HC Deb 19 July 1849 vol 107 cc564-5

The SOLICITOR GENERAL moved that the Lords' Amendments to this Bill he taken into consideration. He said, that out of the 35th Clause the House of Lords had struck out the words, "that no money paid to the Accountant General in Ireland shall be liable to usher's poundage." He intended to ask the House to disagree to that Amendment of the Lords. The Bill in effect substituted the Incumbered Estates Commissioners for the Court of Chancery. Under the Bill the commissioners would have the power, if they thought it necessary, of paying money into the Court of Chancery for adjudication upon by that court; but it would be observed, that it would always be money arising from the sale of land sold under powers which were analogous to those of the Court of Chancery. Now, it was the practice in Ireland to allow the usher to hare poundage on all money paid into the Court of Chancery from any exterior source; but where land was sold by the Court of Chancery the produce of that land so sold was not liable to usher poundage. Money, therefore, paid by the commissioners into the Court of Chancery would be exactly the same as money paid for the sale of land under the court, which was not liable to poundage at all. Considering that the office to which he had referred was a grossly sinecure office, and which would cease with its present holder, he had no hesitation in proposing that the words should be struck out of the Bill which prohibited the payment of poundage. It might be a question whether the Amendment of the Lords did not affect the privilege of the House of Commons, inasmuch as it was in the nature of imposing a tax. He would not, however, go upon that ground, but upon the broader ground of principle, believing, as he did, that the House of Lords, in passing the Amendment, had not before them the real facts of the case.

Committee appointed, "to draw up reasons to be offered to the Lords at a Conference, for disagreeing to the Amendment to which this House hath disagreed:"—Mr. Solicitor General, Mr. Bernal, Mr. Mon-sell, Mr. Stafford, Sir John Young, Mr. Sadleir, and Sir William Somerville:—Three to be the quorum.

The other Amendments were, after a desultory conversation, agreed to.

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