HC Deb 29 June 1837 vol 38 cc1701-2

The Order of the Day was read for the House to resolve itself into a Committee on the Imprisonment for Debt Bill.

On the question that the Speaker do leave the chair,

Mr. Shan

observed, that the House was somewhat taken by surprise in this case. Many hon. Members who took a lively interest in this question were not in the House; and the hon. and learned Attorney-General could surely not seriously suppose that the Bill would be passed into a law this Session.

The Attorney-General

observed, that his noble Friend the Secretary for the Home Department had in his (the Attorney-General's) own hearing declared, that this Bill would be proceeded with this Session, and he himself had yesterday given public notice that he would bring it on that day.

Sir Edward Knatchbull

said, that the impression of the House decidedly was, that it was not intended to go on with it in the present Session.

Sir Robert Inglis

protested against hurrying this measure through its stages, un- less there really were a bonâ fide expectation of its being carried through the other House of Parliament.

The Attorney-General

said, he could not boast of any understanding with the other House of Parliament; but he could declare that this Bill would go to the upper House in the fair expectation that it would pass this Session.

The House in Committee.

On Clause 32, to secure compensation to gaolers of prisons in certain cases,

Mr. Williams Wynn

objected to the principle of compensation to gaolers; and, though he would not revert to what he had before stated fully, yet he must contend that if compensation were to be given in all these cases, it would be just as reasonable to contend, if the punishment of death in all cases should be abolished, that the last functionary of the law (the executioner,) in capital cases should be compensated for the loss which he might sustain.

The Attorney-General

observed, that it was not intended to grant compensation in all cases. It was intended only to apply in the case of the warden of the Queen's Bench prison, or others who were similarly placed.

Clause agreed to.

The remaining clauses of the Bill were agreed to.

The House resumed, Bill to be reported.