§ Order for Second Reading read.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, that the necessity for the Bill arose mainly from the enormous increase of business, in consequence of the winding-up of joint stock companies having been placed under the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery. The business thus thrown upon the Court was of a very important character. These companies often consisted of many hundreds of partners, with conflicting interests, and many points of difficulty arose in connection with them. To show how great and how regular had been the increase of administrative business in the Court, he might mention that the number of orders made in chambers in 1862, was 4,900; in 1863, 5,400; in 1864, 6,200; in 1865, 6,800; and in 1866, 7,800. It was quite impossible to keep pace with the increasing business with the existing establishment; and the main object of the Bill was to confirm certain temporary appointments which it had been found absolutely necessary to make, and to give powers for appointing additional officers.
§ SIR ROUNDELL PALMER
expressed his entire concurrence in the statement of his hon. and learned Friend. The state of things in the Court of Chancery was such as imperatively to require the additional assistance which the Bill provided. He also hoped that some means would be found for relieving the extreme pressure of business recently experienced in the Court of Appeal in Chancery. He need not state to the House the sense which all who were connected with that Court entertained of the very great and serious loss which the public had sustained by the unexpected and premature death of one whom no one acquainted with the administration of justice 1415 in that Court for some years past could ever remember without the highest admiration and respect for his public services, his eminent judicial ability, and his great integrity of mind. No one who knew Lord Justice Turner personally could think or speak of him without the strongest feelings of personal affection. If any judicial abilities could have met the great demand occasioned for some time past by the business of that Court, it would have been those of that learned and lamented person, and the able Colleague with whom he had been associated. It was of the utmost importance that steps should be taken to facilitate the despatch of business in that branch of the Court of Chancery, and he hoped that the present Bill, with such Amendments as might be deemed expedient, would be put into a law before the close of the Session, and might have some effect, even before the vacation, in lessening the arrears of business before the Court.
§ MR. REMINGTON MILLS
complained that while the business in the Accountant General's office had largely increased, the Bill made no additional provision for its satisfactory despatch. The office, he added, did not open for the receipt and payment of money till eleven o'clock, and he could see no good reason why that should be the case, since the banks opened at nine.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. CHATTERTON)
replied that there were, he understood, certain circumstances connected with the Accountant General's office which placed it in a different position from ordinary banks with respect to the transaction of its business. His hon. and learned Friend had, however, authorized him to state that he would give the necessary explanations on the point when the Bill was committed.
§ Motion agreed to: Bill read the second time, and committed for To-morrow.