§ Application of Act to Metropolis.
§ Clause 38 (Arrangements for paid chairman and sittings of quarter sessions for London).
§ On the Motion of Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER, the following Amendment made:—In page 35, line 22, to leave out the words "duly qualified."
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
, in moving an Amendment, in the same line, after the word "barrister," to insert the words "of ten years' standing," said, the object of the Amendment was to provide that the 1249 barrister to be appointed as paid Chairman or Deputy Chairman should be of not less than 10 years' standing.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 35, line 22, after the word "barrister," to insert the words "of ten years' standing."—(Mr. Henry if. Fowler.)
§ Question "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
said, his next Amendment was, in line 23, to omit the words "or one of the paid deputy chairmen as the case may be." If the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill assured them that it might be necessary to have more than one paid Deputy Chairman, he would not press the Amendment.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
said, he was of that opinion.
said, the next Amendment, in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. Firth), to insert, at the end of line 24—And two or more magistrates to act in the city of London, and after their appointment the jurisdiction of the city aldermen in the administration of justice shall forthwith cease,was already provided for in Clause 36.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
, in moving, in page 35, line 31, in the 3rd sub-section of the clause, to omit the words—But the salary may be at any time increased by resolution of the county council, approved by a Secretary of State, without any resignation or re-appointment of such chairman or deputy chairman,said, he proposed to omit the last part of the sub-section, and the words he proposed to leave out were those which related to the salary it was intended to pay to the Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for the County of London. As the clause stood, provision was made that the salary might be increased from time to time by resolution of the County Council approved by the Secretary of State, without any resignation or reappointment of the existing Chairman or Deputy Chairman. His objection to those words was, that they contained what appeared to him to be two very 1250 vicious principles. One was that every official would be led to expect a greatly increasing salary. He need hardly point out that if permission were granted to increase the salary of a judicial office whenever the County Council could obtain the approval of the Secretary of State, it would necessarily follow that in some way or other the salary would be increased. He thought that was a principle which was condemned by the general feeling throughout the country. The true course was to ascertain what a proper salary would be, and fix it at the beginning of the term of office and leave it there, giving the occupant of the office no right to expect any more. In the second place, there was another vicious principle, and that was that, so far as the increase of judicial salaries were concerned, it would teach the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions to look to the County Council for that increase. He did not think it was desirable that a Judge of any status should be dependent for an increase of salary upon any County Council or Local Authority whatever. If the Committee passed those words, and gave to the County Council power to increase the salary of the Chairman of Quarter Sessions, the inevitable result would be that from the time he obtained the appointment the local Judge would begin intriguing with the County Council for an increase of salary. He was aware that there was a precedent in London already to the very purpose he was now deprecating. It was perfectly certain in the case he referred to that negotiations—and he could call them nothing else—were carried on from time to time in reference to an increase of salary, and they were of anything but a dignified character. It was because he objected to both of these vicious principles, that he moved the Amendment.
In page 35, line 31, to leave out the words "but the salary may be at any time increased by resolution of the county council, approved by a Secretary of State, without any resignation or re-appointment of such chairman or deputy chairman."—(Mr. E. Robertson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, he thought it would be unwise to fetter the power of the County Council so as to prevent 1251 them from being able to increase the salary in the case of a large increase of duties. The hon. and learned Gentleman was aware that no increase of salary could be made without the sanction of the Secretary of State, and a similar power of increasing the salary existed in the case of the present Judges. The only arrangement provided for in the clause was to apply to the County Council of London the powers now possessed by the Justices for Middlesex.
§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
, in supporting the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member, said, he did so in the interests of the independence and uprightness of the Judicial Bench. He felt strongly on the point upon this particular account. In the City, as the right hon. Gentleman knew, learned gentlemen holding judicial appointments had been constantly in the habit of soliciting the Common Council for an increase of salary. He thought that habit of endeavouring to curry favour with the Council was derogatory to the dignity of the office; and as there had been a great deal of cadging of that kind in connection with judicial offices in London, he thought it undesirable to run a similar risk in connection with the County Council.
§ MR. STANSFELD (Halifax)
said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accede to the Amendment. The hon. Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Lawson) had observed it was not possible to lay too much stress upon the independence of the Judicial Bench. The salary ought to be a remunerative one, and in proportion to the amount of work to be performed and the responsibility of the position, and it would be far better that the Crown should consent to the payment of a large salary at once than commence with a small salary, and give power to the County Council to make constant applications for an increase.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)
, in moving, in page 35, line 35, to insert, after the word "Chairman," in Subsection 4, the words "or other paid official in the employ of the county council of London," said, the object of 1252 the Amendment was to provide that no paid official of the County Council should, during his term of office, be eligible to serve in Parliament for any Parliamentary county or borough wholly or partly within the limits of the County of London. As the clause stood, it applied solely to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Quarter Sessions; but he did not see any other convenient place in which to move the Amendment that would be better than the one in regard to which he had ventured to put it down. If the right hon. Gentleman accepted the principle of the Amendment, or would indicate that it was a desirable one in the sense in which he moved it, he had no objection if it were considered desirable to postpone it until they were able to reach some other part of the Bill which would render it most complete.
In page 35, line 35, after the word "chairman," to insert the words "or other paid official in the employ of the county council of London."—(Mr. Webster.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, that Clause 82 would be the proper clause upon which to move the Amendment. That was the clause which dealt with the officials of the County Councils.
§ MR. JAMES STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
asked if the sub-section they were discussing applied to all County Councils, or was peculiar to London?
§ MR. JAMES STUART
believed that there were no paid Chairmen in connection with other County Councils?
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
, in moving the omission of the words "for any Parliamentary county or borough wholly or partly within the limits of the county of London," said, the object of the Amendment was to provide that the paid Chairman and Deputy Chairman should not be eligible to serve in Parliament for any constituency. He thought they ought to be rendered ineligible for seats in the House of Commons. The clause, as it stood, prohibited them from sitting for London; but he entertained a strong 1253 objection to the mixing up of legislative and judicial duties. At present, no Stipendiary Magistrate, County Court Judge, or Judge of the Supreme Court, could go into Parliament, and although a Recorder of a borough was allowed to enter Parliament, he did not believe that judicial officer would be allowed to sit, if the principle were now being established for the first time. It must be remembered, however, that a Recorder sat only as Judge for a few days in the year. These paid Chairmen were to receive large salaries, and ought to devote the whole of their time to the performance of their judicial duties. He thought it would be a great mistake if they were to render that mode of legal patronage available in the House of Commons. It would introduce at once a purely political element into the appointment of judicial officers. The Government of the day would desire to appoint their own supporters who would be able to sit in that House and support the Ministry by whom they had been originally nominated. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board would assent to the Amendment, and would not introduce a perfectly novel and revolutionary practice into that House of allowing judicial officers to have seats.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 35, line 36, to leave out from the word "Parliament," to the end of the subsection.—(Mr. Henry H. Fowler.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, the words were put in in order to give to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the County Council the same privilege which was now enjoyed by the Recorder and Common Serjeant. No doubt, there would be a considerable difference in the position of the Chairman of the Council and that of the Recorder whose services were only required at long intervals. He would, therefore, accept the Amendment.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
said, he now proposed to add at the end of the sub-section, as it now stood, the words "and shall not, during his con- 1254 tinuance in office, practise as a barrister." The effect of the Amendment would be to provide that the paid Chairman or Deputy Chairman should not, while in office, practise as a barrister. The same disqualification of practising already existed in regard to the Assistant Judge for Middlesex.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 35, at end of line 37, to insert the words "and shall not, during his continuance in office, practise as a barrister."—(Mr. Henry H. Fowler.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ Question put, and agreed to.
On the Motion of Mr. RITCHIE, the following Amendment made, in page 36, after line 25, insert the words—
Where any special or petty sessional division of the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, and Kent existing at the appointed day is situate partly within and partly without the county of London, so much thereof as is situate without the said county shall, until any alteration is made by the quarter sessions for the county of Middlesex, Surrey, or Kent, as the case may be, be a petty sessional division of that county.
On the Motion of Mr. FORREST FULTON, the following Amendment made, in page 36, after line 25, insert the words—
And so much of such division as is not situate in the county of London shall form a special or petty sessional division of the county in which such part is situate, until the quarter sessions for that county constitute other special sessional divisions.
§ MR. FIRTH (Dundee)
said, he intended to move the omission of Sub-section 12 of the clause which provided that nothing in the Act should alter the powers or duties of the Justices, Quarter Sessions, Recorder, or Common Serjeant of the City of London, otherwise than was expressly provided, or than the duties of the Justices of Quarter Sessions of any county were altered.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
said, he wished to ask, as a point of Order, whether it was not desirable that he should move the Proviso which appeared on the Paper in his name before the Amendment of the hon. and learned Member to leave out the sub-section was discussed?
§ MR. FIRTH
said, that if the hon. Member would refer to the sub-section, he would see that his Amendment would be unnecessary if the sub-section were rejected. As it stood on the Paper it was only a consequential Amendment. Outside the City of the County of London the Metropolis was to be a County in itself, and outside the County of London Her Majesty might grant a Commission of the Peace. The sub-section provided that nothing in the Act should alter the powers or duties of the Justices, Quarter Sessions, Recorder or Common Serjeant; but his proposal was, that the position of the Justices in the City of London should be considered now, and therefore he had placed on the Paper an Amendment to reject Sub-section 12.
ruled, on the point of Order, that the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. Firth) was entitled to move his Amendment.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 37, to leave out sub-section (12).—(Mr. Firth.)
§ Question, "That sub-section (12) stand part of the Clause," put, and negatived.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
, in moving to add the following Proviso at the end of Sub-section 12:—Provided that from and after the appointed day the rights claimed by the court of aldermen and the court of common council respectively to appoint to the offices of recorder, common serjeant, and judge of the city of London Court shall cease, and in any future vacancy in each of the said offices it shall be lawful for Her Majesty the Queen to appoint a duly qualified barrister to be such recorder, or common serjeant, or judge,said, it was unnecessary to say much in order to point out the very curious anomoly and the very serious objection that might be urged to such a mode of election as now prevailed in connection with these offices. The Amendment was not intended as a reflection against individuals, but was directed against the system. The Recorder and Common Serjeant were Criminal Judges. They had criminal jurisdiction at the Central Criminal Court, where cases were brought from the whole Metropolitan area. The Judge of the City of London Court was a Civil Judge; but his office had become one of great importance, and a large amount of business came before him. In addition to the 1256 original jurisdiction of the City of London Court, there had been additional work brought into the Court in consequence of a Statute passed during the reign of Her present Majesty. The anomaly of judicial officers being elected by a popular Assembly had been admitted ever since it was denounced by Lord Brougham in very vigorous language. He did not think it necessary that he should apologize for drawing the attention of the Committee to the anomalous state of circumstances which now existed.
In page 37, at end of sub-section (12), to add the words—"Provided that from and after the appointed day the rights claimed by the court of aldermen and the court of common council respectively to appoint to the offices of recorder, common serjeant, and judge of the City of London Court shall cease, and in any future vacancy in each of the said offices it shall be lawful for Her Majesty the Queen to appoint a duly qualified barrister to be such recorder, or common serjeant, or judge."—(Mr. Pickersgill.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir RICHARD WEBSTER) (Isle of Wight)
said, the question raised by the hon. Member as to the mode of electing the Recorder, Common Serjeant, and Judge of the City of London Court was a most important one, and demanded serious consideration. But it would be unwise in a Bill of this kind, which did not purport to deal with judicial functions, to make a change of this nature. It should not be forgotten also that there were other Judges in other parts of the country selected in the same way, and it would be impossible to sever the appointments of the Judges from the duties they had to perform. It might be proper to consider on some other occasion what the mode should be in which Judges were selected; but it would be unwise to deal now in this clause with an Amendment which raised so large and important a question. No doubt, the Recorder and Common Serjeant had criminal jurisdiction at the Old Bailey; but whether it was desirable to leave the appointment as it had stood for so many years, or to change the mode in which it was made, was a question which could scarcely be fittingly discussed at that moment. He hoped the hon. Member would agree with him that the question was too 1257 large and important to be discussed now.
§ MR. LAWSON
said, he hoped that the Committee would not accept the decision of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He was hardly correct in saying that they must not deal with the Judges in a Bill of that kind, because, as a matter of fact, they had just created a Judge. Then, again, they had interfered with the powers of the City of London, and had taken away certain powers altogether, handing them over to the County Council; although, no doubt, they had not dealt with the City thoroughly, yet they had committed this sacrilege. If these appointments were made by the Crown, he did not think they would involve much discussion in the House of Commons; but, so far as the present mode of appointment was concerned, it was simply scandalous.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
said, he thought there was a good deal in what had been said by the hon. and learned Attorney General, and also by his hon. Friend below him, the Member for West St. Pancras (Mr. Lawson); at the same time, there was much to be said in favour of Local Bodies managing their own affairs as much as possible. In some of the Burgh Councils in Scotland they elected their own magistrates, and the principle gave great satisfaction. Probably the same principle would give similar satisfaction here, although he admitted that the appointment of Recorder and City Judge was not altogether analogous to that of magistrates. For those reasons, he was sorry that he could not support the Amendment of his hon. Friend.
§ MR. FIRTH
said, the analogy of the Scotch Burghs did not apply, because the Recorder, Common Serjeant, and Judge of the City of London Court exercised a jurisdiction as Judges of the Central Criminal Court over a much more extended area than the City. He believed that the Judge of the City of London Court was one of the ablest men who had ever occupied that position. More than 20,000 cases passed through that Court every year; but the methods by which the position of Judge had to be obtained were not consistent with the dignity of the Bench. What was the method the learned Judge to 1258 whom he referred was required to pursue in order to obtain the appointment? In the first instance he had to get the suffrages of the Common Council of the City of London, consisting of Councillors and Aldermen. Now, every other County Court Judge was nominated by the Crown, and the same principle might very properly be adopted here, although, of course, technically, the Judge of the City of London Court was not a County Court Judge. In respect to the Recorder, he had only to run the gauntlet of the Court of Aldermen, which was not quite so serious as that of the Common Council. Personally, if he had to canvass, he would much rather canvass the Aldermen than the Common Council. More than 50 years had now elapsed since Lord Brougham, in the House of Lords, drew attention to this matter, and said how scandalous it was that men who had to wear the ermine had to go through that ordeal of popular election.
§ MR. DARLING (Deptford)
said, it was very refreshing to see one of the particularly-appointed Leaders of the Democracy proposing that the power of making an appointment should be taken away from an elected Body and handed over to the Crown. He (Mr. Darling) was entirely in favour himself of that being done, because he thought it was most inconvenient, and even degrading, that anyone seeking to be appointed to a judicial office should have to go through a canvass before he could obtain it. He was himself thoroughly opposed to the present system of electing Judges in the City of London, and he should like to see the practice got rid of altogether. He should like to see all Judges appointed by the Crown, and if there were no inconvenience in doing so he should vote for the Amendment as it stood. It was, however, impossible to put out of sight what had been said by the Attorney General; therefore, while expressing his approval of the Amendment in principle, if it were framed in a proper shape, or sufficiently well considered, so that they might be sure that they were not doing any injustice or creating any difficulty as to payment of salaries for example, he should vote for it; but he did not approve of the manner or the time in which the Amendment proposed that the principle involved in it should be given effect to in 1259 practice. He could not forget that, as a matter of fact, while most of the Judges were appointed by the Crown, on the other hand there were Judges who were selected. He should like to see the appointments altogether in the hands of the Crown, but he should like to see that done in a somewhat more certain and decided manner than by the proposed Amendment; therefore, although the principle had his hearty sympathy, he should feel bound to vote against the Amendment, and he took some credit in doing so for the violence he did his feelings. He felt bound to vote against the Amendment because he did not think the matter should be dealt with hurriedly; but he was glad to pin the Radicals to the admission that election of Judges by popular vote was bad in principle, as he had no doubt that some day it would be proposed in that House, and certain American precedents cited as arguments in favour of the proposal.
§ MR. O. V. MORGAN (Battersea)
said, that if the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Darling) had a little more knowledge of the world than he had of law, he would not have made the slighting remark he had made on Democratic Members of that House objecting to the election of Judges. In the Australian Colonies no Judges were elected. In Canada, the Constitution of which had just attained its 21st year, the Judges were appointed by a Central Authority; and in the United States, with its 100 years old Constitution, some were appointed and others elected by the people. He was satisfied that in the case of the United States, if a new Constitution had to be formed to-morrow, every State would decide in favour of appointment instead of election. The other day he was in conversation with an American gentleman who had held high office in the United States, and he had put several questions to him on that very subject. The gentleman in question was connected with New Jersey, where the law was well administered, and he was well acquainted with the practice of New York. His replies to the question put to him, although he did not altogether agree with it, was that the worst man who would be appointed would be better than the best man the people would elect. No doubt, there was a good deal of truth in that 1260 remark, although he did not altogether agree with it. With regard to the appointments of the Judges in the City of London, he recollected that when a Common Serjeant was elected it was the common talk and scandal that that learned gentleman owed his election to the energetic manner in which he had gone round and canvassed the wives of the Common Council themselves, in the course of which he went so far as to nurse their babies. If the Amendment were pressed, he would certainly vote in favour of it.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON
said, the Amendment had drawn the Committee into a highly interesting discussion as to whether Judges should be appointed directly or by popular election. But whatever might be the deficiences of the system of election of Judges in the City of London, they did not raise the question of popular election. He doubted whether it could be properly said that the Judges of the City of London were elected at all, or even whether those who appointed them were elected by a popular vote. It was somewhat singular that the only argument that had been advanced against the Amendment was that that was not a proper moment for bringing it forward. Nobody ventured to dispute the soundness of the principle a few years ago, during the Administration of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Mid Lothian (Mr. W. E. Gladstone), when this question was raised with regard to the appointment of Common Serjeant, and he believed the question had reference to the salary of the Common Serjeant, and on that occasion the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Edinburgh (Mr. Childers), who was then Home Secretary, distinctly stated that when the question of the Government of the Metropolis came up, the whole question of the salary of the sitting judges would be considered. The present Government were, of course, not bound by that statement; but the matter had now been distinctly raised, and unless the Government were prepared to give a promise that they would bring the matter before the House in a separate Bill next year, so as to afford hon. Members an opportunity of expressing their opinion on this important question, he would advise his hon. Friend to persevere with his Amendment.
§ MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
also supported the Amendment. It seemed to him that the appointment of Judges was a question which ought not to be treated as it was in the City of London. He had not a word to say against the learned gentlemen who at present occupied the position of Recorder, Common Serjeant, and Judge of the City of London Court; but the general opinion was that, considering the great amount of responsibility and official work cast upon them, the Judges of the City should be appointed, as other Judges were, by the Crown.
§ MR. JAMES STUART
said, he wished to call the attention of the Government to the fact that no hon. Member who had addressed the House had spoken in favour of the retention of the power of electing the Judges at present exercised in the City. He hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would take into account the statement which had been made by the hon. and learned Attorney General, his only argument being that that was a Bill which in no sense dealt with judicial functions, whereas the fact was that the clause in the immediately preceding part had created a new Judge, whose functions were indicated by the President of the Local Government Board to be similar to those of the Recorder. He therefore trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would feel that there was no real argument in favour of retaining this power in the hands of the City as it at present stood. Whatever might have been the case in ancient times, there was now no danger to the citizens or to popular rights to be feared by the appointment of Judges by the Crown. In ancient times the City was the great refuge for those who were oppressed; but the City had not manifested those qualities lately. Its banquets were not given to the oppressed; and there was no real ground for believing that they were interested in securing the liberty of the citizens or the assertion of popular rights. The question raised by the Amendment was one which essentially concerned the Government of London and the jurisdiction of its judicial officers. He certainly hoped his hon. Friend would go to a Division upon the matter, and it was not sufficient that the Government should give an assurance that they would deal with the matter in a future year.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)
said, he had listened with attention to the arguments which had been addressed to the Committee by hon. Gentlemen opposite, and by some of his hon. Friends behind him; but he submitted that it was hardly right to adopt a change of this character and magnitude by a provision in that Bill, which did not propose to touch the subject. The Bill did not seek to take away any of the powers or legal authority which the City of London now possessed. He could only undertake on the part of the Government that the matter should receive their careful consideration. He trusted the Committee would not deem it wise to adopt the Amendment and deprive the Common Council of the trust they had hitherto exercised, and which they had exercised in placing upon the Benches of the City Judges who had discharged their duty to the satisfaction of the community. He would, however, undertake, on the part of the Government, to give the proposal embodied in the Amendment their most careful consideration.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
said, he had frequently observed in that House, that when any influential section of it was opposed to a reform, but were afraid to acknowledge the fact, they all said that they approved of the principle, but that the principle had been brought forward at an inconvenient time, and promised that it should be carefully considered in the future. In his opinion, the present was the most appropriate time for effecting the change proposed by the Amendment. In dealing with the government of London, they were reserving certain rights and powers now possessed by the Corporation and the City, and assuredly there could not be a more appropriate or convenient time for saying that there were certain rights and powers which it was not desirable to continue. He was glad that the discussion had been kept free from any element of a personal character. Nobody desired to impugn the ability or the personal character of the learned gentlemen who now performed the duties, or the fairness with which the Aldermen and Common Council had discharged their duties in making the appointments. They were all quite agreed upon that, and they did 1263 not propose to censure the Court of Aldermen or the Court of Common Council or any of the present Judges. What they did say was, that when a vacancy occurred, it was desirable that Judges who were receiving large emoluments and exercising an extensive jurisdiction, and who were placed on a level with the Judges of the High Court of Justice, should not in future be appointed by popular election.
§ SIR ROBERT FOWLER (London)
said, the judicial officers of the City were not on the same footing as the Judges of the Supreme Court.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER
said, the position they occupied was very little different from that of one of the Judges of the Superior Courts. So far as the Recorder was concerned, Sir Thomas Chambers discharged his duties in a manner which deserved the approbation of everybody; but the Committee must remember that they were not dealing with the existing holders of the office, but were merely saying that when a vacancy occurred, the responsibility of filling it up should devolve upon the Executive Government in the same manner as other judicial offices. If it had been the other way—if these judicial officers had hitherto been appointed by the Crown, and an hon. Member on that side of the House now proposed to apply to them the principle of popular election, could there be any doubt that there would have been an eloquent and crushing denunciation from the hon. and learned Member for Deptford (Mr. Darling) as to the great danger of leaving the choice to popular election. He thought they had good reason to be proud that in all their great Democratic Colonies none of them had accepted this principle, but had placed the appointment of Judges in the hands of the Executive They were going to vote upon that principle now. There must be no misconception as to the vote the Committee of the House of Commons was about to give. [Cries of "No, no!"] Hon. Members on the opposite side said "No, no!" but it must be clearly understood that they were not going to vote as to existing officers or existing Judges, but for laying down the principle in future that these judicial appointments should be in the hands of the Executive.
§ SIR ROBERT FOWLER
said, his right hon. Friend who had just sat down spoke of the importance of the offices held by the City Judges, and stated that the salaries paid to them were equal to those of a Judge of the High Court of Justice. That was not a fact, because a Judge of the High Court received £5,000 a-year, whereas the Recorder of the City of London received only £3,500. [Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER: And fees.] That was not so. Formerly the Recorder had the right to practise; but now the duties were so heavy that they required the whole of his time for their performance. He might remind the Committee that the City of London Judges were paid by the Corporation of the City of London. If the Committee were going to take away those appointments from the City, would the salaries of the Judges in future be provided out of other funds? Now, the present Recorder sat in recent Parliaments up to 1885, and was for more than 25 years a Member of that House. He was well known in the House, and much honoured by hon. Members, therefore Parliament could scarcely be likely to pass any censure upon him. His predecessor was a gentleman who was specially honoured both in and out of that House—namely, Mr. Russell Gurney, who was appointed either by the Government of Lord Russell or Lord Palmerston to a most important inquiry in Jamaica. He regretted the attack which had been made by the hon. Member for Battersea (Mr. O. V. Morgan) upon his learned friend the Common Serjeant, who, it was said, had canvassed unworthily for the position which he had held for many years. He would remind the Committee that Sir William Charley had been a Member of that House for many years, including the time of his appointment; and if such charges were to be brought against him, they ought to have been made at a time when the Common Serjeant was a Member of that House. He strongly repudiated the attack which had been made on the Common Serjeant. He thought it had been admitted that, as regarded the Recorder and the Commissioner, the Corporation of London had admirably exercised its patronage in reference to the appointment of these officers. He, therefore, asked the Committee to hesitate before it interfered 1265 with the system which had admittedly worked well
§ MR. O. V. MORGAN
said, he had not attacked the Common Serjeant as a Judge. He had only attacked the way in which he had been appointed to the office, which was a common scandal in the City of London at the time.
§ MR. STANSFELD
said, the hon. Baronet the Member for London (Sir Robert Fowler) said that the Recorder was paid by the City, and that, therefore, he ought to be appointed by the City. He (Mr. Stansfeld) did not think that the argument of the hon. Baronet, with regard to salaries, applied to judicial offices, although he thought it did apply to Executive offices. The Recorders of boroughs had always been paid by the boroughs, but they were invariably appointed by the Crown. In that very clause they had provided for the appointment of a barrister as paid Chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions, and the County Council were to pay the salary. The First Lord of the Treasury said that the Government approved of the principle of the Amendment, and that they would undertake to consider it at some indefinite time; but the right hon. Gentleman had stated no reason why the principle should not be applied now. The occasion was a convenient, natural, and fitting one, and he saw no reason whatever why they should postpone it. The right hon. Gentleman did not appear to feel very strongly himself the force of his own argument. He (Mr. Stansfeld) was satisfied that if the right hon. Gentleman would accept the opinion of the majority, neither he nor anyone else would have reason to regret it. Therefore, he trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would yield.
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Wolverhampton said that what the Committee had to decide was the great principle whether or not there should be elected Judges. He (Mr. Ritchie) wished to point out that that was not a convenient occasion, in dealing with a Bill of that character, to ask the Committee to express an opinion upon a great principle like that. If they were to deal with that principle solely, he agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Halifax (Mr. Stansfeld) that there would be a large majority in 1266 favour of saying that there should not be elected Judges. But, in addition to the occasion not being convenient, the Committee must bear in mind that the Bill did not in any way deal with judicial offices; it was a Bill dealing with administrative affairs. No doubt, incidentally, it had to deal with judicial offices. It had been pointed out by hon. Gentlemen opposite that in a previous clause they had created Chairmen to preside over the Quarter Sessions of the County of London; but it was absolutely essential, when they were creating a new County of London, to provide a judicial officer who should preside over the Quarter Sessions of the County of London similar to the Chairman who had presided over the Middlesex Quarter Sessions. The authority of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions in that County of London was abolished, and they were providing a new County of London in which the trial of prisoners would have to go on as heretofore. Therefore, there was bound to be a transfer of officers from the Quarter Sessions of Middlesex to the County of London. That was absolutely essential; and, whatever might be the opinion of the Committee on the abstract principle of elected Judges, it was not a convenient occasion when they were merely discussing a particular office, that they should come to a decision upon the question of principle.
§ MR. RADCLIFFE COOKE (Newington, W.)
said, it was not often that the House of Commons had so excellent an opportunity for effecting a desirable reform, and, therefore, they ought to be slow to give up the opportunity which they now enjoyed. They were all agreed on the question of principle. They were all agreed certainly that a particular reform desired to be effected ought to be carried out. The Committee could carry it out now. And why should they not? Her Majesty's Government had given way on many points on which some of their Supporters had felt a little doubtful; but here the majority of the Government Supporters felt very little doubt, and they would be glad to find Her Majesty's Ministers in a melting mood. The hon. and learned Member for Deptford (Mr. Darling) had pointed out that the chief objection to the Amendment was that incomplete manner in which it was drawn, and also that no provision was made for the payment 1267 of salaries of the judicial officers affected. But the Committee had come to a decision in respect to other judicial officers without making provision for salaries. He hoped the Government would yield to the general wish of the Committee, and seize the most favourable opportunity which had occurred recently in Parliament to effect this most desirable reform.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Lancashire, N.E., Darwen)
said, he was afraid that his hon. Friend who had just sat down (Mr. Radcliffe Cooke) had not treated the subject from a common sense point of view. No doubt there could be nothing more gratifying to the Government than the fact that this Bill had been received throughout the country with satisfaction, and that all parties and all localities had agreed to accept it. If there was one locality which had behaved better in the matter than another it was the City of London. Although many hon. Gentleman said that there were abuses in the City of London—and, of course, there were—yet in this Bill considerable change would be affected in the City of London. Not with standing that, the City of London had, with common sense and patriotic feeling, done their best to further the measure. His hon. Friend who had just sat down, and with whom he very often agreed, stated that that was an excellent opportunity for making a reasonable reform in the course of a very few minutes. That seemed to him to be the very reason why the Committee should not avail itself of the opportunity. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were always talking about the greatness and the grandness of the Constitution of this country. It had been built up with great care since 1688; and by Parliament itself it was provided that three stages must be gone through before a Bill could be passed into law—namely, the second reading, the Committee stage, and the third reading. It was not desirable that changes of that kind should be passed in a hurry without considering the consequential Amendments which must be introduced by a reform of that kind. It would, therefore, be a great mistake if they were in a few minutes, with a small number of Members in the House, upon a question raised by a side wind, to carry into effect an important change which had nothing to do with the main object of 1268 the Bill. The change might be desirable in itself, but it would be very inopportune to adopt it under the circumstances. The Government had made an enormous concession in the matter. They had agreed in the principle that elective Judges were a mistake, and the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury had promised that they would carefully consider how far they could carry out that principle in a future Session. It was, therefore, unreasonable to press the Government to accept an Amendment that was admittedly ill-considered and that would necessitate important consequential Amendments. For instance, there was the great question—who was to pay these officers? It was a grave question, whether, if the Crown appointed the Judges, they should not pay them also. But the Amendment involved various questions which it would be inopportune to raise in that Bill on the present occasion, and he hoped that hon. Gentlemen opposite would rest satisfied with the assurance Her Majesty's Government had given—that the matter should be considered, and that they would consent to pass on to other and more important Business.
§ MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)
said, he should not have taken part in the debate, except to point out that when a vacancy arose on a former occasion a right hon. and learned Gentleman, who was then a Member of the Conservative Government, was a candidate for the post of Common Serjeant. He could remember the feeling of disgust which that hon. and learned Gentleman had expressed as to the way in which he was expected to canvass for the appointment. The hon. and learned Gentleman was unsuccessful it was true; but the method to which candidates had to resort were really degrading to the office, and such as no Judge ought to have to submit to. Not only had the candidate to canvass the Common Councillors, but also their wives and daughters, in order to obtain these appointments. Every Member who had spoken against the Amendment had based his opposition upon the assertion that that moment was inopportune. He had thought that the First Lord of the Treasury when he rose in his place was about to accept the Amendment; because he (Mr. Mundella) was quite sure it was one 1269 which must commend itself to the common sense and judgment of the right hon. Gentleman. If in a borough like Sheffield a Stipendiary Magistrate was wanted, he was appointed by the Crown, and the borough of Sheffield paid him. That was also the case with regard to Recorders. Why should that be the case in Sheffield, Liverpool, and other large towns, and not the case in the City of London? Why should not the City of London be put upon the same footing as all our other great towns? The hon. Baronet the Member for the City had told the Committee that these offices were well filled at present, and that they had been most honourably filled in the past. In that view he (Mr. Mundella) entirely concurred. So far as the Recordership was concerned, several very eminent men had filled the office—among others, Mr. Stuart Wortley, Mr. Russell Gurney, and Sir Thomas Chambers, the present holder of the office. [Sir Robert FOWLER: And Lord Chief Justice Denman.] Yes; and Lord Chief Justice Denman; and all those Gentlemen had done honour to the office and had rendered valuable services. But suppose a vacancy occurred to-morrow? Did they really desire that the candidates should go through the degrading process of canvassing, as many gentlemen who were candidates on the last occasion when there was a vacancy in the office of Common Serjeant did? He maintained that the present was a most opportune moment for carrying the Amendment and placing London in the same position as other boroughs. They could now deal with the question without causing any reflection upon the future candidate, even if a vacancy were to occur tomorrow.
§ SIR ROPER LETHBRIDGE (Kensington, N.)
said, he hoped that Her Majesty's Government would listen to the advice which had been given to them from both sides of the Committee. The subject was a very important one, and nearly all the Members for London who had spoken on that side of the Committee as well as on the other, had supported, at any rate, the principle of the Amendment now before the Committee. His noble Friend behind him (Viscount Cranborne), who had so very ably opposed the Amendment, based his opposition very largely on the good conduct and behaviour of the City of London, 1270 and the favourable attitude which the City had adopted in reference to the Bill. But not a single Member had impugned the conduct of the City of London; not a single Member had impugned the nominations which had hitherto been made by the City. On the contrary, there had been a universal expression of approval of the gentlemen who had been nominated by the City; and, therefore, he thought that that was a very favourable opportunity for adopting what they all agreed to be a sound reform. The President of the Local Government Board said the Bill did not interfere with the existing judicial appointments. He very much doubted if that were so; because he thought it had interfered with more than one existing judicial appointment. He sincerely trusted that the Government would give way.
§ MR. LAWSON
said, that he was at a loss to know why the noble Viscount the Member for the Darwen Division of Lancashire (Viscount Cranborne) had intervened at all in the debate. The question was distinctly a London question, and hon. Members for London who had risen had spoken on the same side of the question. The noble Viscount seemed to have got up solely for the purpose of pronouncing an eulogium upon the City of London. He said that the City had not obstructed the progress of the Bill; but how could they have done so? They had done their best to rid themselves of their financial burdens; but they had only got two Members in that House. Perhaps, the reason why the noble Viscount had intervened was that he went to the City the other day, and the hon. Baronet the Member for the City, speaking at the banquet, prophesied that the noble Viscount would one day be Prime Minister of England, and that the Corporation would have the honour of erecting a monument to him. He (Mr. Lawson) was not sure that the hon. Baronet did not recommend that a subscription for the purpose should be immediately started. So far as the clause was concerned, they were, as a matter of fact, taking away certain powers from the Common Council and handing them over to the County Council, and the Committee might be quite certain that if they passed the Amendment, they would be only following the lines upon which they had already proceeded.
§ LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL (Paddington, S.)
said, that he rose for the purpose of protesting against the denunciation of the noble Viscount (Viscount Cranborne) by the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken (Mr. Lawson), for intervening in the debate on the ground that he was not a Member for a Metropolitan Borough. It had been the intention on both sides of the House that the government of London was an Imperial question, not a local question, and, therefore, he thought his noble Friend, or any other Member who had strong opinions on the subject, was perfectly justified in taking part in the discussion. At the same time, he confessed that he was not particularly impressed with the arguments of his noble Friend. His noble Friend's main argument was that the Committee ought to do nothing to derogate from the dignity or the powers of the City of London on account of its patriotic conduct in regard to that Bill. He was unable, although anxious, to give all the credit to the City of London which was claimed for it, and although ready to give to that City all the credit to which it was entitled, he could not attach so great an importance to its attitude towards a measure which in other hands might have interfered with the dignity and prerogatives of the City, but which now left them absolutely untouched and unharmed. The City of London had, he thought, the best possible reason for not interfering or obstructing a Bill which did them no harm. He came now to the question before the House, which was a most difficult question, and more difficult on account of the attitude which Her Majesty's Government had taken in regard to it. In principle, he imagined that there was no difference between Members who held extreme Conservative views and—what was perhaps more remarkable—Members who professed Radical views, that elected Judges were by no means desirable judicial authorities to set up in this country. That he believed to be absolutely conceded on both sides of the Committee. His hon. Friend who sat near him had said when he addressed the Committee a short time ago, that they had now an opportunity, without any special legislation, or the delay which it entailed, to put an end to a judicial authority which violated a principle that was agreed to 1272 by both sides—an opportunity, more-over, which it would injure no existing interest if they embraced. That opportunity they ought not to let pass without great caution. His own recollection in connection with the election of the Common Serjeant agreed with what had fallen from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Brightside Division of Sheffield. The public opinion of all England was shocked at the manner in which the election was conducted. Lord Connemara, a man much respected on both sides of the House, and also of most judicial mind, was a candidate, and seemed to be preeminently marked out for the office; but the selection that was actually made seemed to him most unfortunate, the choice falling upon an inferior candidate. They could not divest their minds of the knowledge that the present eminent Recorder had served the country in different capacities for many years, and might reasonably look forward before any very long period to his retirement. In such a case, by rejecting the present Amendment they would leave the vacancy to a very important post to be filled up in a manner which they all agreed to be so objectionable in principle. He asked whether that was a wise or logical or consistent proceeding? Of course, he attached great importance to the Government argument, that it was not opportune to introduce a change of that kind at that stage of the Bill. The Government were the best judges of that matter. They had to consider whether, by accepting Amendments of one kind or another, difficulties might arise with regard to the future conduct of the Bill. Therefore, if the Government adhered too rigidly to their opinion that the Amendment was in-opportune, he owned that he should not feel it his duty to vote against them. But he took the opportunity of expressing a very grave hope that the Government would recognize the principle of the Amendment, and that they would even yet consider whether some acceptance of the Amendment was not possible. If they would, he was sure that the general feeling of the Committee, and also public opinion in the Metropolis and in the country, would be satisfied.
§ SIR HENRY JAMES (Bury)
said, he quite agreed that the Committee should 1273 consider whether the Amendment was or was not opportune. He would join with the noble Lord and others very strongly in asking the Government to accept the principle of the Amendment, and give a positive assurance that it should be passed into law. On the occasion to which the noble Lord had referred, those who were in Opposition felt it their duty to bring the scandals connected with the elections in the City to the notice of the House. The responsibility of moving the Motion was entrusted to him. It was—That, in the opinion of this House, it is inexpedient that officers elected by any repretative body shall, in consequence of their being so elected, be empowered to try indictable offences.There was a full debate on the Motion, and on a Division it was supported by a very considerable minority. But for the fact that the hon. and learned Gentleman who was elected had been a Member of the House of Commons, and had formed a part of the majority of the House, he was certain that the Motion must have been carried. This was not a question for the City of London alone; it was a question for the whole country. The Judges they were dealing with tried prisoners not only within the City, but also for the counties of Surrey, Kent, Essex, and Middlesex; and those prisoners had justice meted out to them, sometimes to the extent of receiving penal servitude for life, by Judges elected under circumstances which were not fit to control the election of vestrymen. Then he would ask the House to consider whether such electors were competent to judge of the judicial capacity of a man to try the prisoners who might be brought before him. What would be said if they were to apply such a principle to the election of the Judges of the Superior Court, and asked that the criminals of this country or the persons accused with crime should have justice administered by persons so elected? To prevent this was what they strove for in 1878, and what they were striving for now. It might be said that this was not an opportune moment for dealing with the subject; but if the Government would give a pledge to the Committeee that the election of Judges by the popular voice should be abolished, he was sure that the Committee would 1274 not wish to throw any obstacle in the way of such a proposition.
§ Mr. W. H. SMITH
said, he had listened, with very great interest to the debate, which he was bound to say had been conducted with great moderation. He had already said that, so far as the Government were concerned, they were distinctly in favour of the principle involved in the Amendment. They were distinctly of opinion that that principle was one which would conduce to the public advantage, and one best calculated to secure the proper discharge of the grave and important duties which fell on the Judges of these Courts. A question arose whether this was the best opportunity for enforcing that principle—whether it was, on the whole, opportune or desirable that that principle should find expression on the Statute Book on this occasion. The right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Bury (Sir Henry James) admitted that, on the whole, this would not be the best method of expressing that principle, but he (Mr. W. H. Smith) had endeavoured to gather the opinion of the House. He thought that if he asked the Committee to divide against the Amendment he should be placing his Colleagues in a false position. They did not desire to negative the principle involved in the Amendment. They thought still that the method of expressing it was not so fortunate or happy as might have been devised if they had had time for consideration, and if they had intended to deal with the question in the Bill. The Bill was not intended to deal with anything more than the transfer of authority from one Body to another, and it was not intended to affect the privileges or the duties or obligations of existing authorities more than was absolutely necessary. But considering the fact that the expression of opinion in the House was so complete and general, notwithstanding the observations which had fallen from his noble Friend the Member for Darwen (Viscount Cranborne), which were exceedingly well placed, he thought, on the whole, he would consult the interests of the City of London itself, and should be defending the interests of Justice if he accepted the Amendment.
§ Question put, and agreed to.1275
§ Mr. FIRTH
said, that he and his hon. Friends were deeply grateful to the Government for making a concession somewhat, perhaps, outside the provisions of the Bill. They had been dealing with the question of the Judges at the Central Criminal Court. They had come to the conclusion that those Judges should be appointed by Her Majesty. If figures were presented as to the trials at the Central Criminal Court it would be found that a large number of the accused persons had been tried before elected Judges, and not before the Judges of the land. Therefore, the Amendment he had to propose was to add at the end of the sub-section—Provided also that the power of the Aldermen of the City of London to exercise jurisdiction at the Central Criminal Court shall cease.It was possible for two of these gentlemen to try a man for murder. As a matter of fact they never did, but it was possible for them to do so. This was an excellent opportunity for altering the law in this respect. This was not a suggestion of today; it was a suggestion which had been made by Commission after Commission. It was made by the Commission of 1854; and after that Commission reported in favour of the Aldermen being excluded from jurisdiction at the Central Criminal Court, the Aldermen met and considered the question, and the only defence of their position they were able to make was—"We think it is a great advantage to be present at trials by the learned Judges." He submitted that this Amendment might very well be carried, in order that that which had been partially done to-day should be completely done, for it was generally admitted that the Aldermen of London had not shown the possession of even ordinary legal knowledge.
In page 37, after the words last inserted, to add the words "Provided also that the power of the aldermen of the City of London to exercise jurisdiction at the Central Criminal Court shall cease."—(Mr. Firth.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ SIR HENRY JAMES
said, he would appeal to his hon. and learned Friend not to persist in his Amendment. All that was done was to secure the presence of Aldermen at the Court. Practi- 1276 cally two things resulted from that. These Aldermen did exercise jurisdiction as magistrates in the City of London day by day. Being bound to attend the Central Criminal Court when Judges were sitting, they saw judicial duties performed and received a great deal of information, and it benefited them as Aldermen. They heard the case tried, and they very often had done great acts of kindness and charity towards the prisoners and the prisoners' families, in consequence of having heard the man tried. The presence of the Aldermen at the Court was good. No harm was occasioned. They never interfered, they only sat there; and after the great concession the Government had made, he asked his hon. and learned Friend whether he thought it was wise to press this Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 38, as amended, agreed to.
§ Application of Act to Special Counties. and to Liberties.
§ Clause 39 (Application of Act to certain special counties).
CAPTAIN HEATHCOTE (Staffordshire, N.W.)
, in moving to insert, after "(1)," in line 11—The district of the Staffordshire Potteries, comprising the municipal boroughs of Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Longton, and Burslem, the urban sanitary district of the Fenton Local Board of Health, and the urban sanitary district of the Tunstall Local Board of Health,said, this Amendment provided that the six towns comprising the Pottery District should be formed into a county under this Bill. These six towns were practically one town, with a population of 165,000, and with a rateable value of £500,000. The suburbs which originally existed had overlapped, and the towns were now completely joined together. They were all engaged in the same industries—in the manufacture of pottery, and iron, and bricks, and tiles, and the raising of coal; 1277 and they were in every way, except in name, as homogeneous as any of the boroughs in the 4th Schedule. By the concession which the Government had made in reducing the limit of population to 50,000, Hanley became entitled to be a county in itself. Hanley, the natural centre, both geographically and commercially, of this whole district, had all the public buildings and offices which were necessary for an important county, and he thought that town had shown a public spirit and wish for the common weal which fully justified the hope that it would prove a very worthy centre of this very important district, because, though it had the opportunity of being made a county in itself, it had given up any idea of self-glorification by agreeing to form a county in conjunction with the adjoining district. If this Amendment were not accepted, the position would be this—that they would have Hanley with one-third of the whole population a county in itself, and they would leave 100,000 inhabitants, joined in every way, geographically and commercially, for all local administrative purposes, divorced from Hanley. The present conveniences of transit by the steam-trams, and the like, would be of no avail to the representatives of these districts; but they would probably have to go to the county town—Stafford—20 miles distant, communication with which was very defective. This would evidently lead to a waste of time and a waste of money, and probably to an amount of friction which would very much interfere with the successful working of the new scheme. The county which surrounded the district was equally interested with the Potteries themselves in this Amendment, because the district around these towns was, as a rule, dependent upon the prosperity of the Potteries. The Potteries consumed the agricultural produce of the district around, and, furthermore, the trade of the Potteries used up the inferior coal which was produced in the neighbouring coal fields, and which would not be worth getting unless the Potteries used it. This was an unique district, and therefore he trusted the Government would raise no obstacle to the acceptance of his Amendment. The whole district was agreed, through its local representatives, in the wish to be united in one county. It was obvious 1278 to the Committee that the economy of local administration must be increased if they could make the towns more compact and self-contained. He strongly urged the Government to accept his Amendment, which he believed would conduce to the best interests of the urban portion and also of the rural portion of the whole of his constituency. If there were difficulties which the Government could not meet at this moment, he asked them to accept his Amendment, and to bring up on the Report stage any clause which they might think necessary to remove any difficulty they might have.
In page 37, line 11, after "(1)," to insert the words "The district of the Staffordshire Potteries, comprising the municipal boroughs of Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Longton, and Burslem, the urban sanitary district of the Fenton Local Board of Health, and the urban sanitary district of the Tunstall Local Board of Health."—(Captain Heathcote.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. WOODALL (Hanley)
said, the benevolent and zealous interposition of the hon. and gallant Gentleman had saved him the trouble of commending to the Committee an Amendment which he had had upon the Notice Paper for some two months past. It had done more. It had given evidence to the Government that the proposal was made with the practically unanimous consent of all; the urban districts concerned had also the favourable regard of the rural district so well represented by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. The hon. and gallant Gentleman had told the Committee that this district, which he (Mr. Woodall) might remind the Committee was, in fact, the old borough of Stoke-upon-Trent, which, up to 1885, he had had the honour to represent in the House of Commons, and which was a purely urban district, wholly self-contained and coterminous, might very naturally be regarded as one of those large boroughs exceeding a population of 100,000, which, from a very early stage of the Bill, had been recognized as properly constituting counties in themselves. He did not disguise from himself the fact that it presented some difficulties to the Government that were not to be found in any of the other cases they had provided for, These boroughs, while pursuing the same in- 1279 dustries and being closely identified by their industrial enterprize and general public spirit, as well as by their geographical position, were, unfortunately, some of them under various forms of local government. Four of the towns were under Municipal Charters of incorporation, and two of the districts were governed by Local Boards of Health. One of them had a separate police force, two of them had separate borough Commissions of the Peace, and these differences did constitute some points which would have to be specially dealt with. As the right hon. Gentleman would have seen by the Notice Paper, each of the borough Members had given notice of Amendments which were, in fact, similar. These Amendments had been placed upon the Notice Paper upon the authority of all the Governing Bodies concerned, and he assured the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board that, even at this late stage of the Session, they could, if they would give them the opportunity, submit to him a table of proposals which would reconcile all practical differences. He bowed to the force of the argument that the right hon. Gentleman could not undertake to deal with the differences of these towns in the present Bill. Perhaps the Chairman would allow him to refer to the proposition which immediately followed the Amendment now under discussion, in which he suggested that if the right hon. Gentleman would permit this Amendment to be embodied in the Bill, they would provide for the carrying out of a complete system of arrangement and organization by a Provisional Order to be introduced in the ordinary course of things in the ensuing Session.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
said, the circumstances of the case presented to the Committee were so unique as to make it a case which might be fairly dealt with by the Government on its own merits. He had had the pleasure of receiving a very large and important deputation upon this subject. The deputation was composed of representatives from all the various Local Authorities who would be affected by the proposition. The deputation was accompanied by Members of Parliament representing 1280 the districts, and by some of the Members representing the county itself, and they were able to place before him such facts as showed him that the position of the Staffordshire Potteries was a peculiar one. After carefully considering all the representations which were made on that occasion, and on subsequent occasions, by his hon. and gallant Friend (Captain Heathcote) and by his hon. Friend opposite (Mr. Woodall), as well as by the other Members for the district, the Government were of opinion that the circumstances of the case were so peculiar as to warrant the Government in making special provision with reference to this district. So far as he understood, these towns and urban districts formed one very great town, although they had within their area certain different forms of Local Government. There was this additional peculiarity—that under the Bill one of the boroughs was entitled to be constituted a county in itself. It seemed to the Government, therefore, that the case made out was so strong that they might give an undertaking that on a future occasion they would take such steps as might be necessary to carry out the wishes of the hon. Gentleman and the localities. The hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Woodall) had said very properly they would have great difficulty in making arrangements by provisions in this Bill. They had not only to deal with the fact that there was not one form of government in the various localities, but with the fact that whilst some of the areas were to a large extent independent of the county, other areas were under the jurisdiction of the county in regard to a large number of matters. There were many adjustments which would be necessary, and which he thought could only be adequately treated by means of investigation. This investigation would, of course, be secured by means of a Provisional Order. The proper course, therefore, to pursue would be to deal with this matter by means of a Provisional Order, and if hon. Gentlemen would be satisfied with an assurance that the Government would introduce a Provisional Order Bill at the beginning of next Session dealing with all the circumstances of the case, he had no hesitation in undertaking that the Government would introduce such a Bill. Having said this, he trusted that 1281 the hon. Gentleman would not think it necessary to press their Amendments.
§ MR. WOODALL
said, he thought that the assurance given by the right hon. Gentleman should be accepted with confidence. He was sure that when the right hon. Gentleman came to deal with the Provisional Order, and with the inquiry upon which it would necessarily have to be framed, he would find the ground prepared for him by the agreement of the different towns; because, in their desire to have this great change effected, they had already addressed themselves to all the difficulties the right hon. Gentleman referred to. He felt it would have been possible to have made a satisfactory arrangement within the bounds of the present measure; but, speaking for his constituents, he heartily accepted the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman. Perhaps he might add that it would probably be found expedient to claim for the borough of Hanley a place in the 4th Schedule; that place, however, it would readily yield when it came to form part of the county borough.
§ MR. H. T. DAVENPORT (Staffordshire, Leek)
said, he did not rise to object to the arrangement which had been accepted by the Government. He had no doubt that the Pottery districts would be very largely benefited by the proposed arrangement; but it was quite evident that unless some satisfactory adjustment was made, the county generally would be very injuriously affected by these large, important, and wealthy districts being cut out of it. He supposed that under the Provisional Order arrangements would be made by the Commissioners so that in some way or other the county would not suffer by the extraction of such a large portion out of their county purse.
§ MR. HENRY H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
said, he thought the Government had met this proposal very fairly indeed. It was quite clear there was a distinct district in the North of the County of Stafford, which should be bound together for municipal purposes. He thought the Government, when they came to look at the question, would look at it, perhaps, more from the light of this district being a county borough than a county itself. The Potteries formed a wealthy portion of the County of Stafford; and, as the right hon. Gen- 1282 tleman had insisted upon there being an equitable financial adjustment between the boroughs and the county, it was quite evident that the Southern district of the county would expect that it would not lose by the proposed change. As a Staffordshire Member, he had to thank the right hon. Gentleman for the very sensible manner in which he had met this proposal.
said, he desired to thank the Government for the way in which they had met the proposal. He had only now to point out that it was necessary to take steps to carry out the scheme as speedily as possible, because, under the Bill, Hanley was entitled to form a county by itself. When Hanley was made a county, the rest of the inhabitants of the Potteries would be, as it were, between wind and water until the scheme of amalgamation was effected. He asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ MR. P. STANHOPE (Wednesbury)
said, that when the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Board spoke of the case of these towns being unique he was somewhat mistaken. The same conditions were to be found in the Southern part of the county. There were several districts there identified with each other in every respect. At present there had been no intimation—at least there had been no special representations made by the different Governing Bodies as to the districts being formed in a separate county, but he warned the right hon. Gentleman that the acceptance of this Amendment might be accepted as a precedent. It was quite possible that when the right hon. Gentleman brought in next year a Provisional Order for the purpose of constituting the Potteries a county in themselves, he would be pressed to bring in a similar Bill for the Black Country district in the Southern part of Staffordshire.
§ COLONEL BLUNDELL (Lancashire, S.W., Ince)
said, that, like the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton, he urged the President of the Local Government Board to make this district a county-borough and not a geographical county, and desired to point out that there were urban districts in the county of Lancashire which would, in all probability, be able to show that they had something very 1283 much in common, and that from every point of view they were as much entitled as the district under consideration to form a separate county under the Bill.
§ MR. WOODALL
said, that as reference had been made to incorporating the whole of this district into one municipal borough, he desired to say that any proposal of that kind would be very likely fatal—would be exceedingly detrimental—to this important movement, which had obtained so much assent. He trusted it would be possible for these districts to preserve their own municipal life while combining for all purposes which had to be provided for in the Bill. The town of Hanley was entitled to a position in the Fourth Schedule, and he, of course, was bound to protect Hanley by claiming its insertion in that Schedule. He was anxious to get from the right hon. Gentleman a statement as to how far Hanley would be prejudiced, supposing nothing came of the Provisional Order. He understood that even if not placed in the Fourth Schedule it would be open to the Local Authorities of any such town to make application showing that the population was equal to the figure required, and by Provisional Order, or by Order in Council, obtain recognition as a county.
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, he did not know they had received an application from Hanley; but he assumed from what the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Woodall) and the deputation which waited upon him said that Hanley had a claim to be placed in the Schedule. If Hanley made application it would be put in the Schedule. Of course, in the Provisional Order he would have to make all the requisite arrangements for adding the surrounding districts to Hanley, so as to constitute it a county district. He should, however, prefer that the different districts would join together and make one municipal borough. That certainly would be in every way the most satisfactory arrangement.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 37, line 12, after "separate," insert "administrative."—(Mr. Ritchie.)
§ Question proposed, "That that word be there inserted."1284
§ MR. HOBHOUSE (Somerset, E.)
said, that it appeared the right hon. Gentleman was about to introduce a new term—namely, "administrative county." He thought it would be as well that such term should be clearly defined in the Bill.
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, that they were making this Amendment to prevent confusion. They were amending the Bill in this direction as they proceeded. Whatever Amendments were necessary in the earlier part of the Bill they would, of course, be made on Report.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ SIR WALTER B. BARTTELOT (Sussex, N.W.)
, in moving to insert, in page 37, line 12, after the word "counties," the words—The Eastern and Western Division of Sussex, under 'The County of Sussex Act, 1865,' shall respectively be separate administrative counties for the purposes of this Act,said, the county of Sussex had been from time immemorial two distinct counties more or less. The county was divided into six rapes, and the three Eastern rapes had always formed the Eastern Division, and the three Western rapes had always formed the Western Division. The two divisions were distinct. They had their own rates in each division of the county, and the original divisions were accentuated at the time of the Reform Bill of 1832 by the three Western rapes being made the Western Division, and the three Eastern rapes being made the Eastern Division, each division returning two Members to Parliament. Since that time Mr. Dodson, now Lord Monk Bretton, made it still more clear that Sussex was divided into two divisions, by bringing in an Act called the Sussex Act of 1865, which confirmed what had been done before, and made the divisions to all intents, and for nearly every purpose, two separate and distinct counties. Anyone who knew Sussex must know perfectly well that in a long and narrow county like Sussex—Sussex was 90 miles long and about 25 miles wide—how difficult it was to get from one part of the county to another to transact business for the whole county. The communications, as a rule, ran nearly from North to South. He believed that the people of the county generally were most anxious that the two divisions 1285 should be maintained. The Quarter Sessions in both divisions had passed resolutions setting that forth as their wish, and various Boards of Guardians in West Sussex had adopted resolutions to the effect that West Sussex ought to remain West Sussex, and that Sussex should not be one county. There was only one portion of the county, that which was represented by his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for the Lewes Division of Sussex (Sir Henry Fletcher), which did not quite concur in the suggestion, and that was the portion of Sussex comprised in the Stenning Union. The people there were afraid that something might happen by which the Union might be divided; but the 60th clause of the Bill would enable that Union to be dealt with by simply dividing it for the purpose of outdoor relief, leaving it absolutely intact for all other purposes. The main cause of the objection was on account of the town of Hove. Hove was really part and parcel of Brighton; it was not at this moment anxious to be joined to Brighton; but no one who knew the two places could tell where Hove commenced or where Brighton ended. Some day or other, when different views prevailed, it was possible that Hove and Brighton would be one. That was a question that might arise hereafter. It certainly was no reason why the two divisions of Sussex should not remain as they were at the present moment. Undoubtedly, from the point of view of economy and efficiency, it was better that the county should remain, as at present, divided into two divisions.
In page 37, line 12, after the word "counties," to insert the words "the eastern and western division of Sussex, under 'The county of Sussex Act, 1865,' shall respectively be separate administrative counties for the purposes of this Act."—(Sir Walter B. Barttelot.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, he had no hesitation in assenting to the Amendment of his hon. and gallant Friend. The county of Sussex, undoubtedly, was at present divided by Act of Parliament into two divisions. There was separate rating and separate administration. He believed it was not disputed by any body of people in the county that Sussex should form one county under the Bill; 1286 and, therefore, he proposed to accept the Amendment.
§ COLONEL BROOKFIELD (Sussex, Rye)
said, he thanked the right hon. Gentleman for agreeing to the Amendment. In the most remote part of East Sussex from which he came there was a unanimous desire that the present arrangement should be continued, by which the county was divided into two districts.
SIR HENRY FLETCHER (Sussex, Lewes)
said, he regretted very much to differ from his hon. and gallant Friend (Sir Walter B. Barttelot). He represented a portion of West Sussex and a portion of East Sussex. He confessed that the magistrates of both divisions were in favour of the division of the county as at present; but he had been informed that a very large body of ratepayers would rather that the county were made one. This view was solely prompted by the thought that the administration of the county might be conducted much more economically if the county formed one district instead of two.
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY (Bury St. Edmund's)
, in moving as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment to insert after "1865," the words "and the eastern and western divisions of Suffolk," said, the object of his Amendment was to secure for the Western Division of Suffolk under the new arrangements for Local Government that position as a separate county, and that power of administrative independence, which, time out of mind, it had enjoyed. His Amendment was not aggressive in its scope or design, but was entirely of a defensive character; and he only regretted that while there was a very general agreement in the county of Sussex as to the retention of the divisions of that county, there was in the county of Suffolk, or in the Eastern part of it, some desire that the old divisions of the county should be abolished, and that the representation of the Western Division should be compelled to go over to a remote part of the county for the transaction of local business. There was strong historic ground for his Amendment. West Suffolk had had an independent jurisdiction for more than 800 years. By law the two divisions of the county already existed; they had given general satisfaction; and on the Western side, at any 1287 rate, there was no desire that the Divisions of the county should be destroyed. Public sentiment in that district was strongly in favour of the retention of the existing divisions, and he was glad to believe that the arguments which had been put forward by the Representatives of West Suffolk had convinced the Government that the case submitted to the Committee was a just case, and one which deserved consideration, and favourable consideration, at their hands. Now, he wished the Committee to understand the actual position of affairs. The independence of West Suffolk had been recognized by many Acts of Parliament—for example, the Highways Act, the Rural Police Act, the County Rate Basis Act, and, so lately as 1886, under the Riot Compensation Act. It had a separate County Treasurer and Coroner, as well as a separate police force; in fact, it had nearly the whole machinery of a separate county, and this the inhabitants desired to retain. There was no plea which could be raised on the ground of public convenience, of efficient or economical administration, that would justify the Committee in forcing upon them a union which they did not desire. Further, he wished to point out that there would be a serious anomaly created if the county of Sussex, which was smaller than the county of Suffolk, were allowed to retain its two divisions, while the county of Suffolk, which was larger, and whose two divisions were equally consecrated by law and usage, should be deprived of the privileges which it now enjoyed. It should be mentioned also that the Boundary Commissioners had decided in favour of retaining the existing Divisions. He had received many communications in favour of this proposal from gentlemen who had been Members of that House, and whose opinion would naturally carry with it some weight in the minds of the Committee—namely, from Mr. Hardcastle, from Mr. Biddell, Mr. Rodwell, Sir Thomas Thornhill, and others. Having, as he believed, stated to the Committee enough to justify the case he had put forward, he trusted the Government would agree to his Amendment as they had done in the case of the hon. and gallant Member for North-West Sussex (Sir Walter B. Barttelot).
§ Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, by inserting after "1865" the words "and the Eastern and Western Divisions of Suffolk."—(Lord Francis Hervey.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be inserted in the proposed Amendment."
§ MR. F. S. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
said, he hoped the Amendment of the noble Lord would not be agreed to. The case of Suffolk was different from that of Sussex. Whereas he admitted that the Quarter Sessions in West Suffolk were in favour of the maintenance of the existing system, he found, on the other hand, that the Quarter Sessions in Eastern Suffolk were of a different opinion. He thought the Committee would come to the conclusion that the case of Sussex and Suffolk stood on an entirely different footing. East Suffolk sent three Representatives to Parliament, all of whom agreed that the unity of the county should be maintained unimpaired in the sense in which the Bill now before the House maintained it unimpaired, and not only were the three Members of the Eastern Division of the county agreed in this, but also the two Members for Ipswich. In the Western part of the county there was only the noble Lord who had just spoken and the hon. Member for the North-Western Division (Mr. Greene) who were in favour of dividing the county, whereas he found in the Sudbury Division so great a difference of opinion that the hon. Member (Mr. Quilter) who represented it was on that occasion conspicuous by his absence. Again, public meetings had been held on this subject, and he would instance that in a town which might be taken as typical of the opinion expressed in West Suffolk—namely, the town of Haverhill. Now, it might be supposed that the inhabitants would have preferred going to Bury St. Edmund's instead of to Ipswich, but at the meeting referred to a resolution was passed to the effect that there should be but one County Council, and that that County Council should be at Ipswich. As a matter of fact, the in-habitants of the whole Eastern Division of the county were unanimous that there should be only one County Council, and that it should meet at Ipswich. 1289 The noble Lord was, of course, justified in referring to his antiquarian researches in connection with the county; but then, on that ground, one might find some reason for not altogether agreeing with him. The noble Lord had gone back 800 years, and spoken of the separate jurisdiction which West Suffolk had so long enjoyed. He (Mr. F. S. Stevenson) believed that there was in existence a letter written by Edward the Confessor shortly after the time when he separated West Suffolk from East Suffolk, in which he declared that the separation would be the source of difficulty in the future, and it might be that the King had in his mind a presentiment of the Amendment of the noble Lord. He ventured to hope that the Government would treat the Amendment before the Committee in quite a different manner from that in which they had dealt with that of the hon. and gallant Member for Sussex, and that while they adopted his Amendment they would reject that of the noble Lord.
§ COLONEL ANSTRUTHER (Suffolk, Woodbridge)
said, he could not agree with the conclusions of his noble Friend with regard to the division of the County of Suffolk, and in the interest of the ratepayers he asked the Committee to reject his Amendment. His noble Friend had referred to matters of history; but, as a matter of fact, what they had to consider was the Suffolk of today. He looked upon the Amendment as entirely contrary to the spirit of the Bill, because one of the advantages which they expected to get from it was that they would be able, by altering their present area, to effect a more economical administration in local matters. One would almost suppose from the speech of his noble Friend that there was some physical obstacle between Bury St. Edmund's and Ipswich; but the Committee would probably not be surprised to learn that the country between the two towns was comparatively level. There was a good road, and the distance only 26 miles, and in addition to that the Great Eastern Railway Company ran four trains a-day to Ipswich, although certainly they took a considerable time to cover the distance—namely, one hour; but as the Great Eastern Railway would probably move in the future with the spirit of the times they might expect that the duration of the journey would 1290 be somewhat lessened. One would imagine from the speech of his noble Friend that, by giving West Suffolk a County Council, and separating it from East Suffolk, the convenience of those attending the County Council would be met; but that was, unhappily, not the case, because a considerable portion of West Suffolk was very much nearer to Ipswich than Bury St. Edmund's. The town of Hadleigh was 25 miles from Bury St. Edmund's, and only 10 miles from Ipswich, and anyone going from the latter place would have to pass through the town of Ipswich by rail. For the reasons he had pointed out he asked the Committee not to sanction what he must call this retrograde proposal. It was only 30 years ago that there used to be four Quarter Sessions in Suffolk, and four separate rating authorities; but now they had succeeded by Act of Parliament in altering this, which alteration had turned out to the great advantage of the county both in respect of efficiency and economy. They had now one Chief Constable, one gaol, one lunatic asylum, and the magistrates were in the Commission of the Peace for the whole of the county, while the Quarter Sessions were held at Ipswich and Bury St. Edmund's, but were adjourned to the latter place. He hoped the Committee would reject the Amendment of his noble Friend, which he believed would entail the most unnecessary burden on the ratepayers of the county of Suffolk.
§ MR. GREENE (Suffolk, Stowmarket)
said, he believed if a poll were taken in the Western Division of Suffolk that a very few of the inhabitants would be in favour of the county being one. It would be almost impossible for those who attended the County Council from the Western parts of the county to get to Ipswich and back in a day. He believed that there would be money saved rather than lost by the county being divided, and he had had communications showing that the inhabitants were not in favour of having to go to Ipswich. He was quite sure that the Committee would act wisely in allowing the county of Suffolk to remain divided as it was at present.
§ SIR SAVILE CROSSLEY (Suffolk, Lowestoft)
said, he wished to point out to the Committee that all the Members who had spoken on this Amendment 1291 had done so from one point view. He had a special claim to oppose the Amendment of the noble Lord, because his constituents had no desire that there should be any division of the county. The town of Lowestoft was considerably larger than Bury St. Edmund's, and he had received from the Borough Authorities an unanimous resolution to the effect that the Council was of opinion that the county of Suffolk should be one county; but if divided at all that it should be divided into Northern and Southern districts, rather than into Eastern and Western. Now, Lowestoft had no desire to press for any division of the county; but he thought it might truly be said that if the county were divided at all this would be more evenly effected by carrying out the suggestion contained in the Resolution. If the Amendment of the noble Lord were accepted, and Lowestoft being in the extreme North of the county, while Bury St. Edmund's and Ipswich were in the South, situated comparatively close together, the people could not get to Ipswich very easily from the North. He admitted that there had, to a certain extent, been a division of the county in the past, and that there had been two rates; but he wished to point out that, whereas there had been two Clerks of the Peace and two Chief Constables, there were now only one of each, and it had already been mentioned that there was no separate Commission for the magistrates of Western Suffolk. The hon. Member for the Eye Division had shown them that the county was almost unanimous in desiring to remain one; and, therefore, he trusted that the Government would see their way to retain it in that condition.
§ MR. RITCHIE
said, the Government proposed to accept the Amendment of his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Sussex as they had already stated; but, as had been shown by more than one hon. Gentleman who had spoken on this Amendment, it was evident that the circumstances with regard to Suffolk were not precisely the same as in the case of Sussex. So far as he could gather, the feeling was almost, if not quite, universal in Sussex with reference to maintaining the division there; but, further, the county of Sussex had been divided by statute, and, therefore, there existed a very substantial basis for division. Now, his noble Friend (Lord 1292 Francis Hervey) wished the Government to include Suffolk in the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member for Sussex. Although he thought his noble Friend had shown very good ground indeed why the two existing divisions of the county should be maintained, he had not been able to adduce an argument of the same nature as that used by his hon. and gallant Friend. Having had the opportunity of hearing both sides of the question, he was bound to say that his noble Friend and those who agreed with him had been able to bring forward extremely strong arguments in favour of the Amendment. He had been under the impression that two rating areas had not existed. He was open to correction if wrong; but there were circumstances in his noble Friend's case which did not exist in the case of his hon. and gallant Friend. There was unquestionably a very considerable difference of opinion in Suffolk; but, as he had said, he thought his noble Friend had made out a very strong case. Suffolk was undoubtedly divided for rating purposes, although it was one county for many other purposes. The question was such that the Government were prepared to take up any position one side or the other; but having heard the opinions on both sides, as far as he was personally concerned, he should support his noble Friend if he went to a Division.
§ SIR CHARLES DALRYMPLE (Ipswich)
said, that he could not complain of the position of comparative neutrality taken up by his right hon. Friend; but it could not fail to be observed that a large number of those who represented the county of Suffolk were opposed to the Amendment, and therefore, unless more cause could be shown for the acceptance of the noble Lord's Amendment, he had to ask the Government that they would stand by the terms of their Bill. It had been said more than once that the cases of Sussex and Suffolk were entirely different. Whereas the Quarter Sessions in Suffolk were in favour of division, there was the widest divergence of opinion on the part of the county of Suffolk with regard to the proposal of his noble Friend. The geographical question had been gone into, and it was not too much to say that, to a great extent, it was a question of Bradshaw, although that was not an attractive basis on which to found their argu- 1293 ment. Although Ipswich happened to be somewhat in a corner of the county, it was accessible in a remarkable degree from all parts, as had been pointed out by his hon. Friend the Member for Lowestoft (Sir Savile Crossley), and even the part of the county in which his hon. Friend resided was much more accessible to Ipswich than it was to Bury St. Edmund's. On the question of economy it had been pointed out that no buildings existed at either place suitable for the purpose of the County Council, and it seemed to him that to erect two buildings adequate for the business of the county would be extravagant and would meet with general condemnation. Further, he believed there was a very strong case for the unification of the county; and, notwithstanding the position taken up by the noble Lord, he hoped the Committee would consent to adopt the provision of the Bill as it stood, and not accept the Amendment of the noble Lord.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
said, although the clause conferring powers upon the County Councils stood practically in abeyance, yet there was still the hope held out of the extension to the County Councils of larger powers being conferred upon them—that was to say, some of those higher functions now discharged by the Government. When those higher powers were delegated they must take care that the County Council should not be too small. He thought it would be exceedingly necessary that the County Council should be large and dignified, and that an area should be established which would enable the Councils to deal with the larger questions which might be delegated to it.
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
said, this was not a question such as they would have to decide in the case of those small counties in the South of Scotland, three of which could be put into West Suffolk; and with reference to what had fallen from the hon. Member for Ipswich (Sir Charles Dalrymple), he thought the hon. Member take a very different view if the county of Bute was attacked in respect of its claim for separate representation. His hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich came down to that House, having nothing whatever to do with the administration of Suffolk, and opposed this Amendment. Ipswich was to have a Council of its own, and yet the hon. Member, who was only one of 1294 the Parliamentary Representatives of the town, owning not a rod of land in the county, came forward in opposition to this proposal. He thought the hon. Member was scarcely justified in taking up that position. West Suffolk contained very nearly 400,000 acres; it was larger than Monmouthshire, Rutlandshire and Huntingdonshire, and it was much larger than either of the two Divisions of Cambridgeshire under the Bill. The county of Suffolk was larger than the county of Sussex; West Suffolk had a rateable value of £600,000, and he said that the inhabitants were entitled to retain what they had long enjoyed—namely, a separate administration; and he hoped the Committee would agree to his proposal on the ground of economy, justice, and fairness.
§ SIR RICHARD PAGET (Somerset, Wells)
said, he thought that if the noble Lord was asking them to divide a county in which there was no division there would be no case whatever for the proposal; but the fact was that there existed two distinct divisions in the county of Suffolk, and the present case ran almost on all-fours with the other places named in the clause. He thought that the noble Lord's Amendment was very sound in principle, and he hoped it would be accepted.
§ MR. HENEAGE (Great Grimsby)
said, he could not agree that this case was on all-fours with those mentioned in the clause. But if the county was divided, it was quite clear, from the speeches they had heard on the Amendment, that the inhabitants were not at all agreed in which direction the county should be divided.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 130; Noes 157: Majority 27.—(Div. List, No. 213.)
On the Motion of Captain SELWYN, Amendment made, in page 37, line 12, at end, by inserting—
The Isle of Ely and the residue of the county of Cambridge shall be respectively separate administrative counties for the purposes of this Act, and are in this Act referred to as divisions of the county of Cambridge.
On the Motion of Mr. RITCHIE, Amendment made, in page 37, line 16, after "sessions," by inserting—
Or by any joint committee of the justices of such ridings or divisions, or otherwise jointly by such justices.
§ On the Motion of Colonel DAWNAY, Amendment made, in page 37, line 16, leave out from "or other" to "jointly," in line 18, inclusive, and insert "shall."
Amendment proposed, in page 37, line 24, leave out "and," and insert—
The administrative business which would, if this Act had not passed, have been transacted by any general sessions of the peace for the county of Sussex, and all matters under this Act which concern the two divisions of Sussex jointly shall be transacted by a joint committee of the respective county councils concerned."—(Sir Walter B. Barttelot.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, to add "Suffolk," after "Sussex," in lines 3 and 4.—(Lord Francis Hervey.)
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Further Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, in line 3, after "Suffolk," insert "or by any joint action of the quarter sessions of the divisions of the county of Cambridge;" and to add, after "Suffolk," in line 4, "or Cambridge."—(Captain Selwyn.)
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Original Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ On the Motion of Mr. RITCHIE, Amendment made, in page 37, line 23, leave out "the committee," and insert "a joint committee under this section;" and in page 37, line 35, leave out "three ridings and divisions," and insert "several administrative counties."
On the Motion of Colonel GUNTER, Amendment made, in page 37, line 35, leave out from "divisions" to "and," in line 37, and insert—
In such manner as is provided by law, or by the practice heretofore adopted, or in such other manner as may be from time to time agreed upon by the councils of the several administrative counties, or in default of agreement may, upon the application of any of such councils, be determined by arbitration in manner provided by this
and, at end of line 40, insert—
The powers, duties, and liabilities of the county authority, under 'The Yorkshire Registries Act, 1884,' and the Acts amending the same, shall, after the appointed day, be trans-
ferred to the county council, and the expression 'county authority' in those Acts shall mean, as respects each Riding, the county council of that Riding: Provided that any registrar holding office at the passing of this Act shall continue to be such registrar unless removed from his office by the county council with the sanction of the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.
On the Motion of Viscount CRANBORNE, Amendment made, in line 40, at end, by inserting the words—
(4.) In the application of this Act to Lancashire—
The provisions of this Act with respect to county rates shall apply to the special rates levied in Lancashire for the purposes of the salary of any chairman of quarter sessions or stipendiary justice, or for any assize courts, and such rates shall continue to be levied within the area within which they would have been levied if this Act had not passed.
On the Motion of Mr. RITCHIE, Amendment made, in page 38, line 7, at end, add—
In this section 'administrative business' means such business as is by this Act transferred from quarter sessions or justices, or any committee thereof, to county councils.
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 40 (Merger of liberties in county).
On the Motion of Mr. WOODALL, Amendment made, in page 38, leave out from end of line 37 to end of Clause, and insert—
But, save as by this Act expressly provided every such port, town, and member shall be in the same position and entitled to the same rights and privileges, and the powers, duties, and jurisdiction therein of quarter sessions, and of justices out of sessions, shall continue to be exerciseable in the same manner as if this Act had not been passed,
§ Clause, as amended, agreed to.