HC Deb 11 June 1861 vol 163 cc934-5

Clauses 1 to 30 inclusive agreed to.

Clause 31 (Any Person may apprehend any Person committing any indictable Offence against this Act),


said, he objected to the clause, as it gave power to any person who thought a coin bad to have the utterer committed to prison. That was a new power, and one that was altogether unnecessary. Nothing was more common than for a person to make a mistake in the genuineness of a coin; and he may in- stance the case of a young lady, who a few years ago was given into custody in Regent-street, for passing a bad half-crown, which was afterwards discovered to be a good one. He hoped the clause would be withdrawn.


said, the clause was meant to meet the case of persons who made a trade of passing bad coin, and who, if not apprehended at once, were generally sure to escape. The clause was only an application of the common law—that a person taken in flagrante delicto, might be apprehended without warrant, and the person who apprehended any one would do so at his own peril.


said, he thought that if the common law was as stated by the Solicitor General, it ought to be extended to all offences, and not confined to that one only. The power which the clause gave was new, and a very dangerous one.


said, the clause had been very fully considered by the Select Committee, and it was considered necessary for the protection of traders against traffickers in bad coin. The same words were introduced into the Bills relating to offences against the person; and it should be borne in mind, that when a person was apprehended, it was at the peril of the person who caused the apprehension.


said, the danger was that persons who innocently passed bad coin might be apprehended on the spot by any person who chose to do so.


said, the clause would introduce a species of Lynch law into the country hitherto unknown, and would be dangerous to the liberty of the subject.

Motion made, and Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 65; Noes 7: Majority 58.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bills reported; as amended, to be considered on Monday next.