§ Order for Second Reading rend.
§ SIR JAMES HOGG
said, he was surprised that the Bill should be pressed so soon, as it had only just been introduced. These Courts no doubt required reform, but the Court of Directors were in Communication with the Government upon the subject. The point in contention was, that the Directors contended that the opinion of the Legislative Council of India should be taken upon the question, or at all events let the opinion of the Government of India be taken. But the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Control wanted to hurry through the Bill without waiting for the opinion of the Indian Government or deferring to the opinion of the Court of Directors. Was it fair to press the second reading two days after the Bill had been presented, and while a Motion for papers on the subject was pending? If the Bill passed there would be 951 another Bill next session to remedy the bungling of the present one.
§ SIR ERSKINE PERRY
said, he had to offer some objections of the hon. Baronet's remarks. The subject had been pressed upon the Court of Directors for a quarter of a century past, and the library teemed with information about it. The Court of Directors had for twenty-four years been pressed to remedy the grievance complained of, but the remedy had not been applied. The grievance was, that the people of the island, including the great seaport of Singapore, were without a resident legal judge, and without a proper system of judicature. The local Legislature had wished to remedy the evil, and the present measure afforded it only too tardily. He trusted, therefore, that the House would assent to the second reading of the Bill.
MR. VERNON SMITH
said, he must deny the charge of having hurried the measure. The hon. Baronet the Member for Honiton had been well aware that it was to be introduced. As to the papers, the moment they were moved for he had assented to their production, and they could not at all assist the House in determining the question.
§ Bill read 2°.
§ The House adjourned at One o'clock.