HC Deb 28 June 1871 vol 207 cc696-8

Order for Committee read.


, in rising to move "That the Order for going into Committee on this Bill be discharged," said, that when he proposed the second reading of the Bill he stated that it was founded on the unanimous recommendation of a Committee which had inquired into the subject, and that the Attorney General concurred in the general object of the measure. The only opposition offered to the second reading was by the hon. and learned Member for York (Mr. Leeman) who considered that it might be adopted as a precedent, and injuriously affect the registration system of the county with which he was connected, which had worked so well. But he thought the hon. and learned Member, on examining the Bill, must be convinced that it had no such tendency. He (Mr. Gregory) intimated at the time that he did not intend to proceed further on account of the pledge given by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General, that he should be prepared to legislate on the subject during the ensuing Session, and it was his intention to withdraw the Bill. He hoped that the pledge would be redeemed; but he should re-introduce the present measure next Session, and would press it forward in case the hon. and learned Gentleman was not able to provide for the same objects. He withdrew the Bill with extreme regret, because he believed it would have been a step, though a limited one, towards reforming the law of the transfer of real property. Such a subject might have been dealt with in "another place," and he thought it was a reflection on the Government that they had not given the other branch of the Legislature an opportunity of considering such a measure. He would move—That the Order of the Day for going into Committee upon the Bill be discharged.


said, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General being absent, he wished to say a word in his defence against the complaint just made. During the last fortnight many complaints had been made on the Conservative side of the House that the Government had undertaken too many measures this Session. The Attorney General, on the second reading of the Bill, told his hon. Friend the Member for East Sussex (Mr. G. Gregory) that this subject required very great consideration, but he pledged himself to introduce, in the course of next Session, such a measure as his hon. Friend referred to. If the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General had introduced that measure this Session, what chance would he have had of passing it?


said, he should regret the withdrawal of the Bill, as he believed it might have been successfully carried through Parliament if a vigorous effort had been made. He hoped, however, that such a measure would be passed next Session. He wished to point out that in connection with this registry there were three sinecure offices. One of those offices having become vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, who had the appointment in his absolute gift, had refrained from filing up the vacancy; but the public had as yet received no benefit from that, as the fees belonging to the vacated office had been divided in equal parts between the Consolidated Fund and the two gentlemen who held the other sinecures, making their already too large incomes larger by £700 a-year each. Whenever a Bill on the subject was carried successfully through the House, he hoped those gentlemen would not be entitled to claim compensation for this windfall, in addition to the compensation which they would have a right to for the loss of their own salaries.

Motion agreed to.

Order discharged: Bill withdrawn.