§ MR. COBBETT
said, that the Select Committee which had been appointed to inquire into the office of Coroner, after examining several witnesses, came to the determination that it was very desirable to introduce a Bill forthwith, embodying their recommendations. Their recommendations were—1st, to make a declaration of the cases in which inquests should he held; 2nd, to empower the Attorney General to apply to a Judge at Chambers for a rule calling upon the Coroner to show cause why he did not hold an inquest in any case; 3rd, to give the Home Secretary power to make rules for the guidance of the county police in giving the Coroner information; 4th, to allow the Justices to fix the salary of the Coroner; 5th, to assimilate the election of Coroner to the election of a Member of Parliament; and, 6th, to provide that Coroners' jurors should be indifferently summoned from the jury lists of their respective counties. The Bill he proposed to introduce generally embodied 1632 those recommendations; but with regard to assimilating the election of Coroner to that of a Member of Parliament, he found that there was a difficulty, and he had so far deviated from the fifth recommendation as simply to propose that the polling should take place on the one day and in one place, but the election be conducted as at present. With regard to the 6th point, the jurors being taken indifferently from the jury lists, he was informed that it would be inconvenient to carry that into effect; and, although the clause appeared in the Bill, it might either be modified or omitted. The great principle of the Bill was the payment of Coroners by salaries instead of by fee, and as there must be a full discussion on the whole subject, he suggested that the Home Secretary should appoint the second reading of his Bill on the same day as the second reading of this Bill. The change in the mode of payment would probably put an end to the growing misunderstanding between the Coroners and the County Justices in various parts of the kingdom. With those few remarks, he would move for leave to bring in a Bill to amend and declare the law relating to the election, duties, and payment of Coroners, and to the taking inquisitions in cases of deaths.
SIR GEORGE LEWIS
said, he had no objection to the Motion of his hon. and learned Friend, and was prepared to take the course suggested—namely, that of fixing the second reading of his own Bill on the same day as that on which his hon. and learned Friend would bring on the second reading of his Bill. At the same time, he must say that he still remained unconverted with respect to that portion of his hon. and learned Friend's Bill which he said was its main feature—namely, that which provided for the payment of Coroners by salaries. It would be his duty to oppose that part of the Bill.
Bill to amend and declare the Law relating to the election, duties, and payment of Coroners, and to the taking of Inquisitions in cases of Death, ordered to be brought in by Mr. COBBETT, Sir WILLIAM MILES, and Mr. JAMES.