§ Order for Committee read.
§ House in Committee.
§ Clause 1.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he had intended to move as an Amendment that all the salaries of the County Court Judges should be fixed at the maximum amount of £1,500; but as he had been informed that it was not competent for him to do that, he would take the sense of the House on the question of proceeding further with the Bill; for he must protest against a Bill the effect of which would be to make the County Court Judges dependent on the Treasury for the amount of their salaries, a principle which he contended struck at 777 the root of their independence. He wished to know on what grounds these two gentlemen, of whom he wished to say nothing in disparagement, were marked out for a higher salary than their brother Judges, and he expressed his determination to vivide against proceeding further with the Bill. Looking at the growing importance of the County Courts, and the great additional duties imposed upon them, it was essential they should have a higher class of Judges to preside over them, and they ought by a general Bill to provide that such a salary should attach to the office as would secure the services of men of the highest legal attainments. He should therefore move that the Chairman report progress.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
observed, that the right hon. Gentleman was under a misconception as to the object of the Bill, which was merely to correct a clerical error in a Bill of last year. The salaries were fixed at £1,200 by the Bill of last year. The Treasury had no power to increase it, and the County Court Judges would in future receive £1,200 a year. But when the Bill he referred to was before the House, it was admitted that the two gentlemen in question were entitled, according to the rules laid down, to receive £1,500 and their names were inserted in the schedule with that view, but, by a clerical error, no sum had been placed against them. The clause in the body of the Bill stated that the Judges should receive the salaries affixed to their names in the schedule, but in this ease the salaries were left blank, and the object of the Bill was to correct that error.
§ SIR FITZROY KELLY
urged the insufficiency of the salaries of the County Court Judges generally, now that they were not allowed to practise at the bar, but objected to an increase in particular cases when all were equally entitled.
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
observed, that he thought as the House had decided the question of the salaries of the County Court Judges last year, they ought not to reopen that question on a Bill which was merely to remedy a technical error.
§ SIR J. PAKINGTON
said, that as his main object was to raise a discussion as to the expediency of increasing the salaries of County Court Judges generally, he should not, after the explanation of the noble Lord, press his Motion.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ House resumed. Bill reported, without Amendment; to be read 3° To-morrow.