HC Deb 26 February 1856 vol 140 cc1426-9

said, he would now move that the following names form the Select Committee on the above Bill—namely, Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Sir James Graham, Mr. Edward Ellice, Mr. Henley, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Keogh, and Viscount Monck.

Motion agreed to.

On the name of Mr. Cairns being put by the Speaker,


said, he should propose, as an Amendment, the name of Mr. Napier instead of Mr. Cairns, as he believed the latter hon. and learned Member would prefer being relieved from the duty of acting as a Member of the Committee.

Amendment agreed to; and the name of Mr. Napier inserted in the place of Mr. Cairns.

The following Members were then appointed:—Mr. Macartney, Mr. Henry Herbert, Mr. William Fitzgerald, and Mr. Whiteside.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. De Vere be one other Member of the said Committee."


said, he proposed to insert the name of Sir FitzRoy Kelly instead. He had no feeling against Mr. De Vere, whose impartiality and ability he was most willing to acknowledge. But the subject of inquiry was one of considerable importance, and required men of great experience and knowledge of the law to investigate it. He could not avoid remarking that of the Members nominated to serve on the Committee, nine were selected from the Ministerial side, and only six from the other side of the House. From the active part taken by the hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk in all questions relating to legal reform, and from his thorough knowledge of the practice of the Court of Chancery, he thought that it was most desirable he should be appointed a Member of the Committee. As he viewed this question as an Imperial one, affecting England as well as Ireland, he could not see how any objection could be raised against his proposition.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the name of "Mr. De Vere" and to insert the name of "Sir FitzRoy Kelly," instead thereof.


said, he had endeavoured to form the Committee so as to secure the best assistance from all parts of the House, without the majority being lawyers. He had proposed, therefore, that there should be seven lawyers, and of the remaining eight Members that three should be Irish country gentlemen; but the effect of the Motion of the hon. and learned Member would be to add the name of an hon. and learned Gentleman who was certainly a very eminent member of the profession, and by striking out the name of one of the three country gentlemen, to make the lawyers compose the majority. His sole anxiety was to secure upon the Committee the services of persons who understood the subject, and there was not a gentleman upon it who more thoroughly understood it, or had devoted more time to its consideration, than Mr. De Vere.


said, it would be most useful to have upon the Committee a member of the English bar, who would be able to explain to it the valuable effects of the reforms which had already been accomplished in this country under the Report, for which they were mainly indebted to his right hon. Friend (Mr. Henley), and the right hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham). His hon. and learned Friend (Sir F. Kelly) had informed him (Mr. Whiteside) that it was not his intention to go circuit, that he would therefore be disengaged, and that he would attend the sittings of the Committee if he could; and he put it to the House whether anything could be more reasonable than to put upon the Committee a Gentleman who was so peculiarly fitted to give advice and assistance on the question.


said, he did not think the Committee was constituted fairly, and he was sure it would not satisfy the people who were most concerned in the question—he meant the people of Ireland. He should not like to remove the name of Mr. De Vere, but he could not imagine why some of the names were proposed, unless it was that the views of the hon. Gentlemen were known to be in accordance with those of the Government.

Question, "That the name of Mr. De Vere stand part of the Question," put, and agreed to.

Mr. De Vere to be one other Member of the said Committee.

Motion made, and Question put, "That Sir Erskine Perry be one other Member of the said Committee."

The House divided:—Ayes 128; Noes 69: Majority 59.

On the Motion that Mr. Kirk be a Member of the Committee,


said, he must contend, without meaning any personal disrespect to that hon. Gentleman, that in reference to such a question as that of Chancery reform, his hon. and learned Friend (Sir F. Kelly) was much more fitted to give the Committee useful information and assistance than the hon. Member for Newry. He held that there ought to be a practising member of the English bar upon the Committee, and he confessed that he should be greatly astonished if the House negatived the Amendment which he now made, that the hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly) be substituted for Mr. Kirk.


said, he had proposed the name of the hon. Member for Newry because he was not alone an extensive merchant, but an intelligent man, and the representative of a very large district and class in the north of Ireland whose interests would have to be considered in connection with the questions that would come before the Committee. With regard to the hon. and learned Member for East Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly), he was perfectly disposer to add that hon. and learned Gentleman, and also the Solicitor General for England, to the Committee, if either of them could give his attendance.


said, he had mentioned that Sir Fitzroy Kelly would attend on the Committee if appointed one of its Members.


said, that there could be no objection to placing the two Gentlemen mentioned by the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen on the Committee, but that a notice to that effect should be given by him.


said, he thought the proposition of Government a fair one.

The name of Mr. Kirk was then agreed to.