§ LORD JOHN MANNERS
said, it would be recollected that early in the Session two Bills were introduced for the purpose of carrying into effect the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the concentration of the Courts of Law and Equity. The estimates on which those Bills were based were—First, that the total expenditure would not exceed £1,500,000; and, secondly, that the sum required would be furnished by the Suitors' Fee Fund. One of the Bills had already passed through both Houses of Parliament, and was now waiting for the Royal Assent. The other stood on the Paper for consideration in Committee that evening. It now appeared, however, from a printed Minute recently circulated, that, in the opinion of the Treasury, the total expenditure would be, not £1,500,000, but £2,000,000; while, on the other hand, the sum expected to come from the Suitors' Fee Fund would not amount to more than £1,000,000, showing that the charge upon the country, instead of being nothing at all, would certainly be not less than £1,000,000. Under these circumstances he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether it is his intention to proceed further with a Bill which now so materially affects the finances of the country; and, if so, whether he will have any 1189 objection to postpone the consideration of the Bill in Committee until some day when a discussion can be taken upon it?
said, it would be desirable that the House should have an opportunity of discussing the points raised by the noble Lord. The Bill stood for consideration in Committee that evening, and if there should be time for discussing it he should certainly bring it on; but, if not, he should have to name some other day.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, he wished to as ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he could name an hour after which he would not proceed with the Bill that evening?
said, he must remind the right hon. Gentleman that a body of evidence which bore very much upon this matter was delivered only that morning; and, as there had been a forenoon sitting, it was impossible that hon. Members could have had the advantage of reading it. He, therefore, trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would agree at once to postpone the Bill till some other day, as it could not be properly discussed that evening.
said, that as there was so little prospect of the Bill coming on at a reasonably early hour that evening, he would at once postpone it until Monday.