HC Deb 28 March 1833 vol 16 cc1203-5
Mr. Ewart

moved for leave to bring in a Bill for the removal of the Assizes from Lancaster to Liverpool and Manchester.

The Solicitor General

would not exactly oppose the bringing in of the Bill, though he not only thought it inexpedient, but bad in principle. He thought it bad in principle, because he considered that such matters ought not to rest with the House, but rather with the Crown whose prerogative it belonged to settle this matter. It would be better to revive the Statute of Charles 2nd, which gave the power to the King in Council to remove the Assizes from one place to another.

Lord Sandon

felt bound to support the Motion of his hon. and learned colleague; but in giving it his support, he would state, that he agreed with the hon. and learned Gentleman, that the principle of bringing in a Bill of that kind in such a way was bad.

Mr. Rigby Wason

called upon the hon. and learned Gentleman to bring in a Bill to the same effect as the one he said was repealed. It would be wise to postpone the consideration of the present Bill till the Solicitor General could bring in a general measure.

Sir Robert Peel

said, there was much good sense in the few words that fell from the hon. Members who had last spoken, and that it would be far better to postpone the consideration of the present Bill to a future period, than to hurry it on now when a general measure might make it wholly unnecessary. He considered, that if such Bills were allowed to be brought in through the medium of that House, much inconvenience would arise from it. The fixing of the Assizes would become a party matter, and the Representatives of large towns would be continually endeavouring to have the Assizes removed to those towns. That House was not the best tribunal to apply to for the removal of the Assizes from one town to another; the matter ought to rest entirely with the Privy Council. That being his opinion, he hoped the House would not allow any part of the present Bill to pass, and that it would be postponed until his Majesty's legal advisers had time to consider the subject.

Lord Althorp

also considered that it would be better to withdraw the Bill for the present, that the subject might be more fully considered. He begged, therefore, the hon. and learned member for Liverpool to postpone his Motion to a future time.

Mr. Ewart

agreed to postpone the discussion, on the understanding that the Solicitor General would bring forward the measure of which he had given notice.

Mr. Richard Potter

regretted that the debate should be deferred, for the greatest inconvenience was felt in consequence of the inhabitants of the hundreds of Salford and West Derby having to repair to so great a distance for justice. Many injuries were submitted to, in preference to incurring the expense of trying actions at Lancaster; he would only just refer to one instance—the commercial house with which he was connected had brought an action against a party—it was tried at Lancaster, a distance of upwards of fifty miles from Manchester—a verdict was obtained, a new trial was granted, and it was tried a second time, and the costs to both parties actually amounted to upwards of 700l., a very considerable part of which was incurred in consequence of the case being tried at so great a distance from the place where the parties resided.

Motion postponed.

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