HC Deb 23 May 1879 vol 246 cc1201-2

Order for Second Reading read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, it had been submitted to the Attorney General, and had received his sanction. With the exception of some clauses at the end, which had reference to a matter of procedure, the Bill proposed simply to extend the powers of the official Referees, by giving them the opportunity of doing work which at present they were unable to do, and to prevent their getting into difficulties by conflicts of jurisdiction.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Waddy.)


did not know whether the Attorney General had given his careful attention to the Bill; but, for his part, he had considerable doubts as to the correctness of its principle. Instead of referring a matter to the Referee to decide, this Bill proposed to refer a case to him for decision once for all. He thought it was far preferable to adopt the procedure instituted by the Judicature Acts, and to send a matter to the Referee to report. He did not think it was at all an improvement to enable a Judge or the Court to refer a ease to the Referee for him to decide as arbitrator. That should only be done by consent of the parties, as at present.


thought the principle of the Bill was one which ought to be approved. It was at first the opinion that under the Judicature Acts a Referee could deal with the whole matter; but recent decisions had shown that that was not so, and that the Referee's power was very considerably defined and limited. For his part, where the parties to the action consented, and where the Court thought it right that the Referee should have full power to decide the whole matter, and how the costs should go, he could see no objection to such a rule. In his humble opinion, if such a provision were passed into law, it would render the Referees a great deal more useful than they were now, and would induce parties to go before them much more frequently than was at present the case. There were other provisions, with regard to giving bankers' notes in evidence, which he had not very carefully considered, and therefore he reserved to himself the right to consider these in Committee.

Motion agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday 9th June.