HC Deb 08 February 1872 vol 209 cc140-1

Address for— Copies of any Correspondence which has passed between the Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench or the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas on the one hand, and the First Lord of the Treasury or the Lord Chancellor on the other, relative to the appointment of Sir Robert Collier as a paid Member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council: Also, Return showing the dates of the appointment of Sir Robert Collier as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and as a Member of the Judicial Committee."—(Mr. Cross.)


desired to make some alteration in the terms of the Motion of which he had given Notice, which would then read— That this House has seen with regret the course taken by Her Majesty's Government in carrying out the provision of the Act of last Session relative to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and is of opinion that the elevation of Sir Robert Collier to the Bench of the Court of Common Pleas for the purpose of giving a colourable qualification to be a paid member of the Judicial Committee and his immediate transfer accordingly, were acts at variance with the spirit and intention of the statute, and of evil example in the exercise of judicial patronage. It would probably be acceptable to the House if he were to ask the Prime Minister whether it would not be convenient to take the subject on Monday or Thursday, instead of the Friday?


Notice has been given in "another place" for raising this question even before Friday, and I think it is extremely desirable that the debates in the two Houses should coincide as nearly as possible in point of time. My suggestion was not to take it on the Friday, but that it would be inconvenient to take it as an Amendment on the Motion for going into Committee of Supply. If the hon. Gentleman could obtain the first place on the Paper on Friday, after the Motion for going into Committee of Supply, we would allow those words to be put aside, and then the hon. Gentleman's Motion would virtually become a Resolution, and be sub- ject to Amendment. I do not wish to set up a doubtful claim; but, considering the character of the Motion, we are entitled, we think, to ask that the hon. Gentleman's Motion should be brought in at the earliest day on which the hon. Gentleman could bring it forward, or on the day for which he has given Notice; but if there should be any insuperable impediment to that course, or if the hon. Gentleman declines to bring it on on the day I have pointed out, and when it can be brought forward as an original Motion, it would then become our duty to give every facility for bringing it on on another occasion; and, however much I might regret the delay that would thus be thrown in the way of the progress of important public business, I would give the earliest day in my power for the purpose. I make this appeal to the hon. Gentleman; but if he does not answer it favourably, I have no choice but to give him Monday for his Motion.