§ Order for Committee read.
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 (Qualification of common jurors in counties),
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 11, to leave out the word "fifteen," and insert the word "twelve,"—(Mr. Monk,)—instead thereof.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, this subject had been fully considered in the Select Committee, who recommended the qualification introduced in the Bill.
MR. GATHORNE HARDY
said, the Committee were by no means unanimous in their recommendation, and he did not see any reason why as good jurors should not be had with a qualification of £10 or £12 as with one of £15. He should, therefore, support the Amendment.
§ Question put, "That the word 'fifteen' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 160; Noes 107: Majority 53.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 24, to leave out the word "forty," and insert the word "thirty,"—(Mr. Muntz,)—instead thereof.
§ MR. STRAIGHT
pointed out that the £40 qualification only related to towns of 20,000 inhabitants and upwards.
§ MR. DODSON
objected to the long list of exemptions, beginning with Peers, and ending with criminals and persons of notoriously bad character. He supported the Amendment.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, he hoped that the hon. Member for Birmingham would at least postpone his Amendment.
§ MR. WHITWELL
said, he thought the clause would exclude from the jury-box many persons of intelligence in large towns who had retired on a competency.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
defended the clause on the ground that it was based on the recommendations of the Select Committee. The exemptions proposed to be continued by the Bill were far less numerous than those which were now allowed.
said, the recommendations of the Select Committee could not create jurymen where they did not exist.
§ MR. FLOYER
was of opinion that after the decision of the Committee not to alter the freehold qualification, the present clause ought not to be interfered with.
§ Question put, "That the word 'forty' stand part of the Clause."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 138; Noes 133: Majority 5.
§ MR. A. W. YOUNG
proposed, in page 1, line 30, to substitute 20 for 25. The Government, by adhering to these higher figures, were excluding a very large class of men from serving as jurors.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Clause agreed to.
§ Clauses 2 to 4, inclusive, agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday next.
§ House adjourned at One o'clock.