HC Deb 04 February 1846 vol 83 cc460-1

begged to ask whether it was the intention of the Government to extend the jurisdiction of Courts of Request, in accordance with the provisions of the Bill of last year?


was glad the hon. Member had, by his question, given him an opportunity of explaining what were the intentions of Her Majesty's Government in this respect. Since the passing of the law of last Session, several petitions had been presented from various places asking for an extension of the jurisdiction of such courts under the Act in question; and these petitions had been referred to a Committee of the Privy Council; and instructions had been sent to all the Courts of Request throughout England, to make the inquiries necessary to enable the Government to carry the law into effect, and extend the jurisdiction of such courts. But the care necessary to be observed in forming the larger circles for the operation of these courts, so as not to interfere with any smaller ones that might intervene, rendered the time for carrying the law into effect a little more prolonged than otherwise. But no time had been lost, and the arrangement of the whole plan was in progress. Meantime he should feel it his duty to call upon the House to grant him a Supplemental Bill during the present Session to regulate the proceedings in those courts. It would be also the care of the Government to see that assessors, properly qualified, and professional men of competent standing, should be engaged in the practice of these courts.


asked, whether the right hon. Baronet proposed to lay on the Table any Papers of information upon which the Government might have relied in carrying out the proposed plan; and also whether the applications for the extension of jurisdiction alluded to would be produced, or the grounds upon which they were made stated?


said, the hon. Gentleman must be aware, that, even without any such applications, the Bill, of last Session empowered an extension of the jurisdiction of these Courts of Request, where it might be deemed expedient and advisable. When the Privy Council had made their Report to Her Majesty, and Her Majesty had sanctioned that Report, he should be prepared to bring the entire subject before Parliament.

Adjourned at a few minutes after two o'clock.