, the measure was objected to most strongly by all the various interests of the community.

An Hon. Member

said, that district registers had been found most useful. He observed, that the great majority of the petitions presented against the Bill, came from the landed interest, who, he believed, had a bias against the measure. If he should hereafter find that mortgagees of property petitioned against it, he should be inclined to think their objections of importance; but, in the absence of any such petitions, he must adhere to the opinion he had already formed, that the adoption of a general registry would tend to decrease the expense and simplify the means of transferring landed property.

Mr. Sandford

considered, that a district registry might be very desirable, although one of so general a nature as was now proposed would meet with many objections. His constituents were opposed to the system of registration altogether.

Sir Charles Wetherell

suggested to he hon. member for Stafford, the propriety of postponing his Bill, in order that they might have an opportunity of ascertaining the sense of the country more fully on a question which was at the present moment much contested.

Mr. Littleton

said, all the professional men in the county of Stafford were against this Bill, and many other persons partook of their sentiments, while many Gentlemen in this House were equally in its favour. He would, therefore, suggest the appointment of a Committee for inquiry, before the House was called upon to come to a decision.

Mr. John Campbell

was quite ready to assent to the recommendation of his learned friend, by postponing the second reading of his Bill for the present; but he hoped the noble Lord would give him some other day, in order that the question might be fully discussed. When the Bill was read a second time, it was his intention to move, that it be referred to a select Committee, composed of all interests represented in that House.

Colonel Trench

said, that while there was a conflict of opinion, in which, however, he was sure the opponents to the Bill formed an immense majority, further discussion would be necessary.

Mr. Pollock

observed, that the landed interest was opposed to the Bill on the ground of the disclosure of private affairs, which it would tend to create. The difficulty and delay of communicating with the metropolitan registry on the transfer of lands, and the impediments it would throw in the way of depositing deeds as a security for borrowing money also alarmed them. Although he, as an individual, thought a modified system of registration would be extremely useful; he was bound to say, nearly every person in Huntingdon who had property, were hostile to the principle altogether, and he, therefore, trusted his hon. and learned friend would not attempt to force a measure upon the country which was opposed by the great majority of those who would be subject to its regulations.

Mr. John Campbell

thought it would have been better if the hon. and learned Gentleman approved of any part of the Bill, that he should have shewn its merits, rather than give up his own opinion to popular prejudice. He begged to remind the hon. and learned Member that many measures had been carried against the opinions generally entertained out of doors. He would instance the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, and the measure of Catholic Emancipation. He, therefore, trusted the hon. and learned Member would exercise his own judgment, and not surrender it to popular dislike.

Mr. Pollock

felt somewhat surprised at the tendency of the remarks made by his hon. and learned friend, considering his general opinions. His hon. and learned friend seemed to argue that a Member was to pay no attention to the opinion of his constituents. With regard to the Bill, he said the opposition to it arose out of popular prejudice, but when he (Mr. Pollock) found the measure was deprecated by the landed interest in general, he could not think that persons who were so capable of judging of their own concerns, were wholly influenced by prejudice, and, therefore, he could not give his support to the Bill.

Sir Charles Wetherell

observed, there was a strong feeling against the Bill, as it was expected to lead to the creation of many offices, and was likely to lead to some jobbing.

Mr. Spence

contended, that this Bill could by no means be considered as a foundation for jobbing on the part of the legal profession. It was intended to confer a great advantage on the public.

Lord Althorp

pledged himself that the hon. Member should have a day for the discussion of the Bill at the earliest opportunity.

The Petition laid on the table.

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