HC Deb 26 February 1864 vol 173 cc1230-1

Order for Second Reading read.


said, that while giving his adhesion to the main principles of the Bill he could not but take exception to its phraseology. He did not like the attempt to introduce into Ireland the term "County Courts," which was utterly unknown there. He should have preferred the name of "Civil Bill Courts," as being more consistent with Irish custom, and the title of "Chairman" instead of "Judge" for the presiding officer of the court. To the measure itself he was by no means hostile, for it promised to effect a great amendment in the old system, and a funda- mental change in the mode of executing civil bill decrees. He trusted that the Committee on the Bill would not be taken until after Easter, in order that full time for its consideration might be given.


said, that -while he was anxious to assist the Government in removing gross abuses, he was not prepared to go the whole length of totally remodelling these courts. It was desirable that their efficiency should not be destroyed by making them too expensive to be resorted to by the present class of suitors. He did not see, he might add, why the high sheriff should not, as in the superior courts, still remain the recognized responsible officer for execution of process under the Bill, instead of making the sub-sheriff, whom he nominated pro tanto, independent of him.


said, he wished to ask whether the Government — £44,000 having last year been voted by Parliament for the salaries of high bailiffs in England —would grant a proportionate amount out of the Consolidated Fund to meet the additional expense which would be entailed by the operation of the Bill on Ireland?


urged the expediency of introducing into the Bill some provision under which persons who, without any grounds of defence, appeared to a suit, should be subjected to pay the costs, and needless litigation for trifling sums thus discouraged.


said, that with regard to the suggestions which had been made, he had no objection to postpone the Committee of the Bill until after Easter. In making the sub-sheriff an officer of the courts, acting entirely on his own responsibility, the Government had simply in view the expediency of relieving the high sheriff from the additional burden which the Bill would cast upon him. No further expense would, he might observe, in reality be thrown upon the parties to a suit with reference to the execution of decrees under the Bill, inasmuch as the relief which it would afford would be greater than the burdens which it would impose.

Bill read 2°, and committed for Friday next.