HC Deb 10 August 1853 vol 129 cc1599-600

Order for Third Reading read.


said, that in moving the Third Reading of this Bill, he could not omit the expression of his deep obligations to the Gentlemen whose unremitting and most able co-operation had enabled him to prepare this very important measure. The Commissioners of Customs, and their very able solicitor, had been indefatigable in the application of their labour and their knowledge to this most difficult and most complicated subject, the complication of which might at once be understood from the fact that the Customs Acts, originally no fewer than 1,500 in number, and since reduced to 300, were now reduced within the compass of this one measure, which was framed with so much perspicuity as to be at once intelligible to any person consulting it. He had also derived most valuable aid from the merchants of London and Liverpool. That measure was at once the accomplishment of the great work commenced by Mr. Huskisson, and the completion of the commercial reforms begun by Sir Robert Peel. The amendment which the measure effected in the system of prosecution under the Customs laws would of itself constitute a most valuable reform. The assistance rendered by Sir Thomas Fremantle in the completion of the Bill was beyond all praise. With respect to any improvements of the Cus- toms laws, it was satisfactory to state, that instead of serving the parties with a long legal process, nearly the whole of which was irrelevant to the charge, four or five lines would for the future be quite sufficient to define the offence; and, beyond this simplification, many of the cases might be decided by the County Courts.


said, he fully concurred in the praise which the hon. Gentleman had so deservedly accorded to those gentlemen by whom he had been assisted in this great measure, and he felt bound to express the gratitude which he conceived due to the hon. Member himself for the indefatigable assiduty with which he had applied the energies of his able mind to the work. He felt that the hon. Gentleman had, in this measure, conferred a most important benefit on the commercial interests of the country.

Bill read 3°, and passed.