§ Order for Third Reading read,
§ Bill read 3°
§ MR. WHITESIDE
then proposed the following clause:—So much of the first section of the said firstly-recited Act of the 12th and 13th year of Her Majesty as provides that the Court for the Sale and Transfer of Incumbered Estates in Ireland shall consist of any number of persons not exceeding three, to be Commissioners under said Act, is hereby repealed, and said Court shall hereafter consist of two Commissioners only; and the officers under said Act heretofore attached to the first Commissioner shall be distributed between the remaining two Commissioners in manner best calculated to facilitate the despatch of the business of said Court.
§ Clause brought up, and read 1°.
§ Motion made and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."
MR. J. D. FITZGERALD
said, he had on a former occasion stated the objections to this clause, and therefore did not consider it necessary to take up the time of the House in reiterating those arguments he had before urged.
said, that the clause was proposed in accordance with the evidence taken by the Committee, which went to show that two Commissioners were sufficient to discharge the duties of the court, and that it was desirable that Baron Richards should return to the Court of Exchequer.
§ MR. GROGAN
said, the question before the House was a great deal more important than the Government seemed desirous of acknowledging. If the proposition of the hon. and learned Member for Enniskillen be rejected, the Government should explain how they meant to dispose of Baron Richards, who, they said, ought to be removed from the Incumbered Estates Court, in order that he might be enabled to return to his legitimate court. He thought that the clause was most essential to carry out the recommendations of the Committee.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, his hon. and learned Friend bad already distinctly stated that it was the intention of the Government to discontinue Baron Richards as a member of this Court, and that he should return to his own proper Court. The Government, however, thought it desirable to retain the power of appointing three Commissioners if it should be found that the business of the Court could not properly be performed by two. They should be most desirous and willing to reduce the number to two. It would, however, be exceedingly inconvenient if the power of appointing three should be taken away from the Government after it was found that two were riot sufficient to perform the functions of the Court.
§ SIR JAMES GRAHAM
said it was distinctly understood that Baron Richards was to return back to his Court and his 617 circuit. He took it as granted that the experiment would he made of confining the number of Commissioners to two. If it be found that two would be able, satisfactorily, to perform the business of the Court, he wished to ask the noble Lord whether in that case the Government would abstain from appointing a third Commissioner? If the noble Lord answered in the affirmative, he hoped that the right hon. Member for Enniskillen would not think it necessary to press his Amendment.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, it was clearly his intention to express himself so. It was the intention of the Government to make the experiment with two only; and if that number were sufficient for the performance of the duties, he would not resort to the appointment of a third.
MR. WHITE SIDE
said, that under such circumstances, he would yield to the suggestion of the right hon. Baronet, and withdraw his clause.
§ Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Bill passed.