HC Deb 27 May 1851 vol 117 cc98-100

begged to move an Address, praying for inquiry into the Practice and Proceedings in the High Court of Chancery. The great peculiarity in the Commission which had been issued was, that no one holding a judicial office in the Court of Chancery had been named in it. When the Commission was issued by the Earl of Eldon, in 1824, it was composed partly of Judges exercising judicial offices, and partly of eminent laymen. That Commission had made a report, which was the foundation of great and extensive improvements in the practice of the Courts of Law. The Commission at present existing had not pushed its labours to any considerable extent, nor had it taken any effectual step in the prosecution of the inquiry. The result of the improvement in the practice of the court, in consequence of the Earl of Eldon's Commission had been, to make provisions for the more speedy progress of causes up to their hearing; but as yet nothing had been done to facilitate the disposal of business in the Masters' offices.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that She will be graciously pleased to add to the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the practice and proceedings in the High Court of Chancery, two or more persons not of the profession of the Law, but such as to Her Majesty may seem qualified as men of business to assist in and make more effectual the labour of the Commissioners; and also praying that Her Majesty would be graciously pleased to cause Instructions to be given to the said Commissioners, to direct their immediate attention to the course of business before the Masters in Ordinary of the said Court, so as to report as speedily as may be their opinion as to the proper steps fir regulating the business in those Offices, in such manner as to diminish the delay and expense to the suitors.


seconded the Motion with great pleasure, because he hoped that the result of the labours of the present Commission would be to remove to a great extent the monster abuses of the Court of Chancery.


would not say that the proposition of his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. J. Stuart) was not one which might very well deserve the attention of the House; but he could not help expressing his regret that a question of such magnitude should have been brought forward at so late an hour. His hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, who was a member of this Commission, had left the House under the impression that this Motion would not have been brought forward that night. The Commission was now sitting, and their labours were going on from day to day. [Mr. J. STUART: No, no!] He so understood from his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General.


They are literally doing nothing at all.


could only regret the absence of his hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor General, who would have been able to speak to that point. It had been proposed to put a certain number of laymen on the Commission; but he (the Attorney General) was afraid that confusion would only become worse confounded if they adopted that suggestion. At that late hour he felt justified in moving the adjournment of the debate.

Debate adjourned till Monday next.

The House adjourned at Two o'clock.

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