§ (Mr. Secretary Cross, Mr. Attorney General, Mr. Solicitor General, Sir Matthew Ridley.)
§ COMMITTEE. [Progress 9th May.]
§ Bill considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Supplemental Provisions.
§ Clauses 22 to 27, inclusive, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Clause 28 (Cost of prosecution of indictable offences dealt with summarily).
§ MR. PAGET moved, as an Amendment, in page 16, line 30, to leave out all after "section" to "shillings," inclusive, in line 32.
§ Amendment agreed to; words struck out accordingly.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Clause 29 (Power of the Lord Chancellor to make rules).
§ MR. HICKS
begged to move that the clause be struck out. It appeared to him that the rules which the clause directed to be drawn up by the Lord Chancellor should be inserted in the Bill itself. The clause gave power to the Lord Chancellor to make such rules and regulations, and to draw up tables of costs and charges and other matters. It appeared to him that all these matters ought to be inserted in the Bill, so that persons who took up the Act might know what the law was, and that the magistrates who had to carry it out might also be informed of it from the Act itself. He submitted that there was plenty of time between this and the third reading of the Bill to enable the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill to prepare a fresh clause which should contain all those regulations. The Bill would then be left in such a form that the law could be at once clearly ascertained from it.
MR. ASSHETON CROSS
hoped the Committee would allow the clause to stand. What was proposed by the present clause was merely what was usual under the circumstances, and was the case with the Judicature Act. It was impossible to make these rules by Act of Parliament, and hon. Members should 215 remember that they dealt with very trivial matters. Moreover, if inserted in the Act itself, it would be impossible to vary the rules, if there were a necessity for it, without a fresh Act.
§ SIR HENRY JAMES
thought that, in this case, the rules were too technical for the Committee to enter into them. Still, he thought the House had grown too much into the habit of delegating its powers to others. The Home Secretary had stated that in the Judicature Act power was given to the Judges to frame rules. He might say that in the Act of 1875 the rules were inserted, but that in 1876 a power was given to the Judges to make rules, which power they had exercised in such a manner as to entirely alter the spirit of the Act. In such technical matters as the present Act dealt with, he thought that it was better to give the Lord Chancellor power to make the rules. He noticed that the rules were to come into operation before they were laid upon the Table of the House. That should be altered, so that the House might have an opportunity of discussing the rules before they came into operation.
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR IRELAND (Mr. GIBSON)
observed, that the matter had been fully considered. What had been done arose from the necessity of the case in making some provision for what must be done before Parliament met.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause agreed to, and added to the Bill.
§ Clause 30 (Power to provide place for holding petty sessions), agreed to, and added to the Bill.