HC Deb 07 May 1834 vol 23 cc696-741
Mr. Brougham

moved the Order of the Day, for the second reading of the General Registry of Deeds Bill. Upon doing so, he said, that, notwithstanding the vast number of petitions against the Bill, he could not feel altogether so disheartened as to suppose that the measure was now utterly destroyed, or to conclude that even if it failed for the present, it would not be in his power successfully to propose it upon some future occasion. Although he did not agree with a certain noble person in thinking that the petitions of the people were little better than waste paper, yet he must be allowed to say, that upon a question like the present, feelings of interest might be very readily excited and petitions procured against a measure good in itself, because it was not sufficiently understood throughout the country. He considered it quite impossible that anybody who had attended to the subject, or who had an interest in land, could doubt that the principle of registration was a good one. They might differ as to the mode. Some might wish to have all deeds sent up to London—others might prefer a system of district registration to one of central registration—others again, like his hon. friend oppo- site, might think that every man should be his own registrar—might, in fact, be favourable to a system of domestic registration, according to which every man might inscribe on his own parchment all the incumbrances to which it was subjected from that time forth to the end of the world; all, however, recognized the principle of registration as good. He would not enter into the merits or demerits of the plan; he would reserve what he had to say upon the subject either for the latter portion of his observations or for a future occasion, when the Bill would come before the House for consideration, more in detail. As to the principle of the measure, no one could hesitate to admit, that it offered a security to property, and a greater facility of disposing of it by sale or transfer than was at present enjoyed by the possessors of land; and in bringing forward the Bill for the third time, it was scarcely necessary for him to say he was actuated by no personal interest or personal motive. He had persevered, and he would continue to persevere, in advocating the measure, because be believed it to be one which the landed interest would hereafter thank him for having introduced and proceeded with. At present, he would not say from ignorance, but from not having their eyes sufficiently open to the evils by which they were affected, and which this Bill would remove, he feared they were in no small part opposed to it. He had no intention of entering into details or troubling the House with any lengthened discussion as to the merits of the measure. He could perceive that, in all the meetings in Yorkshire, and in all the petitions from the county which was the most opposed to the Bill, there was nothing said against the principle of registration; the opposition was, to registration being metropolitan. But not only having heard that night, as well from petitioners as from the lips of hon. Members of that House, that some of them were opposed to all manner of registration, he would beg for a moment to call their attention to the great benefits which would be provided by a measure such as that he had introduced. Look at the situation in which any gentleman acting as a trustee might be placed. He would give one instance, and this would be better than a host of abstract arguments. The case was one which fell within his own knowledge, and it would illustrate what he wanted to set forth as well and as simply as it possibly could be done. On the occasion of a marriage it was provided, in the marriage articles, that any money which might come to the wife should be conveyed to trustees for her use, under certain provisions. The father of the lady died, and he left upwards of half a million of money, which he directed by his will trustees to convey to the use of his daughter for her life. Here, then, she took a life-interest in the property. Well, afterwards this lady and her husband fell into embarrassed circumstances, and having exhausted all their available funds in the first instance, they were compelled to seek further assistance from her friends, and a large sum was raised accordingly for the benefit of her husband's creditors. All this while the marriage settlements were slumbering in the tin box of an attorney; and the trustees had allowed the money to be raised upon the life-interest. An action had been since brought against the trustees for not having conveyed the money according to the settlements; and if this succeeded, then innocent men would be made answerable for a sum frightfully large. Here it was obvious there was no fault in them; the mischief arose from the want of a registry, for had there been one, the money could not have been raised on such security as had been proffered. He therefore put it to hon. Members, any of whom might be placed in a similar situation from unconsciousness of the existence of a particular instrument, whether it would not be well to provide some security against innocent persons being subjected to a risk so frightful; and he put it to them, whether that security could be obtained by any other means excepting those of a general and complete registration. Passing from the general question, he requested them to allow him to advert to the provisions of the Bill then before the House. By the Bill he had introduced, it was proposed, that the registering officers should be appointed by the Crown, hold their places during good behaviour, and be paid by salary from the Consolidated Fund. The object of the Bill was, to make registration general, and to simplify the mode of registration. Now, as to the latter branch of the object, it was quite clear, that if a multiplicity of deeds were to be registered in one office, unless there was the nicest order and the most admirable plan and method, such intolerable confusion must arise, so great and so grievous would be the risk of overlooking a deed, that the security of property would be most seriously compromised. He admitted that, unless the mode of registering deeds were to be made perfectly simple, and altogether free from the chances of confusion, no greater curse could befall the country than the enforcement of a general system of registration. In advocating this part of his measure, however, he felt that it was scarcely possible for him to detail the provisions so as to make himself intelligible to the House. The same difficulty presented itself that would occur in the attempt to make long algebraic calculations clear to an assemblage in propounding them by word of month, instead of displaying them in written characters upon paper. He could, therefore, in this part of the subject only rely upon the authority of the learned persons to whom he had submitted his plan in detail, who had tried it by all possible tests, and who had come to the deliberate conclusion, that it would perfectly answer all the purposes to which it was intended to apply. In the first instance, he had to quote the high authority of Mr. Bell, of the Chancery-bar, who had begun by objecting to the measure, but who had afterwards, upon due examination, come to the contrary conclusion. Next, he had to appeal to the authority of the Commissioners appointed by the Crown to report respecting the state of the law of Real Property. The plan, to give a popular illustration of it, was similar to that adopted in making out one species of catalogues for libraries. There might be a list of the names of books, and an index referring to pages and contents; with respect to deeds, however, it would be very inconvenient to have the names of parties, so numerous would be the names—so many Smiths, and Browns, and so forth would there be, and so difficult would be the means of accurately describing and distinguishing them. But if, instead of a list of names and table of contents, there were to be a catalogue of the deeds—that was to say, in the other case, of the volumes themselves, and an index, as it were, to the titles of the books and the contents, you would have only to turn to the deed, and there you would find who were the creditors, and what were the incumbrances, as you would in the other case the contents of the volume. You would have a catalogue, in a word, of deeds and encumbrances, as you might have a catalogue of the titles of volumes. Now, in Yorkshire, there was a registry of the names of persons and of the contents of the deeds. He objected to the plan of his hon. friend, the member for the North Riding of Yorkshire, because it went to continue this mode of registration. In the index of names and of the parcels in the deeds there must be, perhaps, some thirty references, and as many entries in the register; while all that was effected by these could, according to his plan, be done by one entry, giving the root of the title and a symbol for the various deeds. This word "symbol" was objected to by his hon. friend as something mystical—as conveying something strange and horrible to the imagination—as a word, in fact, that should not be breathed beyond the precincts of a freemasons' lodge; therefore had he, to relieve the conscientious scruples of his hon. friend, removed the obnoxious word "symbol" from the present Bill, and adopted another in its stead, but, practically speaking, the plan remained the same. The great object Would be effected of having only one entry. You went to the registrar, and he turned up the page, and you forthwith acquired all the information of which you were in search. He, therefore, trusted, that, should the House prefer a system of district registration to one of central registration, that at least the simpler plan of arrangement which he had proposed would be adopted. Next he begged to state, that he had great objection to his hon. friend's Bill. First, it would cause great expense. It might be argued that, after the gentlemen in each district had built their registry-office there would be an end to the expense; but he could not help thinking, that considerable difficulty would be made about the expense, when he remembered what took place about the registering of freeholders under the provisions of the Reform-bill. It would be recollected, that the expense of the registration was thrown upon the new freeholders, and that even the shilling was not very willingly paid by the individuals enfranchised. Further, as to the expense, he had ascertained, that, in Yorkshire, the practice was, for an attorney, if he had a distance to travel, which would keep him absent from home for a day, to charge two guineas for registering a deed, and so on in proportion to the distance, and one guinea and a-half for what were called "expenses"—that was to say, for preparing the memorial, &c. Thus, it appeared that a deed carried the smallest distance for registry, cost three guineas and a-half; and he had ascertained that the average expense of registering a deed from Sheffield, Hull, Ripon, Leeds, Halifax, Tadcaster, and York, rather exceeded 5l.; sometimes it was done at less cost. His hon. friend was aware that, in Yorkshire, it was not usual to register a deed immemediately after it was executed; a solicitor was in the habit of waiting till he had ten or twelve deeds to register; and, in some instances, he never registered deeds except during the period of the assizes. Registration, in fact, was not imperative. Now, it was an essential part of this measure to make registration absolutely necessary; if it were not, there was no security for the creditor, or for property in general. The essence and virtue of this measure was, making registration part and parcel of the deed. Consequently, when a deed had been executed, it would be absolutely necessary that it should be registered at once. Then it would take place that the attorney would have forthwith to set off with the deed to get it registered. Here was a certain expense to be incurred by the purchaser, large or small. Now, on the other hand, if the registration were to be made at one place in the metropolis, whereto there was the safe and speedy conveyance of the mail, the expense of transmission and of registration would not exceed 5s. He therefore threw this out as a consideration to those who pressed, for district registration. He warned them of the expense; if they incurred it, they would do so with their eyes open. Further, to illustrate the expense and inconvenience, he would state, that a letter leaving Appleby oh a Monday for Kendal, which was twenty-five miles distant, reached Kendal on Wednesday, and an answer might be received on Friday. Now, an answer to a letter written from Appleby on the same day might also be received from London on the Friday. From this he concluded, that, instead of intrusting a deed to this cross-post, people would, in all cases, prefer despatching it by a man on horseback. He next must state, that in Yorkshire nothing but me- morials were registered; and he should infinitely regret the adoption of this system of registration, being as it was extremely mischievous. He had himself seen the bad effects of imperfect records. There might be descriptions of the parcels of land, and of what had been actually done by the parties; but that was not sufficient. The hon. Member cited a case, in which a deed had been executed and a memorial registered, which memorial bore out the fact, that a deed had been executed for the benefit of certain parties in 1799. They, however, were now in the Court of Chancery, with the view of being enabled to sell the property, because there was no legal proof that the deed had been executed, and that the trusts had been carried into effect. The title was consequently unmarketable, and it could only be made marketable by the Court of Chancery. Now, if it had not been for the memorial telling of the deed without detailing the contents, they might have sold the property. But every man, it was said, liked to keep his own sheepskin. Well, a copy might be registered; aye, but this cost money. True, but so did the memorial; and the consideration really was, whether the difference in the expense was not amply compensated for by the security afforded by the copy, and from its making the title perfect. Besides, the expense would not fall heavily on those in narrow circumstances, for the deeds of small properties would necessarily be small, and, of course, the cost of copying could not be very great. One of the strongest objections which had been urged against the measure was, that it would interfere with the arrangements under which money was usually raised by landed proprietors. Let the House consider the terms on which bankers lent their money at the present moment. He would wish to know what impediment it would throw in the way of a person desirous of borrowing money, if, instead of producing his title-deeds to a banker, he produced a certificate of the registration of his deeds, and said, "This is my title, you will find the deeds under letter A, No. 1, in the Register-office?" If the banker believed the statement, he would lend the money upon the certificate; and if he entertained any doubts upon the subject, he would write to the Register-office to have them solved. It had been urged, that the writing to London would cause an inconvenient delay. It certainly would create delay to a certain extent; but, after all, it was a question of confidence. If the banker had confidence in the person who wanted the money, he would lend it at once; and if he had not confidence, he would require time to obtain information. This was precisely what occurred at the present moment. If a banker had confidence in the person who applied to him, he lent him money upon the parchments which he produced; but if he had no confidence in him, he required time to examine into his title, and this, in most cases, would be longer than would be necessary for writing to London, and receiving an answer by return of post. The question, he repeated, was entirely one of confidence, and he defied any hon. Member to put it upon any other footing. He believed that the system he proposed would greatly facilitate equitable mortgages, and would afford a security to the lender which at present he did not possess. He had heard instances of bankers in London having been defrauded by persons borrowing money for the second, and even the third time upon the same estate. This never could occur if a register existed, unless through the negligence of the lender. As the office which he proposed to establish in London would be on a large scale, and conducted by men of great experience, who would be well paid, and would work well, the business would be conducted with great regularity, and would be less liable to error than in offices scattered over the country. One word with respect to county registration. It had not, in his opinion, been proved, that if the system of registration were not central it must necessarily be by counties. It must be obvious that, in some counties of small extent, where the transactions were few, the officers would have comparatively little to do, whilst in others they would be overworked. It appeared to him, therefore, that if either or both the bills at present before the House should go into Committee, the question would be, not whether the system of registration should be established in each county, or in London alone, but whether it should be confined to the metropolis exclusively, or extended to several districts of the country, so as to have four or five register-offices instead of one. If the House should be of opinion, that the principle of registration was bad in itself, and ought to be rejected, let it declare so by its vote, and not sanction even the domestic legislation suggested by the hon. member for Lincolnshire. By adopting this course, the House would relieve both him and his hon. friend, the member for Yorkshire, from the charge of the weighty measures which they had undertaken, instead of keeping them in suspense until the end of July. If, on the other hand, the House should be of opinion, that the principle of registration was good and ought to be adopted, he would suggest that both bills should be allowed to proceed to a Committee, in order to have two points determined.—1st, whether a register-office should be established in London alone, or whether offices should be opened in several districts of the country; and 2nd, whether the Yorkshire index, or that which he recommended, should be adopted. He wished it to be understood, that by allowing the Bill to be read a second time, the House would by no means stand pledged to the establishment of the London office, and his hon. friend also thought that, by reading his Bill a second time they would not be pledged to the establishment of district offices. All that they desired was, that the Bills might be read a second time, in order that they might decide what course should be adopted. He would not detain the House longer than by moving, "that the Bill should be read a second time."

Mr. Heathcote

felt it his imperative duty to oppose the second reading of this Bill. With reference to what the hon. and learned Member had said relative to accidents arising from the loss or concealment of deeds, he must observe, that he had had the honour to present several petitions against the measure, from persons who he knew were incapable of stating a falsehood, which asserted that instances of that kind were extremely rare. If, however, the fact were as stated by the hon. and learned Member, the remedy proposed was worse than the disease. It appeared to him, that the hon. and learned Member's plan, so far from diminishing the number of accidents, would considerably increase them. It was absurd to suppose, that many deeds would not be lost in the course of their transmission to London, and that the most unfortunate results might not ensue from clerical errors in transacting the immense mass of business which would press upon the London office. A central office might be suitable to a small country like Scotland, but was wholly in- applicable to a great and populous kingdom like England. The plan might facilitate transactions with respect to great masses of property, but it would not with respect to small freeholds. The publicity which the hon. and learned Member's plan would introduce into money transactions would be in the highest degree injurious. It was unnecessary for him to dilate upon the advantages which society derived from the circumstance of persons being enabled to obtain temporary pecuniary assistance by depositing their deeds with bankers, or other capitalists, under a pledge of secrecy. This advantage, so useful to the commercial world generally, but especially to the agricultural interest at the present moment, would be altogether taken away, and that, in itself, was a sufficient reason for rejecting the Bill. It had been said, that the opposition to the Bill had been got up entirely by country attornies; but he would ask, whether there were no London lawyers on the other side? For his part, he would not challenge any man's motives; but he must be allowed to say, that the tendency of the Bill was, to remove to London, business which could be better and more conveniently transacted in the country. It was notorious, that, recently, many measures had been brought forward, the object or the effect of which was, to benefit the London at the expense of the country practitioners. By this new system of centralization—that, he supposed, was its name—London was everything, and the country nothing. With respect to county registration, he had less objection to that than to the plan of metropolitan registration. In conclusion, he must observe, that he scarcely ever knew a question against which such an unanimous feeling prevailed. To go no further back than this evening, there had been about 100 Petitions presented against the Bill, and only one in its favour. Persons of opposite political opinions, and of various degrees of wealth, from the richest landowner down to the humblest freeholder, had united in offering their opposition to the measure, and in compliance with the wishes of his constituents, and in support of his own opinions, he would move, "that the Bill be read a second time this day six months."

Mr. Cayley

said, that the measure which he had the honour to introduce was founded upon the principle of locality. He had, however, no objection to act upon the hint which had been dropped by the hon. and learned Member, and to unite two or more small counties, if it should be found convenient to do so. His plan differed from that of the hon. and learned Gentleman also in this—that the index which he proposed to establish had undergone the test of 100 years' experience; but even upon this, he proposed to ingraft certain improvements which had been suggested by a committee of solicitors of the West Riding of Yorkshire. He congratulated the House on the conciliatory tone which had on the present occasion been adopted with respect to the system of district registration. No doubt could be entertained that this plan was more palatable than that which would establish a general register-office in London. The argument of the hon. and learned member for Southwark proceeded upon the principle, that the Yorkshire and Middlesex plans of registration admitted of no improvement; but he (Mr. Cayley), proposed to improve it as well as to extend its application. He, perhaps, as a civilian, ought to apologize for having introduced a measure of this nature, and the only excuse he could offer was, that he knew that similar measures were eyed with suspicion when introduced by lawyers. The principle of registration had been so often canvassed in that House, that he would not long occupy their attention upon that point. He might, however, be excused for stating the result of the applications which had been made by the Law Commissioners, chiefly to country attornies, for their opinions on the subject. The answers in favour of registration were 105; doubtful, fifteen; against it, twenty-four. The opinion of country attornies who generally transacted three or four branches of business in their offices, was, upon the present subject, of more importance than that of London attornies, whose practice was usually limited to one branch of the profession. One of his objections to the establishment of a general office in London was, that it would so diminish the practice of country attornies, that it would be no longer worth their while to reside there. If, however, a central office was to be established, why not fix upon Leicester for that purpose, that town being more centrically situated than London? The hon. and learned Member said, the establishment of a London office would be less expensive than that of district offices. Now, he had taken the trouble to inquire into the cost of the building of the office in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and he found that it was 800l. That in the East Riding cost 3,000l. He would suppose, that twenty would be necessary for the whole country, and that they would cost 3,000l. each; this would amount, to only 60,000l. That ground of argument therefore, entirely failed. But the hon. and learned Gentleman stated, very justly, that the expense of the buildings would be merely the expense of a day, and the consideration of the greatest importance was the expense of the parties who should register for the time to come. Now, he (Mr. Cayley) thought, he should be able to prove, that the expense of district registration would be much less than that which would be inseparable from the establishment and maintenance of a metropolitan registry. The hon. and learned Gentleman had stated, that according to his plan, the cost of the transmission and registration of deeds might fairly be estimated at 5s. The hon. and learned Gentleman last year, however, had computed that expense at 1l. 5s., and he (Mr. Cayley) believed, on the information of those who were well acquainted practically with the subject, that to register a deed would, on an average, according to the hon. and learned Gentleman's plan, cost somewhere about 3l. 3s. The hon. Member then read a statement made before the Committee by a gentleman named Shaw, of Leeds, who had given evidence as to a number of deeds registered at Wakefield between 1817 and 1833. A calculation had been made of the expense of registering ninety-one deeds, taken indiscriminately, and the office fees amounted to 31l. 3s. 8d., which was at the rate of 6s. 8d. a-deed; the whole expense, including memorial, journey, and other incidental charges, was 218l. 2s. 1d., which made the average 2l. 6s. 7d. a-deed. Deducting, therefore, the charge of the journey, which by this calculation amounted to 1l. 1s, and the stamp on the memorial, which was 10s more, and which was to be discontinued, an average would be left of 15s. 7d. a-deed, which, contrasted with the 3l. 3s. given as the probable average by those conversant with the subject, there would be a saving of 2l. 8s. on each deed, under the local system. The hon. and learned Gentleman had insisted on his plan of index, as if it had been peculiarly applicable to a metropolitan registry, whereas, if good in principle, it would extend also to Middlesex and Yorkshire. The hon. and learned Gentleman had quoted the high authority of Mr. Bell in his favour; and he (Mr. Cayley) would, on the other hand, quote the opinion of Mr. Bickersteth, who stated, that the symbolical index was of so intricate a nature, that it could not be understood but by practical persons, and who, therefore, preferred the index of names to one of places. In a case like this, he held, that experience was the best guide; and the Middlesex and Yorkshire registrars had now been in existence for 100 years; and he must be permitted to state, that Mr. Fenton Scott, registrar of the West Riding of Yorkshire, at the head of a committee of solicitors, had come forward in the handsomest manner, and offered to adopt any practical improvement which might be suggested in the present system. He proposed, that a yearly index should be made out in a dictionary form, which would be at once simple, plain, and intelligible, and would greatly reduce the difficulty of search. He would now take other ground, in order to meet the arguments for a metropolitan registry. The hon. member for the county of Somerset was opposed to all registries, and the Corypheus of that party out of doors was Mr. Hall, who had given evidence on the subject of registration, and who being a London barrister, not a country attorney, would be considered an impartial witness. That gentleman summed up his objections to a single metropolitan office thus—'First, Delays and loss of time as regards all dealings far from the metropolis, and which constitute the great mass of dealings. Second, Risks of absolute loss and of accidental delays by carriers, agents, &c, on the road to and fro, of the deeds and documents, which losses and delays will be especially felt by persons borrowing, who are often pressed for time, and whose safety from ruin may depend on time. Third, The greater expense to all persons in the provinces at all far from the metropolis, compared with the having the office a short distance from their own doors. Fourth, The necessarily unequal pressure of the expense and delay arising from distance, on different classes of purchasers, borrowers, &c, especially as regards small purchases, loans, and leases, Fifth, Supposing the register an open one, the greater difficulty thrown in the way of poor persons in searching the register for the discovery of frauds or suppressed rights. Sixth, As regards wills, it seems impossible, that one register alone in London should not prove a great grievance to all but the rich; and it would be an absolute concealment (from the impossibility of poor persons paying the cost of search), of all rights and claims of such persons. Seventh, The inducements which would arise from those expenses, risks, and delays, for parties often to take all chances of title, and rely on presumed honourable dealing. Eighth, The difficulty of proving right to vote at elections, if a title to a vote depends on the metropolitan register, especially if the deeds are to be left in the custody of the office. Ninth, The vast accumulation, which must ultimately take place, of registers in one office, and the consequently increasing difficulties of searching, and risks of mistakes in the office and agents. Tenth, The impolicy of making one office in the metropolis, and under Government control, the sole depository of all the titles in the kingdom. Eleventh, The impolicy of drawing, and even forcing into one focus in the metropolis, all the law business of the kingdom, and thus withdrawing from the provinces all their most intelligent attornies, agents, &c, and making every title and dealing in land in the kingdom dependent upon solicitors and agents, of whom, personally, the parties can know nothing. Twelfth, The great risk from fire, riot, and rebellion, where all the titles to all the lands in the kingdom are accumulated in one spot.' On the other hand, the advantages of local registration were summarily stated as follows:—'First, Facility of access; greater despatch of business; less expense; and less risk of carriage, &c. Second, Promptness in settling affairs, a matter often of the greatest importance. Third, Business transacted more under the eyes of the parties concerned, and by solicitors and agents known to them, in whom they place personal confidence, and on whom they may satisfactorily rely. Fourth, Greater encouragement to complete and register all transactions, instead of leaving transactions unregistered, and in fieri. Fifth, Greater encouragement generally to make the office a register of all matters of evidence, and a voluntary depository of title-deeds, the same being then sufficiently accessible. Sixth, Great diminution of expense and trouble in all transactions of smaller value, and partial charges, leases, &c. Seventh, Greater facility given to parties to act for themselves, in searching and obtaining information from the office, depositing deeds, &c. Eighth, Greater facility for searches of wills, and for all supposed suppressed rights. Ninth, Greater facility of reference at elections, if the register be allowed any influence upon the votes. Tenth, The advantage to the inhabitants of the district (whom it most concerns) of having the registrar and other officers more under their own eye, check, and animadversion. Eleventh, The advantage of enabling the people to transact their affairs at or near their own homes, and within the notoriety (more or less) of their neighbours and fellow-citizens. Twelfth, The advantage of keeping up in all the provinces a wholesome distribution of general business, a general knowledge of property-law, and a supply of well-informed, intelligent, and respectable solicitors and agents. Thirteenth, The greater independence of Government power over and interference with the titles of the kingdom. Fourteenth, The less risk from national injury by fire, riot, or rebellion. Fifteenth, Local registers of deeds falling in much more conveniently with registers of wills and administrations, marriages, births, and deaths, and pedigrees, and local facts.' No better arguments could be given, and with greater ability, by a more impartial witness in favour of the local system. The hon. member for Essex had been examined in favour of metropolitan registration, and yet he stated that, in the vast number of transactions he was in the habit of carrying into effect, he had known greater delay to have occurred from employing London rather than country agents. With respect to equitable mortgages, he felt inclined to withdraw the part of his Bill which related to that subject, when it came to be considered in Committee, because Mr. Shaw had given it in evidence, that, in times of panic, when money was wanted very promptly, if they had to send to London from Yorkshire every time they had to search, very inconvenient delay would be occasioned, which sometimes would be attended with fatal consequences. As an instance, he would give the state- ment of a respectable practitioner at Sheffield, with whom he had corresponded during the vacation; who stated, that bailiffs were in possession under executions; and if mortgages had not been completed and deeds deposited on the same day with the bankers (which would be impossible under the metropolitan system), total ruin would have ensued. Had it not been for the facility of depositing deeds, and the consequent facility of search in 1825, when the panic prevailed at Wakefield, there would have been ten times more stoppages than had actually occurred. He could not help considering this a most important and solid argument in the present depressed state of the interests of the country against metropolitan, and in favour of a local system of registration. In the report drawn up by the then Solicitor-General reference had been made to the countries which had adopted registration; but he would ask, what evidence they afforded in favour of a metropolitan registry? There were registries in Bavaria, established in 1722, in Austria in 1758, in Prussia in 1783, but they were all local. There were registries in Norway and in Denmark, which had been established for centuries, and which, with those in Sweden and Italy, were local. There was not only a registry in New York province, but also in New York city, in Nova Scotia, and Geneva, which were all local; in short, not one of the examples adduced of the practice in foreign countries told against, but rather in favour of, local registration. He did not need to inform the House, that those which existed now in England—namely, in Middlesex and Yorkshire—were also local. As to Ireland, although they had a metropolitan registry in Dublin, he would mention the opinion of the hon. and learned Member for that city, who stated that, being in favour of local courts, he wished also to see a system of local registration adopted in Ireland. In fact, it held true as a general principle, that those who were in favour of Local Courts (and he presumed, as a noble relative of the hon. and learned member for Southwark, in another place, held so strong an opinion on that subject, the hon. and learned Gentleman himself was also favourably inclined towards it),—those, he repeated who advocated Local Courts ought, following out the same grand principle, to support also local registration. The same observation applied to Scotland, because, although they had now a metropolitan system, one of the witnesses from that part of the country stated, that a district or county registry would be much preferable. He would bring the matter to this test; he had made a computation and found, that of the witnesses examined 40 were in favour of a metropolitan system, 53 for a local system, and 15 favourable to both. He had given, in the former case, the hon. and learned Gentleman the benefit of those who were doubtful, in favour of the principle of registration generally; but, after further inquiry, he thought he was fairly entitled to class the 15 neutrals with the 53, which would give 68 in favour of local registration. As to the subject of memorial registration, he did not consider it so much a matter of principle as of detail, but still he was prepared to apply to it the same test. For all real purposes of registration, he thought a full-length copy of the deed was unnecessary, and a memorial was quite enough; and while there were 60 witnesses in favour of the former, 64 gave their opinion for the latter; and of those who sent communications from the country, but were not examined before the Committee, 58 supported the memorial, and only 32 the whole copy of the deed. He proposed doing away altogether with constructive notice, and that would get rid of the most objectionable part of the Yorkshire and Middlesex registries. On one point there was, at least, no difference of opinion,—namely, that if there were to be a registry at all, it should be full and complete. But he would entreat hon. Members to look at that important question in all its bearings. They should not lose sight of the fact that, at various times, attempts had been made to establish a system of general registration. In the 27th of Henry 8th, in the 5th of Elizabeth, in the 5th of Anne, and in the 6th and 7th of the same Queen, and, lastly, in the year 1815, Mr. Serjeant Onslow brought in a Bill for the purpose of accomplishing an object so often before desired. Not one of those attempts had been attended with success; and he hoped that the time would not come when a commercial and manufacturing country like England would be subjected to the evils of a general metropolitan registry; for he felt assured that it could not but be attended with the most injurious results. Looking at the evidence given before the Committee which had been appointed to inquire into the subject of registration, he confessed it filled him with surprise to find that so distinguished a lawyer as Sir Edward Sugden had been called before them.

Mr. Brougham

interposed to say, that Sir Edward Sugden had been invited to attend the Committee, but had declined to be examined.

Mr. Cayley

was not aware of the circumstance just mentioned. If the present Bill went into Committee,—that was, if they were to have any registration at all, it would be matter for the Committee to determine whether it should be a compulsory or an enabling Bill. It was clear, that a Bill of some sort they must have; and to prevent the measure of the hon. and learned Gentleman being brought before them Session after Session, they could not do better than adopt one of local registration. It would be a plan more consonant with the habits and feelings of the people of England, who at all times desired to have their affairs brought home as near to their own doors as possible. It had been said, that registration would be advantageous to the landed interest. In the present depressed state of that interest, he believed there was no one legislative measure capable of doing them so much service as a good system of registration. At the late meeting of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it was universally admitted, that the effect of the system of registration in that district had been to raise the value of land. Not only could money be obtained on mortgage with more facility than before, but a rate of interest one-half or a quarter per cent lower than before. If the Parliament were to adopt the principle of registration which prevailed in that part of the country and establish it generally, he was perfectly satisfied, that it would be attended with the most beneficial results to the agricultural interest throughout the kingdom. He had troubled the House at so much length from a desire to save their time upon another occasion, for it would be quite as well to take the debate then as at any other time. He concluded by seconding the Amendment.

Sir George Strickland

said, that he should with great reluctance have trespassed on the House if he had not devoted as much time as possible to the question. He could not help congratulating the House and the country at large upon the altered tone which his hon. friend had taken, and with which the hon. and learned member for Southwark had brought forward the subject, when he contrasted it with the language he had held on former occasions. The hon. and learned Member had then declared, that the opposition to this measure emanated only from ignorant lawyers and still more ignorant country gentlemen. He was glad to contrast this opinion with the feeling which had been displayed at a powerful meeting in Yorkshire; he was glad to find that there was an admission that a system of local registration was practicable. He trusted that this measure for a metropolitan registry would stand no chance of being carried. If he were to express what was his own impression, it would be that, where such a contrariety of opinion prevailed upon such a subject, that House ought to hesitate long before it adopted any resolution to force this system upon the country in opposition to that which now existed. His own feelings were in favour of local registration; but he thought it would be hardly fair, in the present state of alarm with which the people contemplated this plan, to thrust this measure forward, unless, indeed, the people had presented numerous petitions in favour of it. It was only recently that the country was beginning to understand the meaning and purport of this Bill. His hon. friend said, indeed, that it only wanted to be known thoroughly to make it approved of. Now, he thought it only required to be thoroughly known to make it universally disliked. With reference to the Bill before the House, he said it was a great and fearful alteration of the law,—it was the adoption of a plan of which they had had no experience. By it the strong arm of the law was to force from a person the possession of his own title deeds, and to put them into a Government office. He knew, that the hon. and learned Gentleman said, that the measure was not compulsory—that was to say, a person might deposit his title-deeds in this office if he pleased. "Oh, no," said the hon. and learned Gentleman, "you are not forced to do so." Why, certainly, this measure did not go to this length, that a constable was to be sent after them to seize the deeds; but if they did not deposit them, according to the provisions of this Bill, they lost their estates. But, perhaps, that was a trifle merely. This experiment, again, was one which was perfectly novel. He might, indeed, be told, that similar instances existed in Sweden and elsewhere; but, from the tenor of the first report, which was made in 1829, upon the strength of which this compulsory measure was with so much confidence forced upon the House year after year, in spite of all the petitions against it, it was clear, that the Commissioners felt some diffidence and want of confidence on that subject. The Report of the Commissioners stated—"We are aware of the numerous and weighty obstacles to so novel and extensive a plan in a country of so great extent as England, where transfers of land are more frequent than in any other part of the globe, and where the disclosure of private affairs may be dangerous to commercial credit." He was not opposed to the registry of the memorial, as that would be a sufficient safeguard. Now, one of the first and greatest names which were to be found in favour of a general registry, was that of Lord Chief Justice Hale, who, however, whilst he expressed his confidence in this compulsory system, stated, that if the inconveniences arising from its adoption should be found to be greater than its advantages, in such case the plan should be rejected. He (Sir George Strickland) contended, that the variety of eminent men's opinions was so great, and the inconveniences so much proved by the opinions of very high authorities, that he thought the House ought to hesitate a long time before they attempted to force upon the country even the local registry by memorial. He trusted, however, that the House, upon full consideration of the question, would hardly be in favour of a general scheme of registration, by which the title-deeds would be taken out of the hands of the proprietors. The question was, whether they were prepared to put the country at large to a very grievous inconvenience, with the idea of remedying a few evils which very rarely occurred? He could prove, that many persons of great experience had never heard of any inconvenience having been sustained by reason of the suppression of deeds. He could quote the opinion of Mr. Byrkenshaw Thomas, of Chester, who had practised in the city of Chester for forty-six years as a conveyancer. He declared, that he had known but one case of the suppression of a deed in which some in- convenience arose; but the transaction was not attended with any pecuniary loss to the party concerned. He might refer, also, to the opinions of Mr. Preston and of Sir Edward Sugden, whose names stood so high in the profession and elsewhere, that he was convinced their opinions might be offered as authorities against any others which could be quoted—at least their opinions ought to be allowed to have some weight in the discussion of a question of this sort. The hon. and learned member for Southwark had quoted one solitary instance of abuse or evil Now, there was no opinion to which he (Sir George Strickland) would be more inclined to pay great deference than that of Mr. Bell. His talents, his age, and his high respectability entitled him to the deference of every one; and if that gentleman had given an opinion strongly in favour of general registry, he should hesitate before he would pronounce an adverse opinion. That gentleman said, on the first occasion, "I have always entertained great doubt of the practicability of establishing a general registry, without its occasioning more evils than it would remedy. I fear the costs of search, and the carelessness of persons making the search. If we register by the names of grantors—John Brown has granted to P. Smith, who has conveyed to James Wilson, or other names of like frequent occurrence, and the registry comprehends a large district, it must be the business of a life carefully to examine the deeds." Mr. John Bell likewise said, "If I understand the system of roots and symbols, I should be in favour of the plan. I think I understand it. I am not sure that I do understand it." He might then say, he had some doubts respecting this plan, with such an authority before him. He might confess, that he did not understand the system of roots and symbols. Even a great lawyer then sitting under him admitted he did not understand this. The term symbol, however, was left out in this fourth edition of the Bill. If England were divided into nine districts, there would be 8,000 deeds registered in each; thus there would be 72,000 registrations, and hence must necessarily arise very great inconvenience. There would be no security to titles, and they would be most generously legislating for posterity. There would be, in twenty years, one million and a-half of deeds registered, that applied to "roots and symbols;" and let them con- sider how they would be enabled to trace titles in this mass. They must trace, be it remembered, every union, re-union, &c., connected by a certain chain; but if one link of that chain should be broken, the clue was then lost. It was the opinion of the Committee, that the index by roots was impracticable. Another topic to which he would refer, was the great inconvenience which this measure, if adopted, must entail upon the mercantile interest in respect to the deposits of title-deeds. The hon. Gentleman thought this the best part of his Bill; but, from the evidence produced before the Committee, it was held that there must be a total end of all equitable loans; and it was said, that it was thought this would be a benefit to the country. But would it prove a benefit to the country to withhold assistance to the mercantile interest? It appeared that, during the panic of 1825, the searches after title-deeds were so numerous, that the Registry-office in Wakefield, was, for some time, kept open day and night; and it was owing to the convenience of local registration, that perhaps hundreds of persons, bankers and others, were saved from ruin. Would not the House, then, hesitate before they would adopt this change? By this Bill, too, a man requiring to make a search, was to swear that he had an interest in doing so. The man might be an attorney, or he might send his clerk, to do this. If the system extended thus far, it might allow the man who swept an attorney's office to gratify his curiosity, for he might say he had an interest; and yet they had experience of the danger of exposure. He alluded to the case of Gascoigne against Hunt, in which Mr. Gascoigne was put to the expense of two or three heavy law-suits, in consequence of the Commissioners of Public Charities calling upon him to produce his title-deeds. This matter was afterwards brought before the public. Some person thought that he could pick holes in the title, and the party was obliged to try three suits, and as many in Chancery. So far the party was successful; but much depended upon what should take place hereafter. Now, who laid hold of this document? Why, it was said, that there were many persons practising as attornies in London who made their livelihood by finding out flaws in title-deeds, and then made bargains with parties that, if they were successful, they should have a considerable share of the property. In a very able pamphlet which had appeared, by a solicitor of the town of Leeds, Mr. J. H. Shaw, that gentleman observed:—'The Bill leaves no option, but compels every man, whether it suits his convenience or not, or is agreeable to his feelings or not, to expose his whole deeds in the Register-office. I call this tyranny and oppression. I say expose the whole deeds, for I will not stop to brush away the miserable cobwebs introduced into the Bill which are dignified with the name of restrictions on the right of search. The Commissioners for Charitable Purposes, in the exercise of their functions, compelled Mr. Gascoigne to produce a deed, and the consequence has been, that he has already had to defend three tremendously expensive trials at York, and I know not how many suits in Chancery. He has so far succeeded. But is the anxiety nothing? is the expense nothing? If he had been a poor man he must have been crushed by the expense, though successful in the trials. The law-suit against Mr. Gascoigne originated with some persons in London, said to be attornies. I understand these persons make a trade of hunting after flaws in titles, and that yields them a pretty good harvest.'—Now, as to the expense of building offices for local registry, if that would tend to prevent the present expensive system, he saw no objection to their erecting such places as might be necessary. Sir Edward Sugden had suggested that, in the event of this measure being put into practice, the Post-office must employ a great number of porters to carry 72,000 title-deeds which must be then forwarded by the Post-office. Now, however well the Post-office might be conducted, he, for one, would not be compelled to send his title-deeds by that, conveyance. He believed, however, that the establishment was not so perfect as it might be. It was only a few weeks ago he had presented a petition from a town in Yorkshire, complaining of the manner in which the Post-office was conducted; and, since that period only, he had heard that the mail-bag had been twice lost. The circumstances had been represented to the Postmaster-General, and he referred the matter to some Post-office inspector—a person whose appointment was perfectly useless, to cover the defects of the country postmasters, and these men defended every abuse. It was, indeed, most difficult to get redress in such cases; and there was always great difficulty in removing country postmasters of bad character. He, therefore, objected to his title-deeds being sent to a metropolitan register office by the post. But wills and title-deeds, also, were to be sent up to London by these means. Accustomed as he and other hon. Members acquainted with Yorkshire were, to search for wills which were deposited in the cathedral of York, where they considered that those wills were placed in perfect security, he did not think that they were called upon (and, indeed, he was opposed to any such proceeding), to give up the advantages which they now possessed. The real principle of security was, that every man should have the means within his own power to show his right to his property. The hon. Baronet quoted, at great length, the opinions of Mr. Preston and of Sir Edward Sugden. The former of these authorities had declared himself thus—"Question—Are not the expenses now incurred in the transfer of Real Property very heavy?—Answer: Very heavy! ruinously so! But they will be greater hereafter, under the new system." Again, he observed,—'That, when a member of the House of Commons, he had opposed registration, from a conviction that it was not adapted to the laws and transactions of this country.—Do you still retain that opinion?—I do. I admit that advantages might be gained as applied to large purchases. The purchases under 1,000l. are ten times as numerous as those above. The object of registration is to secure purchasers and mortgagees against fraud; and if frauds are so extensive as they are represented to be, perhaps it might be expedient, even at the enormous expense which is to be incurred. But there is not one transaction in a thousand in which there is fraud? By registration, a very large expense will be incurred, by taking 999 persons, in order to save one, out of 1,000. Sound policy, and economy, must weigh the expense to the public as a body.' Sir Edward Sugden held, 'that the State would possess all the title-deeds of all the property in England. If the curse of a civil war were to fall upon the people of England, few would like the opposite faction to be in possession of their title-deeds. The office should be accessible; and, therefore, it should be local. No man's right should be wantonly broken in upon; therefore no man's title-deeds should be taken from him. In a few years, a general register would destroy itself by its own enormous weight.' The hon. Baronet concluded his remarks, by protesting against a system which went to force a man to give up his title-deeds. The opinions of the highest authorities were so strong, and preponderated so largely, as he conceived, against the measure, that he trusted the House would not accede to the motion of the hon. and learned member for Southwark, who had tried, by intreaties, to induce the House to pass this Bill as only going to the mere principle of registration, whereas the principle really was metropolitan registration, with the deposit of title-deeds. He would close his observations in the words of Chief Justice Hale—"Experience and inquiry have proved, that the inconvenience of a general system of registration would be greater than the benefits to be derived from it; and, therefore, it ought to be rejected."

Mr. Lynch

said, that no person entertained greater respect than himself for the opinions of Sir E. Sugden and Mr. Preston, but it so happened that he could, on this question also, quote opinions of able men on the other side. He might call in evidence, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Humphries, and Sir Samuel Romilly; and he was enabled to state, that no one was more strongly in favour of registration of deeds than the late Mr. Butler. Of the two modes of registration suggested, he confessed, that he preferred metropolitan to local registration; but let him see the deeds deposited and enrolled, and also a good index provided, and he would not object to local registration. For many reasons, metropolitan registration was the most advisable, and that House ought not to legislate on the chance of a civil war, or the contingency of a tumult. The possibility of a rebellion might as well be urged as a reason for not permitting wills to be deposited in Doctors' Commons. Besides, was there no danger of riots in market-towns in the country? Had no tumults occurred at Bristol or at Nottingham? He should not therefore suffer himself to be shaken in his conviction of the advantage of establishing a metropolitan registry-office, by the assertion that it might be in danger, in the event of a civil war breaking out. An hon. gentleman had expressed an apprehension, that the country solicitors would lose their business, if a system of metropolitan registration was established. He denied, that any such result would ensue. If a metropolitan registration was established, an individual purchasing an estate would go to his solicitor in the country, and direct him to prepare the deeds as heretofore, a duplicate of which would be sent to the office in London. This was the only alteration that would be made. It was a remarkable fact, that the set of men who would be most injured by the registration of deeds—namely, the conveyancers—were yet the most favourable to it, because they thought it would be advantageous to the public. Agreeing with the hon. member (Mr. Cayley) as to the necessity of registration, he differed from him as to the mode. He objected to any system of registration, of which the deposit or enrolment of deeds did not form part. If they depended on a memorial, the validity of any transfer of property must depend on the accuracy of that memorial. He thought, too, that the deposit of a simple memorial would tend to increase expense. All that was required under the bill of his learned friend (Mr. Brougham), was the enrolment of a duplicate of every deed; but if the system of memorial was preferred by the House, it would be necessary for parties to prepare in vellum a short abstract of their deeds, to be attested by two witnesses, and signed by themselves. Now, no solicitor would assist in the preparation of this abstract without charging pretty highly for his labour, and to this was to be added the expense of transmitting the memorial to the place of registration, accompanied by the witnesses. He had no doubt, that the House, on comparing this complicated proceeding with the simple transmission of the duplicate deed, would decide in favour of the latter. If a memorial only were registered, doubts might be raised as to the validity of the title, which could only be removed by the production of the deed; and if that deed happened to be lost, a difficulty would be created which could never be overcome. He recollected a case brought before the House of Lords some years ago by a party who had bought an estate in Ireland, and wished to get rid of the purchase. He found a memorial only on the registry, and he demanded the production of the deeds. They were, however, lost, and could not be produced, and Lord Redesdale, in consequence, refused to confirm the purchase. It was said, that great inconvenience would arise from giving publicity to these documents, but it was well known, that wills were open to public inspection in Doctors' Commons, and yet he had never heard of any evil arising from it. What was the nature of the transactions which took place with reference to deeds? They consisted either in transferring the property, or in effecting mortgages, or making family settlements. In cases of transfer, there could be no desire for secresy; and, with respect to mortgages, was it, he asked, fair, that they should not be disclosed to the public? Supposing that a company of bankers, in whom the people placed trust, because they believed them to be men of property, mortgaged their land, ought that House to allow them, by keeping the mortgage secret, to obtain credit for that to which they had no title. With respect to family settlements, the whole family was interested in them, and therefore ought to be made acquainted with them. These settlements were sometimes contained in wills; and he repeated, that no inconvenience had been felt from their publicity. It had been objected, too, that young men were frequently ruined by borrowing money on the security of property to which they were to succeed, and that this evil would be increased, if they were permitted to have access to the deeds. In his opinion, an entirely opposite result would be produced, and he believed that those young men would be able to borrow money on better terms, if they had access to the deeds, and could show their title. He entirely disapproved of the alphabetical index, which formed part of the plan of the hon. Member for Yorkshire. He knew an instance in Ireland, of the search after a deed costing 600l., in consequence of the trouble occasioned by the alphabetical index. He could also state, on his own knowledge, that a London solicitor was occupied for weeks in searching for a deed in Yorkshire. [Hear.] He was not ignorant of the meaning of those cheers. His statement was supposed to furnish an argument against registration, though, properly considered, it was only an argument against a defective system of registration. The index proposed in the bill was, in his opinion, a perfect index, and, in the event of its being adopted, he would venture to say, that a search, in- stead of extending over a space of weeks, and costing an expense of 600l., would not occupy more than a single day at the most, nor cost more than a few pounds. Supposing that a person, whom he would call A, desiring to avail himself of the benefits of registration, went and got his deed registered; he would receive a number or symbol, say No. 10, with a reference to the book in which the deed was entered. When that was done, the registration was complete. If A wanted to mortgage his property, he would show this No. 10 to the intended mortgager, who would have nothing to do but to go to the registration-office and search for No. 10. The same course would be pursued, supposing that A. wished to sell his property entirely to C. No plan could be more simple or convenient than that. If C sold a portion of the property to D, D needed only to go to the registration-office, and get a ticket numbered 20, on which a reference would be made to No. 10; and then, if D sold his property again to E, he had only to show his ticket, No. 20, which would enable the purchaser to obtain all the information he could desire respecting the title. The question of the index came under the consideration of the committee up-stairs, and that committee had approved of the principle on which the index in the Bill of the hon. and learned member for Southwark was established. Mr. Bell had always been in favour of registration, though Mr. Bell said that he was afraid of the index. However, when the index adopted in the present Bill was explained to him, he said, that he was perfectly satisfied, and expressed his confident expectation, that it would be found to work well. With respect to local registration, there was a difficulty which he wished to explain to the House. One of the advantages of local registration was founded on the supposition that the party desiring registration must be resident either within the town where the local registration-office was established, or within a few miles of it. If, however, a party lived at a distance of thirty or forty miles from the place, he might more easily communicate with the metropolis than with the county town. Supposing that a person residing in Lincolnshire purchased an estate in Cornwall, would not the establishment of a general registration in London be more advantageous to him than a local one in Cornwall? A general registration would, besides, have the effect of rendering all proceedings uniform, and of causing them to be conducted with the least possible expense. He understood, that the expense of carrying the deeds to the Yorkshire registry exceeded the estimated cost of the transmission of the deeds to the metropolitan office. On these grounds he should give his vote in favour of the Bill proposed by his hon. and learned friend the member for Southwark.

Lord Morpeth

had no difficulty in stating, that the sense of that riding of Yorkshire which he had the honour to represent, and which it was hardly necessary for him to say contained a number of persons of large landed property, was almost unanimous against the Bill of his hon. and learned friend, the member for Southwark; a feeling which he had no doubt that riding only shared in common with the other ridings of the important county of Yorkshire. He thought, it could not be denied that the wishes of the constituency ought to have great weight with every member of that House, in reference to all matters which bore on private concerns, and on the administration of property. Unquestionably, the sense of the people of Yorkshire was favourable to the system of registration which they possessed, and not to the system proposed by the Bill of his hon. and learned friend. They were very willing to amend any defects which might appear in their present system, but the system itself they were desirous of retaining. It was his intention, therefore, to vote, not for the Bill of his hon. and learned friend, the member for Southwark, but for the Bill of the hon. member for the north riding of Yorkshire, in order that an opportunity might be afforded of considering how far the principle of registration contained in that Bill might be applied to certain local districts; leaving open other points for future settlement. Whatever might be said in favour of metropolitan registration—and many very plausible arguments had already been stated in favour of it—it would undoubtedly be exceedingly onerous in many respects, especially to small landed proprietors, and it would be difficult to guard against the inquisition into every man's property which might be undertaken by any designing or curious or otiose individual. He did not think, that the principle of registration could be carried beneficially into effect with respect to the great mass of the people, except by having it in comparative reach of their own doors, to be transacted by their own agents, and to be subject to their own inspection. He must, therefore, vote against distant registration.

Mr. John Romilly

said, that his bias was in favour of metropolitan registration; but it was not so strong as to make him determined to reject the Bill of the hon. member for Yorkshire, if he could not obtain that of the hon. and learned member for Southwark. He was, however, strongly of opinion, that registration should take place either by a deposit of the original deeds, or exact copies of them, which should be equally valid with the originals in a court of law. He believed, that registration would be attended with this good effect, that, after the lapse of a certain time—twenty years for instance—perfect security of title would be obtained. The main object of the measure was, to protect the real bonâ fide purchaser of property from claims of which he had neither any knowledge nor any notice. The hon. member for Yorkshire, in his disapproval of the Bill of the hon. and learned member for Southwark, said, that if they adopted that measure, they would be legislating for posterity. No doubt they would; but was not that what they were doing every day? It was impossible to enact any measure not likely to affect the interests of posterity as well as the interests of this generation. If no objection could be urged to the principle of the Bill (upon which he believed most of them were agreed), he thought it would be right to read the Bill a second time, and let it go into a Committee, when any objections made to its details might be amended, or the objectionable parts removed. The objections hitherto raised appeared to him to arise from misconception of the measure itself, or a misunderstanding of what had been said upon it. One of the objections mentioned by the hon. Baronet (Sir George Strickland), that it would be productive of confusion, bore very slightly upon the principle of the measure, and could not happen under a due system of registration, such as that proposed by this Bill. Besides, he was of opinion, that a disclosure of the nature of deeds could not of itself be productive of injury to the owner of the property, because the inquiry would have reference, not to the past, but to the future. Much stress had also been laid upon the hardships which would arise to merchants if obliged to expose their affairs, by showing the extent to which their property was mortgaged; but he had conversed with many eminent merchants of London upon this subject, and their unanimous opinion was, that no injury could arise to the merchant from such disclosure: on the contrary, secrecy on the subject must be alike injurious to his creditors and his family, who would get something if he stopped at first while he had property and funds at command, instead of struggling on until his affairs became irretrievable. He would take a case, that of a person living upon a nominal 600l., but having really only 400l. a-year. Would it not be better, that such person should suffer a little pain at first by having his affairs inquired into, than have his family reduced to beggary and want? With respect to the objection, that the title-deeds would be taken from the possession of the owner, it could not apply, for they would be at his command when he required them. As to what had been said of the expenses attending small purchases and small properties when they changed hands, he thought they might be diminished by shortening the law proceedings respecting them. That was the legitimate mode of diminishing that expense, and not exonerating them from a process by which the title would be rendered secure. The expense was now augmented by requiring additional deeds in order to prove the title. Another point relied on was the difficulty which this Bill would throw in the way of raising money. He, on the contrary, thought, that the Bill, instead of raising difficulties, facilitated the means of raising money, as it would enable any gentleman to take his deeds to his banker, who would at once be enabled to see how the property stood. As to the suppression of deeds, he agreed with the hon. Baronet (Sir George Strickland), in thinking, that such occasional losses were not sufficient of themselves to justify the imposition of a heavy expense upon the whole community. The advantages, however, of the Metropolitan Registry Office would be, first, that they would only have the expense of one establishment; secondly, they would have the expense of only one set of officers, and, in addition to this, they would avoid the expense attending the registration of a property lying in two counties (which would be very high). As to the objection which had been urged, on the chance of an invasion, or civil war, or insurrection, surely all other parts of the kingdom were equally liable with London to such disasters as these. In any such event, it mattered not where these deeds were kept, but even then, a duplicate of the deed would be found of service. The hon. and learned Member concluded by supporting the second reading of the Bill.

Mr. Ayshford Sanford

could not concur in the view taken by those who saw such advantages in the Bill. He had heard much about security of property in Yorkshire in consequence of the system of registration adopted in that county, but he would venture to say, that property was not a whit more secure in Yorkshire than any other county in England. He did not think, that property in Yorkshire was worth a single year's purchase more than that of any other county. The best proof of this was to be found in public feeling, and public opinion, both of which were in his favour upon this point; and, therefore, this was no argument in support of local registration. As to the possession of deeds, he believed, that few deeds remained long in the hands of their owners after obtaining possession of the property; they must pass into other hands before they became, if he might say so, legally his. The theory of registration was one thing, and the practical effect of it, together with the present expenses of conveyancing, was another thing. A very large proportion of the transfer of property did not take place in London, but in the country; and the country practitioners were quite competent to discharge their duty in the most effectual manner to their constituents. Recitals were necessary to deeds, particularly if titles were of ancient date; and even at so recent a date as twenty years gone by. The proposed registration would be attended with very considerable expense, and that expense, the majority of persons having an interest in conveyances and estates were not disposed to bear. He considered, that the proposed Bill, or any other founded upon similar principles, would prove prejudicial to the interests of the public. Whenever any Bill likely to do away with abuses, could be introduced upon this subject, he would not oppose his individual opinion against that of lawyers of respectability,

Mr. Duncombe

said, that although he looked upon the present measure as one of the greatest importance to the country generally, yet he should not trespass more than a very few minutes on the attention of the House, because the subject had already undergone such a full and ample discussion. He should feel, however, that he was abandoning his duty to his constituents, and as a Member of that House if he did not offer a few remarks before the discussion closed. He thought he had a just right to complain of the conduct of the hon. and learned member for Southwark, to whom a representation had been made, that the system of registration at present established in Yorkshire, had perfectly succeeded, and was found to work well for the advantage of the property of the county, and requesting that that county might be excluded from the provisions of the Bill now before the House. This application the hon. and learned Gentleman had, in his discretion, thought proper to reject, without having one single reason, or at least without assigning any, for doing so. The hon. and learned Gentleman had certainly said, that he did not consider the system of registration in Yorkshire, so perfect as had been represented; but this objection came with a very bad grace from the hon. and learned Gentleman, because it undoubtedly was owing to the agitation which he had himself created and kept up on this subject, that many improvements which were in contemplation in the registration of Yorkshire were not proceeded with and completed. He was happy to state, that the people of Yorkshire were, almost to a man, unanimous in their reprobation of the present Bill. A number of petitions had been presented from various parts of the country against the measure. He had himself presented some; and the hon. Members for the East and West Ridings presented several others, praying that the people of that country might not be compelled to resign to the keeping of the hon. and learned Member, or to any other person all their title deeds. The opinion of Sir Edward Sugden on this measure was decidedly opposed to the propriety of such an enactment. The hon. and learned Gentleman might sneer at the opinion of such a man as Sir Edward Sugden; but he (Mr. Duncombe) believed that few men could be found who would disregard the legal ad- vice and judgment of that Gentleman. The opinion of Sir Edward Sugden was, that this measure would do great injury to the middle classes, and to society at large, and that it would lead to a great and unnecessary expense. Mr. Preston, another eminent law authority, was opposed to the measure; and in speaking of a metropolitan and local registry, he said, that for himself he would prefer a metropolitan registration; but he would prefer a local registration for the public. He (Mr. Duncombe) was convinced, that nothing but actual force could compel the great majority of the people of this country to transfer their title deeds to the metropolis. The resistance by force could not very well be objected to with any consistency by the hon. and learned member for Southwark, who, he believed, had on one occasion counselled his constituents of that borough, to resist the payment of the Assessed-taxes; and that advice had been acted upon to a degree, and with an effect greater than the hon. and learned Member expected. He trusted the House would now reject this measure; and that the hon. and learned Gentleman would never again attempt to repeat it. He was at a loss to know why it should be attempted again to be introduced, after having been rejected last Session. It was a question connected with the agriculture, and must be injurious to the best interests of the country. He would therefore oppose the Motion.

The Solicitor General

observed that this Bill had hitherto been debated upon grounds which had diverted the House from the consideration of the real point at issue. There were two distinct points involved in this Bill—first, whether there should be a registry at all; and secondly, if there was to be a registry, was the mode of accomplishing it proposed in the present Bill the best mode that could be devised? From the speeches which had been that night delivered in the House, one would think, that no doubt existed as to the propriety of establishing a registry, but that all the difficulty arose about its details. He was afraid, however, that when the House divided, it would turn out that there were many who thought that we ought to have no registry at all. There was no question in which the landed interest were so deeply interested, as that which would enable them to have their titles so ready as to be producible at a moment's notice to any purchaser. One great point with every vendor must be to make the purchaser secure. Now, there was a great difficulty on that point at present. The purchaser must take his title from a person who had an interest in concealing any defects that might be in it, and who might even have created secret trusts and covenants, which there was no means of discovering without his assistance. He might be told, that these concealments of defects in titles were not of common occurrence; but that they did occasionally occur was matter of notoriety to every man in the profession. Take, for instance, the case of a gentleman who sells his estate. He has created one equitable charge upon it, and he afterwards proceeds to create another. He conceals the first, and, after committing that fraud, completes the sale of his property. Now, by that sale, one person must suffer, and a code of law had absolutely become necessary to say which. The registration would secure all parties from loss, by showing that there was no other person who could come into competition with them. What a state of things must there be, when it became necessary to have a code of law to settle the doctrine of constructive notices! Ought a wise Legislature to leave things in such a situation that a person, after using all due diligence, could not say that he had secured himself in his title? Was it not right that the state of titles should be so arranged, that parties purchasing land should know at least what they were dealing for? Those who had committed or were contemplating the commission of frauds, might reasonably enough object to registration; but why should any honest man object to it? Why should any honest man be afraid of it? A man might have objections to giving publicity to his pecuniary embarrassments; but ought that consideration to prevent the House from voting for a measure which was calculated to secure the integrity of transactions? Most of the gentlemen who had spoken had admitted, that registration was in itself a good thing; but then they asserted that it was impossible to carry it into effect as a general measure. At present the House was discussing the principle of this Bill, and that principle was registration. Now, was it not the practice of the House to send bills, of which the principle was not disputed, into Committee, to see whether the details by which the principle was to be carried into execution could not there be settled to the satisfaction of all parties? He believed that such was the practice of the House; and that being the case, he should abstain from entering; at present into the comparative merits of local and metropolitan registration. He was afraid that in their disputes about the mode of carrying the principle of this Bill into effect, they would lose the principle itself. If the House had merely doubted about the mode of effecting the registration, they ought to read the Bill a second time, and then discuss the mode in Committee. Registration was desirable if practicable, and he would go into the Committee to ascertain whether it were practicable.

Mr. Pease

objected to the Bill. Why should the freeholders of this country surrender their rights as Englishmen for a security of which they did not see the use, and of which they did not appreciate the value? There were two principles involved in this Bill—first, the principle of registration generally; and secondly, the principle of a metropolitan registration. To the last his constituents objected in the strongest manner. They stated, that they resided at a great distance from the metropolis—that they would be put to great expense by sending up their deeds to London for registration—that they would incur great risk of losing them in the transmission to and from the metropolis—and that they would be impeded in their efforts to raise money to meet temporary pressure by the necessity of having the loan registered, or be injured in their securities by not having them duly registered. The average expense of each registration in the metropolis, upon the lowest estimate given by the witnesses examined before the Committee, would be 3l. He believed that, if the House would afford him time, he could prove that the average expense would be much more. The probable amount of the number of registrations in each year would be 200,000, and thus the country would be saddled with an additional tax of 600,000l. on property. The hon. and learned member for Southwark said, that "considerable practicable perfection" in the security of titles would be accomplished by his system of registration. Now, if that "considerable practicable perfection" did not take place, into what an inextricable pass of error, as regarded the titles of property, would the country be plunged! Individuals would be exposed to much inconvenience and injury by that clause in the Bill which enabled any ill-natured person, who had no just ground for doing so, to enter a caveat at the metropolitan office against any man's title. By agreeing to such a measure, the House would place both the agricultural and the commercial interests of the country in a position of great difficulty. It would prevent them from obtaining money on the deposit of their deeds to meet any temporary run to which they might be exposed, and which, if they could not stop it, might be productive of their ruin. He placed little weight on the argument which might be urged against this system of registration from the liability of the Registry-office to be destroyed by fire or violence. But the office of the prefecture had recently been destroyed at Lyons; and if a similar calamity were to befall the metropolitan Registry-office, to what a situation would the landed interest of England be reduced when suddenly deprived of all their deeds and muniments! It might be said, that only the duplicates of such deeds would be deposited in that office. He thought, that it would be the deeds themselves, for few people would go to the expense of making out duplicates of their deeds. The freeholders of England were satisfied with their present securities, and they were treated with hardship when a measure for their pretended protection was forced upon them against their will, and against their conviction of its necessity. He could assure the House, that such was the feeling of all the small freeholders, in the north of England. Why should his constituents, why should their neighbours, the freeholders of Northumberland, be compelled to send their deeds up to London, exposing them not only to the risk of being lost in their Solicitor's office in the country, or in his agent's office in town, but also to the risk of being lost in the various transfers which they must undergo from one coach to another, at Newcastle, at York, and the other stages between Berwick and London? Besides, if those deeds were sent by any public carriage, the parties sending them must pay a heavy postage, and a heavy insurance. In that way, therefore, this Bill could not be carried into operation without inflicting a heavy tax on the smaller landowners, Then there was another grievance arising out of the undue publicity which would be given to the private arrangements of families by this registration of deeds. It was said, that it was of no consequence that the title-deeds of gentlemen, their family arrangements, their marriage settlements, the fortunes of their sons, the portions of their daughters, should be exposed to public view. In that assertion he could not concur, and to any plan which gave to those arrangements such publicity, he, for one, would never give his consent. By an Act of Parliament passed in the course of last Session they had rendered all freehold estates liable to the payment of simple contract debts. In consequence of that Act, every tradesman, every petty shopkeeper, would have a right to inspect every title-deed of every nobleman and gentleman who dealt with him. Greatly as he appreciated the feeling, that no man should assume the possession of property which, in point of fact, he had not in him, still he must say, that the gratification of idle curiosity, which this Bill would enable ill-natured individuals to enjoy, would be productive of cases of hardship to families, which it was impossible to contemplate without horror. He contended, that there would be great difficulty in carrying this Bill into execution, even supposing the House to agree to it; but he hoped, that the House would not agree to it, as it was hard that individuals should be plunged into expense, which was unknown and scarcely tolerable, for the sake of advantages which were at best contingent, if indeed they were not altogether visionary.

Sir William Horne

was understood to express an opinion not very favourable to registration; but when he reflected that the system of registration had worked for a century in Yorkshire without any complaint being made against it—when he reflected that it had also been in force for many years in the metropolitan county—and when he also reflected, that it was a system which had long been successfully established in the sister country,—he was not bold enough to put his own private opinion against the establishment of a system, which, in various parts of the empire, had practically worked so well. He therefore felt it to be his duty to vote for the second reading of this Bill. He should give that vote with the less reluct- ance because the question embraced the registration of deeds both as regarded a local and a metropolitan registry. As to the practicability of registration, they had the experience of a large portion of the empire. They would therefore be able in the Committee to bring the abstract principle of the Bill to the test of practical experience. Whether the result of the discussion in the Committee would lead us to adopt a metropolitan or a local system of registration, he could not at that moment decide. In his opinion, many points of great local difficulty would start up against a metropolitan registration, if they did not start up also against a local registration. In the Committee these points would be best examined; and he thought, that the House would best discharge its duty to the public, who desired this question to be investigated, by discussing it in a Committee.

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson

said, that he should vote for the second reading of this Bill, on the ground, that it was a question of registration or no registration, and not a metropolitan or local registration. To the experience derived from Yorkshire and Middlesex, as to the benefit of registration, he could add the experience of Scotland also. The system of registration had existed there for more than two centuries, and owing to its existence every man felt that his title to his property was secure. Every man there also felt, that if he had occasion to borrow money on his estate, in justice he ought not to conceal from the lender the encumbrances which he had placed upon it. It was said by some hon. Members, as an objection to this Bill, that they must deposit their title-deeds in the general registry before they could obtain mortgages; now, that he denied, for he held himself title-deeds, and if others also held theirs, without any necessity for raising money upon them, they would not be under any necessity of depositing them in any registry, whether district or metropolitan. If Gentlemen wanted to borrow money, and intended to deal fairly with the lenders, they ought not to refuse showing their title-deeds. It was truly said, that the law, as it now existed, was very defective upon the subject of proof of title between lenders and purchasers, inasmuch as it was expected, that purchasers were presumed to know the actual amount of encumbrances upon estates on which they lent money. But that, under the present system, was im- possible; and he would put it to the House, should such a state of defective law, leading to fraud and robbery, be any longer suffered to continue? The great object of this Bill, as he understood it, was to prevent fraud, not unnecessarily to expose or injure the interests of lenders or of borrowers of money. On these grounds he was prepared to support the second reading of this Bill. While he said this, however, he was by no means disposed to pledge himself to the propriety of a general or a district registry of deeds. He believed, that as a general principle, it would be most desirable to have a registry of deeds, not, as he had before said, with a view to expose the difficulties or embarrassments of persons who sought to borrow money upon their titles to property, but with a view to secure those who advanced their money, that they were not advancing it on fictitious titles, or upon titles the value of which might have been already pledged or mortgaged for more than they were worth.

Mr. Tooke

said, that the possessors of landed property were desirous, that their affairs should not be interfered with, and exposed in the manner proposed by means of a general registry. The effect of such a measure would be to deprive persons of the facilities possessed for borrowing money on equitable mortgages, because the evidence to be obtained in the Registration-office would not satisfy the lender, and duplicates were no security. He was not disposed to concede the convenience of any registration whatever. He desired time, in order to enable them to judge of the effect of the several measures recently adopted with respect to real property, and for the improvement of conveyancing—measures to which it was necessary to give a trial before adopting such a system as was now proposed. He wished to avoid the risk of an experiment from which there would be no means of retreating if it were found unsuccessful. The hon. member for Southwark had himself stated in the strongest manner the appalling consequences of the measure not being perfect, and the indexes free from error. This admission showed the danger of adopting the plan. Look at the consequence of clerical errors in the Registration-office—the effect would be to throw the burthen of all losses incurred by them upon the Consolidated Fund. Petitions had been presented from every quarter of England, deprecating this measure, and but one solitary petition was that day presented in favour of it. The Commissioners themselves in their Report expressed a doubt, whether the expense of small purchases would not be increased by a general register. They found fault with all existing registries, and it would appear that in their opinion it was better to have no registration at all, than to adopt any system now in use. The Yorkshire registry was admitted to be imperfect, and Middlesex was said to be in a worse situation than if it had no registry at all. He denied that the present system gave a single shilling of additional value to property in Yorkshire or Middlesex. With respect to the Registry in use in Norway, a friend who had recently returned from that country had informed him (Mr. Tooke), that the transactions concerning real property in the borough of Brighton during the space of one month exceeded those that took place in Norway in the course of a whole year; therefore it was impossible to argue from anything that took place in Norway, or to pronounce upon the fitness of a registry in this country from its adoption there. The present was one of the most extraordinary attempts he had ever witnessed to force a system of registration upon people, who being deeply interested in the result, objected to it in the strongest manner. He did not agree with the hon. member for Marylebone as to the advantage of discussing the details of the measure in Committee. The petitions which had been presented were conclusive to his mind, and determined him in his opposition to the measure. The imputations thrown upon the profession of the law both in London and the country were unjust and unfounded. He was satisfied, that their clients reposed the utmost confidence in the members of the profession, and did not suppose that their opposition to the measure arose from interested motives. The solicitors of London were to a man opposed to the plan; and the Incorporated Law Society of London would have petitioned against the Bill, but that its members shrunk from the imputation which might have been cast upon them, and did not wish to incur the risk of having their opposition ascribed to improper motives. The evidence of Mr. Bell, which had been referred to by the hon. member for Southwark, was by no means conclusive or free from doubt in reference to the subject; and another witness admitted, that he was decidedly hostile to the plan up to the time of his appointment as a Real Property Commissioner. In fact, he could not find any individuals but the Commissioners who were disposed to support the proposition, and those learned gentlemen might have done so principally because they thought it necessary to propose something in relation to a subject which they were appointed to investigate.

Lord Robert Grosvenor

said, that he was Chairman of the Committee on a General Register of Deeds Bill, and that nothing could be clearer or more conclusive than the evidence of Mr. Bell, who certainly could not be called a reluctant witness. His evidence, and that of Mr. Duckworth had completely satisfied him (Lord Robert Grosvenor), and enabled him to make up his mind on the subject. No consideration should induce him to refuse his support to the present measure. He was fully convinced of the great loss and injury and gross fraud which were caused by the present system; and considering the extent and amount of them he could not conceive on what ground gentlemen resisted the principle of a measure which was calculated to remedy the evil.

Mr. Pryme

would not touch the question of registration, or no registration, but would content himself with pointing out one or two objections which occurred to him on the subject of a metropolitan registry. In every great town where buildings were from time to time erected, it was customary to grant mortgages on such buildings in this way:—a portion only of the total amount was advanced at first, and subsequent advances were made as the buildings proceeded, each advance being endorsed upon the deed according as it was furnished. Now, if this Bill came into operation, there must be eight or ten successive deeds in such cases, or else the lender must trust to the honour of the borrower that he will not, before receiving the last instalment, raise money on the same property by granting another deed. The effect of the proposed system would be to put an end to all such mortgages. He had some acquaintance with the registration carried on under the Bedford Level, which affected the Isle of Ely and its vicinity; and he could say, that although it might have the effect of preventing clandestine deeds, the system had not diminished the expenses incident upon investigating titles. A registration of the kind now proposed, confined to the metropolis, and taking from persons the custody of their deeds, was not desirable; and, therefore, without offering any opinion on the question of the expediency of a general system of registration, he felt compelled to resist the Motion.

Mr. Rolfe

only rose to repel, with indignation, the insinuation of the hon. member for Truro, that the members of the Real Property Commission had recommended a measure of registration, in order that they might appear to earn their money by doing something. Gentlemen more honourable than the Commissioners, or who had devoted themselves more assiduously to the discharge of the duties assigned them, could not be found.

Mr. Brougham

, in reply, said, that, after the very full discussion which the subject had received, he should not trespass long on the attention of the House; but, as the observations of the hon. member for Yorkshire might carry some weight with them, he thought it necessary to say a few words on the subject. His hon. friend said, that the only witness whose evidence he (Mr. Brougham) had cited in favour of the plan was Mr. Bell. Now, his only reason for abstaining from further quotations from the evidence given before the Committee was, in order to spare the time of the House. There were no grounds for saying, that Mr. Bell's opinion was unfavourable to the present Bill. Observe what that gentleman stated. The following was a question put to him, with his answer on the subject:—"You have now changed your opinion with respect to the advantage of a metropolitan register over district registers?—Yes; my opinion is still that, until a better plan is pointed out than has been devised at this time, a general register-office would not be useful to the public; but if a better plan can be brought forward, I think it should be adopted; the only practicable plan I have seen is that proposed by this Bill." It was in conformity with the peculiar construction of Mr. Bell's mind always to speak doubtfully on a subject. But observe the answer which Mr. Bell gave to a subsequent question:—"You do not precisely say that you enter into the full merits of this plan?—I think I understand it; I have read it several times over; and the qualification I introduced, that I was not sure I understood it in all respects, was not arising from any specific doubt, but from the caution I should use in speaking of any long Act of Parliament, when my attention was not called to any particular doubt; I think I understand the plan perfectly." "You have spoken with a certain degree of doubt of the perfect efficiency of this plan; can you mention any particular part of the plan which yon consider as defective?—I cannot point out any particular in which it is defective; I only spoke of it in the doubtful way as I would of any new measure, and especially with a view to the doubts that may arise in any long Act of Parliament, when no particular doubt is stated as the object of the question." After that, it was vain to say, that Mr. Bell was not a good witness for the Bill. He admitted, that the question had been discussed with great fairness generally, but it was reserved for the hon. member for Yorkshire to commence upon him an attack the most unwarranted and vituperative, charging him with motives connected with his conduct in relation to the county of York, which he could not permit to pass without an answer. The hon. Member blamed him for extending his measure to Yorkshire; but if the Bill was so outrageous as the hon. Member wished to have it supposed, would it have been fair in him to have excepted the county of York from its operation, and left it to extend over all the kingdom? He was aware that Yorkshire possessed a defective species of registration at present; but he had not proposed to exempt it from the operation of the Bill on that ground, because he meant this measure for the benefit bona fide of the whole of England. Where, he asked, would be the justice or equity in excepting York, with its imperfect system, and extending this violent and outrageous measure (as the hon. Member considered it) to Devonshire and Somerset, and all the rest of the country? The real question now before the House was, whether or not it would adopt the principle of a registration of real property? By voting for the second reading of the Bill, the House did not pledge itself to the plan of a London office. As he had stated, the question was, whether Parliament would adopt the general principle of registration, leaving it open afterwards to decide upon the propriety of a London or district registration. It would be for the Committee, if the second reading were agreed to, to decide upon the details of the measure. Under these circumstances, he said, that if the House now rejected the second reading of the Bill, it did, in point of fact; vote against the principle of registration. Certainly, it would negative the principle by so doing, for the question was not now as to the place where the registration was to be carried into effect, but whether there was to be a registration or not; and if the Bill were rejected, that of the hon. member for the North Riding of Yorkshire would necessarily share its fate. However unpopular this measure might make him, he cared not; in bringing it forward, he had acted in the discharge of what he conceived to be his duty; and whatever might be the result, he should rest satisfied with the consciousness of having done it. He might be wrong; but, if so, he had the consolation of being backed and supported in his opinions by the authority of great and distinguished names in the profession of the law. He had nothing further to add—the House would deal with the Bill as they pleased; if they rejected it, the responsibility would be upon them.

The House divided: Ayes 45; Noes 161—Majority 116.

List of the AYES.
Adams, E. H. Palmer, F.
Aglionby, H. A. Pepys, Sir C.
Baillie, J. E. Potter, R.
Barron, W. Rolfe, R. M.
Blunt, Sir C. Romilly, J.
Bouverie, Hon. D. P. Romilly, E.
Briscoe, J. I. Smith, J. A.
Childers, J. W. Smith, V.
Dalmeny, Lord Talbot, C. R. M.
Dashwood, G. H. Thicknesse, R.
Dillwyn, L. W. Tollemache, R. G.
Elliot, Captain Vernon, Hon. G. I.
Ewart, W. Wallace, R.
Fort, J. Walter, J.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Warburton, H.
Grote, G. Wood, G. W.
Hawes, B. Yelverton, Hon.W. H.
Hawkins, J. TELLERS.
Horne, Sir W. Brougham, W.
Hyett, W. H. Fergusson, C.
Jephson, O. PAIRED OFF.
Johnson, A. Jeffery, Rt. Hon. F.
Lloyd, J. H. Stanley, Hon. H.
Lushington, Dr. Stewart, E.
Lynch, A. H. Strutt, E.
Ord, W. H. Kerry, Lord

Mr. Cayley moved the second reading of his General County Register Bill, upon which a division took place:—Ayes 68; Noes 125—Majority 57.

List of the Ayes.
Agnew, Sir A. Ingilby, Sir W.
Baines, E. James, W.
Barron, H. W. Jephson, C. D. O.
Bish. T. Johnstone, Sir J.
Blake, M. Johnston, A.
Blunt, Sir C. Langdale, Hon. C.
Briggs, R. Lister, A. C.
Briscoe, J. I. Madocks, J.
Brocklehurst, J. O'Dwyer, A. C.
Brotherton, J. Ord, W. H.
Chapman, A. Palmer, C. F.
Crompton, J. S. Parker, J.
Dalmeny, Lord Pease, J.
Dillwyn, L. W. Pepys, Sir C.
Dykes, F. L. B. Pryme, G.
Elliot, Captain Rider, T.
Fleetwood, H. Rolfe, R. M.
Fort, J. Sandon, Lord
Fox, J. L. Sharpe, General
Gaskell, D. Stavely, T. K.
Goring, H. D. Strickland, Sir G.
Grosvenor, Lord Talbot, C. R. M.
Grote, G. Thicknesse, R.
Gully, J. Tollemache, Hon. A.
Hardy, J. Verney, Sir H.
Harland, W. C. Vernon, Hon. G.
Hawkins, J. H. Wallace, R.
Hay, Sir J. L. Wilbraham, G.
Howard, W. R. Williams, Colonel
Howard, Captain Yelverton, Hon.W. H.
Howard, P. H. Young, G. F.
Hyett, W. H. Morpeth, Lord
Ingham, R. Cayley, W.