1. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £256,681, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1892, for such of the Salaries and Expenses of the Supreme Court of Judicature as are not charged on the Consolidated Fund.
§ (7.55.) MR. MORTON (Peterborough)
There are one or two items under subhead A upon which I desire information. First, I would like to know the meaning of the entry "Clerk of the Chamber, who acts as sealer," £400. Then I find Preacher at the Rolls Chapel, £180, and allowance for expenses, £45. I thought the Rolls Chapel was closed. It serves no purpose, for there is scarcely a congregation, and the few persons who attend may find a place of worship very close by. But I wait to hear what is to be said as to these two items, and meantime I formally move a reduction of the Vote by £100, part of the salary of "the Clerk of the Chamber, who acts as sealer."
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £100, part of the Salary of the Clerk of the Chamber."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid.)
We ought to get some information on these matters. It is known to the public, and recognised by the House of Commons, 321 at the salaries in this Vote are too nigh, and altogether in excess of work done. At the present day in these, I am glad to say, democratic times, the people want to know how it comes to pass that vast sums of money are voted year after year without explanation, except that these people have received appointments from officials in power. It is only reasonable that we should know why we vote the money. I also desire some information as to the duties of the Permanent Secretary and the Sergeant-at-Arms—
The hon. Member is now entering upon other items. A reduction has been moved in reference to the salary of the Clerk of the Chamber. Other items may be referred to subsequently, but this must first be disposed of.
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. JACKSON, Leeds, N.)
I will answer the hon. Member's second question first. The hon. Member asks about the salary of the Preacher at the Rolls Chapel—
§ MR. JACKSON
I understood the hon. Member for Peterborough to say that he waited for an answer to his two questions. However, in regard to the other officer, I have only to say that the question has been put and answered a great many times, and I do not know that I can give the hon. Member any special details about the duties of the office. It is an office necessary for the establishment; it is filled by a good officer, who is certainly entitled to his salary.
§ DR. TANNER
I should like to know what are the duties of the Clerk of the Chamber who acts as "Sealer." It seems to me that anyone could go about with a lump of sealing-wax—
§ DR. TANNER
Well, he gets £400 a year, and we want to know what he gets it for. We must remember that this is not our own money, but that of the British taxpayer.
§ MR. A. O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)
I shall vote for this reduction for the reason that I think this is one of a considerable number of appointments in connection with the Supreme Court of Judicature that are unnecessary, and as to which men are paid large salaries for merely nominal work. As an illustration of what I mean I would refer to the post of Sergeant-at-Arms. Only a few weeks ago, Mr. Justice Chitty being called on to commit some one for an offence, inquired whether this officer any longer existed, for he had not heard of him for many years. A formal inquiry had to be addressed to the Lord Chancellor to find out whether such an officer still existed. Subsequently, Mr. Justice Chitty, in open Court, stated as an interesting fact that there was such an official. This Vote is different from the rest of the Civil Service Estimates. It is the result of a long system of personal patronage in the hands of the Judges. No doubt the system has been considerably pruned and reduced of late years, but I cannot help thinking it will bear still further pruning. And I would point out that if we can economise on this Vote by doing away with unnecessary offices, we shall probably be able to find money for an additional Judge who, in the opinion of many persons, is very urgently required to prevent accumulation of arrears in the Courts. For this reason I will join in the Motion to reduce the Vote by the salary of the office of Clerk of the Chamber. If the Motion were carried I do not suppose that the gentleman who occupies this particular office would suffer. I suppose he would still be employed in doing some sort of work.
§ (8.5.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 38; Noes 60.—(Div. List, No. 376.)
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ (8.13.) DR. TANNER
I see that there is a personal allowance to the Sergeant-at-Arms of £96 a year. There is no reason why this should be given, as the gentleman who occupies this post also receives a sum of £300 under the 323 Vote as Clerk of the Crown. We have had many Divisions on this particular portion of the Estimates. Again and again in this House the hon. Member for Northampton has called attention to the swollen and plethoric state of these Estimates, and, accordingly, we have had this reduction moved from time to time. For my own part I fail to see why there should be a personal allowance to any Sergeant-at-Arms. I move to reduce the Vote by this £96, and would ask for a reasonable explanation of the item. If such explanation is not vouchsafed, I shall deem it to be my duty to put the House to the trouble of a Division not merely on this but on many Votes.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £96, personal allowance to present Serjeant-at Arms."—(Dr. Tanner.)
§ (8.17.) MR. JACKSON
I hope that it will be satisfactory to the hon. Member if I inform him that this item of charge will come to an end when the next vacancy in the office in question occurs. The officer who holds the post now has held it for some time.
§ DR. TANNER
I always like to have a reason. It seems that the Government regard this as an extraordinary Vote, and the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman shows that I was justified in moving the reduction—because if the item were a rational one, it would not expire on the retirement of the present holder of the office. I will take what the right hon. Gentleman has said as an answer, and will not divide the Committee.
§ MR. MORTON
I am not particular about going to a Division on this Vote now that we have heard the right hon. Gentleman's explanation, but I must say it is an outrageous Vote. The gentleman who gets this £96 receives a salary of £1,500.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ (8.20.) DR. CLARK ( Caithness
I wish to draw attention to the fact that the Lord Chancellor's Private Secretary is paid £200 a year for doing the work of the Secretary of Presentations, which office has been abolished.
§ MR. JACKSON
I beg the hon. Member's pardon. He is quite right. This official has to deal with the question of the livings that are in the gift of the Lord Chancellor. Speaking from my own knowledge, I can say that I know of no officials who are more hardly worked and who do their work more ably than this official. We certainly thought we were making an effective economical arrangement that would be best for the interests of the public. I think we should permit the Lord Chancellor to know something about the management of his own Department.
§ DR. CLARK
I am astonished at the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. This is an office that we agreed should be abolished altogether, and now that you have abolished it you are handing over the work to a Private Secretary. I am rather sceptical as to the information the right hon. Gentleman has received in regard to the amount of work that has to be done. However, the present Lord Chancellor may not be long in office, and it is very probable that the noble Lord who follows him will make a change.
§ (8.24.) MR. MORTON
I do not think we have received a satisfactory explanation of this matter. We ought to be told distinctly what this Gentleman does for this £200. This is one of 325 those extravagant sums that one is bound to protest against. I am sorry, especially at this time of the year, to be obliged to detain the Committee, but the only way to get reforms is to let the Government see—whatever Government may be in office—that we object to these payments. The only way in which we can protest is by moving a reduction of the Vote. I, therefore, move that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £200 a year.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £200, part of the Salary of the Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellor."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
This item affords a good illustration of the way in which work is done in these Departments. We find that the time of a man who gets £300 a year is so little taken up with the duties of his office that he can take upon himself the duties of another office for another £200 a year. This shows that formerly we had two men doing the work that ought to have been done by one. There is a Clerk of the Chamber, and I have no doubt if we went to the secretary to the Lord Chancellor and offered him the duties of that post for another £200 a year, he would accept them. I have not the least doubt that all round in these offices one man could do the work now done by three or four people.
§ (8.28.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 38; Noes 60.—(Div. List, No. 377.)
§ Original Question again proposed. (8.38.)
§ (9.10.) Notice taken, that 40 Members were not present; House counted, and 40 Members being found present,
§ MR. MORTON
I have to move a reduction of the Vote in respect to the Preacher at the Rolls Chapel, whose salary and allowances amount to £225. I understood the Rolls Chapel was to be closed, and whether it is closed or not I do not know; but I do know from my own knowledge that the chapel is not required and that this money is wasted. Not far off is the Church of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, and recently the church of the neighbouring parish was 326 pulled down as not being required. I have visited St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, and I know there are many vacant seats there, certainly quite sufficient accommodation for the congregation attending the Rolls Chapel—
§ MR. JACKSON
I am sure the hon. Gentleman will be glad to be reminded that this Session we passed an Act for the purpose of enabling us to abolish the office, and to get rid of the salary and expenses on the next vacancy.
§ MR. MORTON
I am very much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for the information, and that is a proof confirming what I say that this is an unnecessary expenditure. I do not wish to deprive the preacher of his salary, let him be transferred elsewhere, say to the East End of London; set him to work with this salary and I will offer no opposition. It is an unnecessary sum we are asked to vote. Can the Attorney General show us any reason why we should pass this Vote? The Financial Secretary is as such one of the most intelligent and best informed Gentlemen on the Government Bench, but upon this subject I suppose he knows nothing and has never been to this chapel—
§ MR. MORTON
I am glad to hear it, but still I should like to know from the Attorney General why the office is kept up for the present year. It is, in my opinion, an absolutely useless expenditure. I do not want to bandy words across the floor, it will make no difference to my mind; and as a public man I object to public money being paid away for nothing. I move to reduce the Vote by £225.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £225, Salary and Expenses of the Preacher at the Rolls Chapel."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ DR. TANNER
I have been to the church in question, and I know that it is attended by a very thin congregation, 327 and this is comparatively a large sum of money to vote for this purpose. I have opposed the Vote in former years, but now that we see our efforts have not been ineffectual, and that the Government have at last seen their error and intend to reduce this expenditure, I think my hon. Friend may rest satisfied. I hope the Government will deal with many other indefensible items of expenditure in the same way.
§ MR. MORTON
I should like to hear the explanation the Attorney General rose to make just now. After all, we do not know what is going to be done; an Act has been passed to enable something to be done, but we do not know that the Vote will not appear again next year.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Original question again proposed.
§ (9.15.) MR. A. O'CONNOR
I would ask the attention of the Financial Secretary to the particulars given in reference to the clerical staff in some of these Departments. Reductions, we are informed, are to be made as vacancies occur. Among the officers of the Lords Justices of Appeal here is a principal clerk, receiving a salary of £600, and this appointment is to be filled on the next vacancy with an officer at the reduced salary of £400, an admission that a third of the salary hitherto paid is unnecessary. Then a junior, at £200, is to be abolished on the next vacancy arising. Then, further on, I find the present salary of the official solicitor to the Supreme Court is to be reduced when the vacancy arises, and in the central office of the Supreme Court the office of Clerk of Enrolments is to be abolished at the next vacancy.
§ MR. A. O'CONNOR
I am dealing with the items as they appear on the Estimate. Then the additional salary to a Master of the Supreme Court, who acts as Registrar of acknowledgments by married women, is to cease with the next vacancy in the office. Then the 14 first class clerks in the central office of the Supreme Court are to be ultimately reduced to 10, and 35 second class clerks are to be reduced to 28. It is true that the third class clerks will be increased from 25 to 35, but on the 328 whole there is a very substantial reduction in numbers and in the amount of salaries to be charged. If that is the case, what is the justification for spending this money for salaries which you admit are not warranted? You admit that some 12 or 15 officials are not necessary, what, then, is the justification for keeping these gentlemen in their office? The history of the office of the Supreme Court is a curious one; half-a-dozen men can go on permanent leave for two years drawing full pay and doing absolutely no work. I admit this Estimate shows that the Government have been overhauling these Departments to a certain extent, but what I complain of, and there is good ground for the complaint, is that having found that many of the offices are overpaid considerably, and many of the offices not wanted at all, you still continue to keep them on the Estimate for the Department, practically wasting the public money. Then, what is the condition of the Departments themselves? There is an amount of arrears affecting litigants which is little short of scandalous. In the business of taxation of costs the condition is such that nobody who knows anything about it can justify. You have seven taxing masters, but such is the state of taxation, especially during the long vacation, that solicitors have to wait months when they have passed July. The Attorney General knows that perfectly well. Now, seeing there is so much money unnecessarily expended, seeing that it is admitted there are more officers than are required in some Departments, surely it is reasonable to suggest that prompt measures should be taken to utilise the means that are available to enable suitors to get their business despatched with a little more celerity. If you have officers not at present employed, why not transfer them to other Departments? Shall I be told that once a man enters the Civil Service in one Department he must be looked upon as perfectly useless for any other Department for the rest of his life, unless he happens to be a private secretary, and then he can be transferred to a good post at the top of the Customs or the Excise, without experience or qualification for the post? Cannot the men in the subordinate position of junior clerks be transferred to Departments 329 where there is work for them? Additions are made to the various grades of the Civil Service day after day, and with each appointment you increase the amount of vested interest. Why not transfer the redundant clerks from one Department to another as vacancies occur; why go on making fresh appointments of men who will qualify for pensions and, perhaps, in turn become redundant? The whole of this Vote is open to observations of this kind, and I would ask the Secretary to the Treasury, or the Attorney General if it lies within his province, to give us some explanation why it is that admittedly excessive charges are still allowed to be presented under this Vote?
§ (9.23.) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (SIR R. WEBSTER, Isle of Wight)
I do not demur to the criticisms of the hon. and learned Member, which are based on sound principles, but if he thinks those principles have not been regarded and to a large extent adopted by the Government in relation to these matters, I can assure him he is mistaken. If the hon. and learned Member will compare the Estimates of two or three years ago with the present Estimates, he will find there have been large reductions in the number of clerks and in the public expenditure, and these reductions have been carried out with caution and foresight. Following suggestions made in Debate, a Committee was a short time ago appointed to consider these matters, and this Committee made certain recommendations as to the way in which and the time at which changes in the Central Office should be brought about, and changes in the staff and arrangements have been made in accordance with the recommendations of the Committee. If there had been an attempt to affect changes by wholesale reductions or transfers, we should at once have had complaints of inefficiency in the services. I quite agree with the hon. and learned Member that it is possible and desirable that clerks should be transferred from one Department to another Department where assistance is required, but such a transfer can only be made gradually. I heartily sympathise with the hon. and learned Member in his remarks on the delay in the Taxation Department; there are many complaints, and I know they are well founded, but the hon. Member must allow that this is a class 330 of work to which we cannot appoint inexperienced clerks, and he knows there have been complaints of inequality in taxation, and this inequality has arisen from inexperience. I hope there will be a greater amalgamation of Taxing Masters' Offices, with a saving of time and equalisation of work. This is a matter which has been considered by the Committee, and it has not been lost sight of by the Government. As to the transfer of clerks from one Department to another, there are, of course, always technical difficulties in the way, and I may mention that a large number of the redundancies and future reductions to which the hon. Member has called attention are personal appointments of the Judges, simply a matter of reduction, the officers not being available for other kind of work. It is a matter that is not lost sight of, but we must take care not to transfer men to do work that requires training and experience. What the hon. Member has said deserves and has received attention, but the matter has to be watched with reference to tabulated scales of payment, and I think anyone who has followed the changes made in the central offices during the last four-or five years must admit, and it has been admitted by hon. Members who have previously attacked the administration in regard to these matters, that by economy of labour there has been a saving of expenditure without loss of efficiency in the work. Indeed, I am not sure that in a few years we may not find we have reduced the staff a little too much. I can assure the hon. Member that the object he has in view is by no means lost sight of.
§ *(9.28.) MR. T. H. BOLTON (St. Pancras, N.)
I fully agree with the hon. and learned Member for Donegal as to the desirability of employing the redundant clerks in one Department to assist in the work of another Department.
§ MR. JACKSON
We have no power to do that in cases where the appointment is that of personal clerk to the Judges. Those are the appointments to which reference has been made, and they are to be abolished on the next vacancy.
§ *MR. T. H. BOLTON
Surely clerks may be transferred from offices where there is not sufficient work for the staff 331 to other Departments where there is work for them to do. If the Government have not that simple power of transfer, the sooner they come to Parliament and obtain that power the better for the public service. I do not for a moment suggest that the Government are not endeavouring to carry out, as far as they can, what they clearly appreciate as the wish of Parliament in this matter; but they seem to me to be disposed rather too much to recognise the claims of vested interest of clerks in the particular offices they hold and the discharge of the particular duties they now perform. Many of these gentlemen have legal knowledge and legal training which might be availed of in the Inland Revenue Department of Somerset House to the assistance of officials there. If they were transferred from one Department to another when there was a press of work, they could not reasonably object, and the public service would be benefited. As to the Taxing Office, there are occasional delays, but I am bound to say, from long experience of the office, that generally there is reasonable expedition.
§ (9.31.) MR. MORTON
It appears to me that the transference of clerks from one office to another might be very easily accomplished. I shall be told that one gentleman cannot do another's work. On page 209 I find provision for third-class clerks. Two of these officers receieve fixed salaries of £300, and one receives £260. One of these receives 4s. 8d. per diem as a retired Naval Lieutenant. If a sailor can do a lawyer's work, surely there would be no difficulty in transferring a gentleman from the Chancery Division to the Queen's Bench Division. The other night we were told a sailor was the best man we could have as a Veterinary Inspector. I suppose that now we shall be told that a sailor is the best man we can have to do legal work. Now, I want information as to the Clerk of Enrolments—
§ MR. MORTON
That is exactly the answer I got to the question I put on the subject, and, therefore, I want to know what business the item has in the account at all? Lord Romilly died some months ago, and therefore—
I have laid it down more than once that hon. Gentlemen who propose to discuss the Estimates are bound to bring some intelligence and knowledge of the subject to their consideration. The hon. Member ought to be well aware that the Estimates were prepared months before Lord Romilly's death. The salary will, of course, not be paid subsequent to Lord Romilly's death.
§ MR. MORTON
I should have thought the Secretary to the Treasury would have at once suggested that the item be struck out. There is an unfortunate practice of making use of money voted under one head to supply a deficiency under another head. I do not desire to detain the Committee unnecessarily; but with the view of settling this question and getting the principal part of this item removed from the Vote, I beg to move—
The hon. Member is trifling with the Committee. The salary will only be paid up to the death of Lord Romilly. The surplus cannot be paid to anyone else or used for any purpose that is not shown on the Estimates.
§ MR. A. O'CONNOR
On a point of order, may I remind the Committee that on a previous occasion it was ascertained that, instead of there being four Official Referees, there were, in fact, only three. The Government submitted to a reduction of the Estimate by £1,500 on the ground that that sum was admittedly not required. Therefore, I ask you, Sir, whether it is not open to any Member of the Committee, on finding that an office has been abolished on the death of the holder, to move the reduction of the Vote by the amount of the salary formerly paid?
Undoubtedly it is open to any Member to move a reduction of the Vote, but I have expressed the opinion that in this instance it would he trifling with the Committee to do so, inasmuch as this money cannot be paid.
§ (9.44.) DR. TANNER
I should like to hear from the Secretary to the Treasury 333 whether any steps have been taken to carry out the recommendations of the Comptroller and Auditor General in reference to the Registrar's Office of the Chancery Division. The Comptroller and Auditor General condemned the system of farming out the copying in this office. He considered the system of payment open to serious objection.
§ MR. JACKSON
I imagine that the sum is for the contractor who supplies refreshments at the office merely.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I wish to tender my thanks to the Attorney General for the handsome way in which he has recognised the efforts of the Opposition to reduce the Estimates. At Wisbech I stated that, although we were in a minority, yet, by our pertinacity with regard to the Estimates, we had forced the Government to make considerable reductions, and to waste a little less money than is ordinarily the case with Governments. I wish to thank the hon. Gentleman for having confirmed what I said at Wisbech in this handsome manner.
§ DR. TANNER
I want some assurance as to the expenditure on the Central Office of the Supreme Court. How does it come to pass that there is an increase of £422?
§ (9.50.) THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Mr. GOSCHEN, St. George's, Hanover Square)
We have now been on this Vote since 8 o'clock and have not yet reached the only notice of reduction, namely, that in the name of the hon. Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Pickersgill). I think the time has arrived when I may appeal to hon. Members to let us make real progress with the Vote. If so much time is to be devoted to every sub-head in the Estimates as is being devoted to the sub-heads of this Vote, it is impossible to close the Session in a reasonable time. I make no reproach; but I would appeal to hon. Gentlemen in the interest of the Committee generally to allow us to make Progress.
§ DR. TANNER
I understand from the Papers that very few hon. Members will be present next week, and, therefore, I think I am justified in raising these points when there is a comparatively good attendance of Members. I assure the right hon. Gentleman the points I have raised are points that were raised in the Public Accounts Committee.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
On his own showing, the hon. Gentleman is keeping other hon. Members from the opportunity of raising important questions in which they are interested. I beg of him to give way and let other hon. Members have a chance.
§ DR. TANNER
I will answer the right hon. Gentleman in the words of the First Lord of the Treasury: Duty to the country should be the first and paramount factor in dealing with all matters in Committee of Supply. I am trying to do my duty, and I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to assist me: our united efforts may have results beneficial to the taxpayers.
§ MR. MORTON
I suppose that some answer will be given on the points which have been raised. I notice that one Taxing Master gets a salary of £2,000. Why does that gentleman get £500 more than the specified maximum? I should be glad to fall in with the Chancellor of the Exchequer's view, but I agree with my hon. Friend (Dr. Tanner) that we are here to do a certain duty: 335 we are pledged to economy, and it is our business to get these Estimates reduced.
§ DR. TANNER
In respect of the Central Office of the Supreme Court, I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by the amount of the increase, £422.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Sub-head A, be reduced by £422, in respect of the Central Office of the High Court of Judicature."—(Dr. Tanner.)
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
The reason why one of the Taxing Masters receives £2,000 a year is that he held his office before the new rule under which the salaries were reduced came into force.
§ Question put, and negatived.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ (9.57.) MR. S. T. EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)
I should like to draw attention to the method of appointing Clerks of Assize. At present, the Judge who happens to go the circuit before a vacancy occurs has the appointment absolutely in his own discretion. The Judge may have a son, or a brother, or a brother-in-law, or some other relative at the Bar whom he appoints. There is no circuit where you could not select from the barristers a fit person to be Clerk of Assize. I think it is very hard on them that some man should be appointed who, perhaps, never had any practice as a barrister. I should be glad if the Attorney General would explain the system of payment.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
Speaking from a knowledge of these appointments extending over 25 years, with one exception all the gentlemen appointed have been practising barristers. I do not say there have not been instances in which Judges have appointed relatives of their own, but I am not aware of any instance in which the duties have been inefficiently performed. Clerks of Assize used to be paid by fees, and the fees amounted to larger sums than the salaries now paid; that is why there is a difference in the salaries. On the Northern Circuit, where the fees amounted to a very large sum, a higher salary was paid than in other cases.
§ MR. S. T. EVANS
I presume that with the exception of the Northern Circuit the salaries in future will not exceed £800.
§ (10.2.) MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
I put down a notice of reduction of Sub-head F, but I believe it will not be necessary to move the reduction, or indeed to detain the Committee more than a minute or two, as the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury has very courteously informed me he will be able to give a favourable reply in regard to the particular mischief against which my Amendment is directed. But I do desire to point to the very gross delay which has occurred in dealing with an exceedingly lax disposition of public money. In this Vote there is an item of £3,000 for the Scrivener of the Chancery Registrar's Office. Tear after year £3,000 has been shovelled out to the officer of that Department, and no kind of account rendered by him as to the way he has disposed of it. We do not know how much is retained by this gentleman—I do not say corruptly—for his own remuneration, and how much actually reaches the hands of the very poor class of law writers, who probably do a good deal of the work for which this money is voted. I rely upon the statement which the right hon. Gentleman has made that the system will be altered, but I think I am justified in calling attention to the extraordinary delay which has occurred in dealing with what is now admitted to be a great mischief. In 1884 the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Treasury called attention to this matter, and in January, 1890, a Committee reported to the Lord Chancellor. That distinguished functionary knew in January, 1890, of this scandalously lax disposition of public money, and yet it appears that more than a year afterwards, namely, in February, 1891, the same lax system was continued. I think some explanation should be given by the right hon. Gentleman of that delay, especially as its seems to reflect somewhat on the care with which the Lord Chancellor discharges his duty.
§ DR. TANNER
I think it is high time we received an assurance that 337 the system to which my hon. Friend has drawn the attention of the Committee will be changed.
§ (10.10.) MR. JACKSON
It is a fact that a Committee was appointed, and that this Committee reported to the effect stated by the hon. Member for Bethnal Green. Arrangements have been made by which the present system of having the work done by law stationers will be discontinued, and 40 copyists will be employed. Some preliminary matters are now under consideration, but the Lord Chancellor sanctioned the alteration in April last. It has been necessary to give notice to the law stationers of the termination of the present arrangement, and I understand the new system will come into operation after the Long Vacation.
§ DR. TANNER
Another item calls for mention under Sub-head (G), the allowance to a Master in Lunacy £500, and allowances to Visitors of Lunatics £1,400. These are altogether on an extravagant scale, and two years ago the matter was under consideration. Really it is so difficult to get these reforms carried out that we must incur the risk of being a little tedious in Committee. I wish to ask if any steps have been taken to give effect to the opinion expressed by the Parliamentary Accounts Committee?
§ DR. TANNER
But are we to get no assurance on this matter? It is rather an extraordinary state of affairs. I do not wish to be troublesome, but I must press for something more satisfactory, and perhaps I had better move a reduction. I regret to find that the right hon. Gentleman, departing from the courtesy with which he usually replies, will give us no assurance that the recommendations of the Committee will be carried out.
§ MR. JACKSON
I should have thought it would not have been necessary to give any assurance of the kind. I thought it was well known that the recommendations of the Committee have been taken in detail by the Treasury and dealt with, each item in order. I 338 should have thought no assurance was necessary.
§ DR. TANNER
But I wish to avoid delay. The last item was under consideration for seven or eight years, and meanwhile waste of expenditure goes on annually.
§ MR. MORTON
I observe an item under Sub-head H, £47 for a licence for the refreshment contractor at the Law Courts. A short time ago we discussed the question of having a refreshment bar in the Lobby of this House, and whether a licence was necessary in a Royal Palace. May I ask what this new item means? Has it been found necessary to apply to the Magistrate for a refreshment licence?
§ MR. MORTON
Then the Magistrates have licensed the Royal Courts of Justice as if the building were an ordinary restaurant in the Strand.
§ (10.15.) DR. TANNER
I hope satisfactory measures have been taken to prevent those defalcations which in recent years we have had to provide for, and which last year amounted to £1,287 16s. 6d. There is also an item under Sub-head K, Central Office compensations, for which £325 is the amount asked for this year, as against £265 last year. In order to get some satisfactory explanation and assurance, I move the reduction of the Vote by £200.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item R Central Office Compensations, be reduced by £200."—(Dr. Tanner.)
§ MR. JACKSON
The explanation is simply this: There have been reductions in the higher appointments and an increase in the lower appointments.
§ DR. TANNER
This generalisation is far from being satisfactory. I feel indignant at the attempt to shuffle out of responsibility by the Treasury, and I must persist in my Motion.
§ (10.18.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 41; Noes 91.—(Div. List, No. 378.)
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.339
2. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £2,068, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1892, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Land Registry.
§ (10.25.) MR. MORTON
Here there are two items upon which I ask for a little information. A temporary professional assistant is engaged at 40 guineas a month, and his temporary employment seems to come near a permanent engagement, for he is employed for every month in the year. This I do not quite understand. Then, I find a clerk is in receipt of a salary of £350, while the maximum of the office he holds is set down at £250. The amount now paid is personal to the present holder of the office, but there are far too many of these personal claims; they are unfair to the taxpayers and to the Committee, and it is an absurdity that a maximum should be fixed, and yet officers be in receipt of salaries far in excess of the maximum amount attached to the offices they hold. To get information on these points I move the reduction of the Vote by £200. I am told there is little work for the office to do, yet there is temporary assistance paid for.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £200."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ DR. TANNER
I may point out that this Vote shows a steady annual increase. It is £3,568 as compared with £3,553 last year, and turning to the previous year I find the amount was £3,375. How does this come to pass?
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
The hon. Member is under some misapprehension. Not only is this Vote not increasing, but large reductions have been made in it. During recent years considerable modifications have taken place in the office, so that, whereas between 1880 and 1886 the expense was as much as an average of £5,500, it has, under the re-organistion scheme carried out by the present Lord Chancellor, been reduced to about £3,000 during the last 340 two years. The increase of £15 on the present year is due to the fact that one clerk has become entitled to that increment on his salary. Of the clerks on the staff, one receives a maximum of £250, and the other a maximum of £400; but there is now holding the office worth £250 a clerk who under a higher scale is entitled to £350, and this item cannot be reduced until a vacancy occurs. As to the temporary assistance, it was necessary in consequence of large reductions made in the staff, and to enable the particular work for which professional assistance was engaged to be completed, the temporary assistance has been continued for 12 months.
§ (10.30.) MR. HALDANE (Haddington)
I am unable to agree that this is a useless office. I regard it as the nucleus of a reformed land transfer system. I only want to know whether steps are being taken to bring the officials of this office and the Middlesex Registry under the same roof, and what progress is being made?
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
Not only are these steps being taken, but arrangements are being made to carry out the work of both offices by the same staff. We have brought in a Bill this Session to enable economonies to be brought about by transferring the fees to the Treasury. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Lord Chancellor is doing all he can to promote the efficiency of the staff. I do not think it will be too large for the work which has to be done.
§ MR. MORTON
These charges having gone down for some years I notice are now going up. I hope they will not go up much further. I agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman on my right who spoke about land registration. I have taken a great interest in that question, because in the colonies I have seen it carried out to perfection. I should like to see the colonial system adopted in this country, so that you could have your property transferred for a small fee. I do not think that would suit many hon. and learned Gentlemen, but it would be to the advantage of the public. After the statement we have heard from the 341 Attorney General, I beg to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ 3. £391,100, to complete the sum for County Courts.
§ *(10.34.) SIR W. PLOWDEN (Wolverhampton, W.)
I wish to draw the attention of the Committee and of the hon. and learned Gentleman in charge of the Vote to the condition of the County Courts of England and Wales, so far as it is disclosed by the Annual Returns sent to us, the last of which was issued about 10 days ago. That Return is not altogether complete, because it does not give information on some points which are really of value, and on which I think information should be given. For instance, it does not tell us the average duration of the cases, nor does it give us the dates of the cases. But, though not absolutely complete, it gives us a large amount of information, and I am bound to say that that information does not lead us to a very happy conclusion. When the Act of 1846, which re-constituted the County Courts, was passed, there was a statement inserted in one of the sections which showed that one of the main reasons for re-construction was the dilatory and expensive character of the working of the Courts in former days. Of course, in the 45 years that have elapsed there must necessarily have been a great improvement in this matter, but still there is room for further improvement, and it is my duty to impress on the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General the desirability of enforcing that improvement. The Return recently laid on the Table brings out several points very conspicuously. One is the expensive character of these Courts; another is the small number of days in the year that they sit; and another which must be taken into consideration in connection with the second point is that there 342 is a very large amount of arrears. The Return is conclusive on these points. Turning first of all to the expensive character of the Courts, I find on looking at the Return that out of somewhat less than £3,000,000 claimed somewhere about £1,500,000 has been decreed, and to obtain this sum no less than £543,000 had to be spent; that is to say, roughly speaking, for every £3 recovered £1 has to be spent by the suitors in fees. I do not press the point for I am afraid that the whole of our litigation is of an expensive character. But this is a matter which should be taken account of. But as to the other two points I would press them as strongly as I can on the attention of the hon. and learned Gentleman. One would think that it would be a fair allowance to make to these Courts to give them a vacation of a couple of months, and I am justified in that conclusion by the fact that in the legislation of, I think, 1888, there is a section which provides for a certain period of vacation for these Courts, and which indicates the time at which the vacation should be obtained. In that section it was provided that no Judge should be obliged to hold any Courts in September in any year, but that if he did not wish to take advantage of that one month, he might, with the consent of the Lord Chancellor, take any other period, or periods, but that the vacation was not to exceed four weeks in any year. I would allow a period double that which I say is a liberal allowance. Now, allowing a period of a couple of months' vacation, and giving the Sundays in the year in which no work is done, there remain out of the 365 days a little over 250 working days in the year. But in this list there is only one Court which sat more than 250 days in the year, and that was the Court of Northumberland. I find that taking the whole of the 55 Courts the average number of days during which they have sat during the past year has been 164. And this is not all, because there are few cases where the average has been exceeded, and some of the cases where the average has not been reached are very conspicuous. There is one case where the Court sat for 104 days only. That is to say, this Court sat four months out of 12. Another sat 109 days. There are 11 343 cases out of the 55 where the Courts have not sat for more than one-third of the whole year. Well, one could understand this if you also found that the work of the Courts had been effectually disposed of, but that is not the case. These Courts, which sit for such a short time, have left an enormous amount of arrears, and it is curious to observe that, whereas you would expect to find that where a Court has sat a short time only, a small amount of arrears would be left, and where a Court has been largely employed a large amount of arrears would remain, the reverse has been the case. The Courts that have sat the smallest number of days have left the largest number of arrears. I think that is a most unsatisfactory state of things, to which the attention of the responsible officers of the Crown should certainly be directed. We have seven Courts which last year sat over 200 days. These had a total of 159,000 cases entered; they disposed of 101,000, and there were pending at the close of the year 57,000. That is to say, the percentage of arrears on the number of cases decided was 57. But in the case of the 11 Courts I have referred to, where the number of days during which the Court has sat has been less than 134—and in some cases less than 110—though the Courts are nearly double in number, they had a less number of cases entered in them, and they decided a less number of cases than these seven Courts, and they left a larger number of cases pending, namely, 59,800, against 57,000. This shows a very unsatisfactory condition of things, and, further, I am told that these Courts are supervised by nobody. The Returns from some of the Circuits show a great disparity between the number of cases entered and the number disposed of, while the sittings are few in comparison with the work to be done and the expenditure incurred. In Northumberland the Court sat 262 days, in Birmingham it sat 202 days, and yet in Birmingham they have decided 28,809 cases, and they have 14,345 pending; whereas in Northumberland only 7,940 cases have been decided, and 4,118 are pending. I must call particular attention to the case of Taunton, which sat only for 130 days in the year. There were 7,980 cases entered, 3,840 were disposed of, and 4,140 344 are left pending; so that absolutely in regard to the number of cases decided the number of cases pending is in the proportion of 108 to 100. And there is a worse case than this—that of Bath and Devizes, which sat for only 123 days during the year, where the number of cases entered was 12,386, the number decided 5,864, and the number left pending 6,522. When you find such a state of things as this existing, I say your whole system is faulty. The facts show that the whole system requires supervision, and this might be facilitated if the Judges were required to report upon the causes of the varying conditions of business in their circuits. That is a thing with which we are familiar in other Courts, and I do not see why it should not be done in the case of County Court Judges. Arrangements might be made for Judges who are underworked to assist those who are overworked. I do not move any reduction in the Vote, but have only made use of the notice on the Paper in order to call the attention of the Committee to this matter. I trust I shall receive an assurance from the hon. and learned Gentleman the Attorney General that the subject will be pressed seriously on the attention of the Lord Chancellor, so as to secure greater efficiency, more continuous sittings of the Judges, and less heavy arrears of cases pending at the close of the year.
§ (10.50.) MR. ATHERLEY-JONES (Durham, N.W.)
I rise for the purpose of asking a question or two of the Attorney General with regard to any projected reforms he may have in his mind with reference to County Courts. The period of the Session will not permit, me to go at any length into the question, and I have no intention of doing so. I desire to ask, however, whether the Government have in view any redistribution of the circuits of the County Courts. As has been pointed out, there are many County Courts in which the work is very heavy indeed, while in others the Judges do not sit more than 100 days a year, and it is desirable that an effort should be made in the direction of re-distributing the 345 circuits. The Judges of the High Court sit, I think, a period of something like 213 days, and it certainly does seem an intolerable state of things that the County Court Judges in all the districts, who receive high salaries, should only sit, in something like 30 cases out of the 55, not much more than 100 days a year. I do not blame the County Court Judges for that. They have not the work. But I do blame the Treasury, who should long ore this have made some effort in the direction of redistributing the circuits. Something has been urged in former years as to the considerable amount of time which is spent by the County Court Judges in travelling. In some circuits time spent by Judges in travelling might be reduced by having fewer Court towns within a limited area. Take the case of Essex for instance. In that county you have no less than three towns with a trunk line of railway, distant some 24 miles from each other. Surely it would be a simple matter to arrange that the Court should sit in one of these towns to take the cases for the three. As to the expense of the County Courts, I would point out that the larger part of the outgoings in connection with the High Court of Justice is defrayed out of the public taxes, but in the case of the County Court, the money comes from the fees of the suitors and from stamps. The fees in the County Courts are nearly 100 per cent. higher than in the High Court of Justice, and the pressure of the fees on litigants deters people from seeking justice in what is understood to be the poor man's Court. Then, there is another point on which I would ask the hon. and learned gentleman the Attorney General to give us an assurance, and that is as to the amendment of the law with regard to imprisonment for debt. An amazing number of commitments is made by County Court Judges, but apparently upon no recognised principle. I have suggested the introduction of a measure laying down the principle that a man shall be committed only if he had sufficient means to pay the debt at the time the summons was taken out. I am told that the application of the Act in its present form operates most harshly. Another point to which I wish to call attention is this: there has been a large accession of work to some Courts through 346 the passing of the Employers' Liability and other Acts, and it might be desirable to centralise some of the special work, and to increase the judicial staff for the purpose, especially in the Metropolis. There are many other topics I should like to refer to, but at this period of the Session I will not do more than venture to put these questions to the hon. Member, and ask him if he can give us some assurance in the matter.
§ *(10.57.) MR. T. H. BOLTON
I would urge on the hon. and learned Gentleman the desirability of rearranging the County Court districts in the Metropolis, particularly in the north of London for the convenience of Islington and St. Pancras, where there has been a large increase of population since the present arrangements were made. I am told that it is proposed to establish a County Court at Hampstead, and that a Petition has been presented on the subject. But I would venture to suggest that a Court is much more required in the northern part of St. Pancras.
§ MR. S. T. EVANS
This question is a very large one, and I do not apologise for taking part in the discussion. One point has been omitted by the hon. Members who have spoken, and that is the position of the salaries of the Registrars. My hon. Friend near me drew attention to the fees of the County Courts and the high salaries of the Judges. Well, I venture to say that on the whole the County Court Judges are not overpaid, but some of the Registrars are, their income from fees being more than the salaries of the Judges. The County Court work of the country is becoming more important every year. Not a year passes without the passing of fresh legislation, imposing new duties on the County Courts. We have, for instance, now given them work to do in connection with the collection of the tithe: and I am not sure that it would not be a wise economy to increase the salaries of the Judges so that we might get the most competent men for the appointments and might have a claim on them to give up all their time to their official duties. 347 As to the inequality in the number of days that the Judges sit, I can assure hon. Gentleman that in some eases the Judges have to spend a considerable time in travelling, and it would, therefore, be well to consider whether some of that time could not be saved for effective work by a re-distribution of the circuits. There ought, in my opinion, to be two scales of costs in County Courts, one scale for defended, and the other for undefended cases. At present, if a grocer has to collect a debt of 10s. by the operation of the machinery of the County Court, the fees must amount to 3s., although the case is undefended. Similarly, in an undefended case for the recovery of £2 10s., the fees payable by the defendant amount to 21s. The time has come when the fees should be rearranged, distinct scales being provided for defended and for undefended cases. With respect to the question of imprisonment for debt, I do not think that anything can be better than the present arrangement. The County Court Judges exercise their power of committal for contempt of Court in respect of the non-payment of debts with the greatest caution. They do not commit unless they are satisfied that a defendant absolutely refuses to pay, although he is in a position to do so. They are exceedingly anxious to protect the liberty of the subject. I think my hon. Friend ought not to look merely at the number of committal orders, for in not one out of 10 does the defendant eventually go to prison. The orders simply act as an instrument for getting the money out of the debtor.
§ (11.3.) SIR R. WEBSTER
I do not deny the importance of this subject, but I hope my hon. Friend will be content with the protest he has made and the answer I have to make. I agree that it would probably be well to revise the scale of costs so as to lower them in cases where the amounts sought to be recovered are very small. It is scarcely fair to compare the expense with the amount recovered, for there is a large amount of work done in connection with unrecovered debts. To the criticisms that have been made with respect to the 348 number of days on which certain County Court Judges sit, I will reply by pointing out that the time occupied in travelling through a circuit must be taken into account. Circuit 57, for example, comprises Axminster, Barnstaple, Bridge-water, Wellington, Landport, South Molton, Taunton, Tiverton, and other towns. To get to these different Courts must naturally occupy a considerable amount of time. The question of the revision of the circuits is, however, one which the Government always keep in view. Changes can only be effected conveniently when vacancies occur in the judicial staff, but whenever opportunities arise steps are taken with a view to consolidate the Courts in such a way as to promote economy. A suggestion has been made by the hon. Member for Durham that in one particular county two Courts out of three shall be abolished. Such a suggestion would not be acceded to lightly by any one who knows how great a howl is heard in a locality whenever it is proposed that a Court should be abolished. I have myself received many letters complaining of the infrequency of the sittings of certain County Courts. It must be remembered that this Court is a poor man's Court, and it should be brought as nearly as possible to his door. I am not prepared to say that some Judges might not put in some more days' work in a week; but the question is not one that could be disposed of by mere criticism. Judges who are certainly not open to the imputation of shirking their work have told me that they frequently have to travel one whole day in order to sit for two hours on the following day. If they do not sit once a week or once a fortnight in certain places an outcry is at once raised, although there may be no urgent work to be got through. As to the time taken in getting through the work, I have known a case to last several hours, and then 30 cases to be got through in one hour. I have practised in the County Court where I have seen a distinguished Judge dispose of 60 or 70 cases in an hour with perfect satisfaction. The hon. Member for St. Pancras has urged a re-organisation of the Courts in London. I hardly think the question a pressing one, because locomotion in London is exceedingly 349 cheap, and if there is a Court within a mile, or mile and a half, of a litigant's residence he has not much to complain of. Under the County Courts Act all the newly-appointed Judges must reside in their districts, and under the same Act provision is made against Registrars receiving excessive remuneration, which formerly undoubtedly took place in some instances. I know of some Courts where the Registrar received more than the Judge. This, however, has been put an end to by the Act of 1888, and I do not anticipate there will be any such abuses in the future. I think I have answered all the points raised.
§ *(11.14.) SIR W. PLOWDEN
The Judge to whom I alluded to as having sat only 104 days was the Carmarthen Judge. On that circuit there are only six places of Session. The Taunton Court has no less than 13 Sessional places. It is clear, from a comparison of these two Courts, that it is not the mere difficulty in travelling which interferes with the number of days the Judges sit. If that were so, Taunton would be in a worse position than Carmarthen. But that is not so. Taunton is better than Carmarthen, though hampered with almost double the number of places of sitting. Surely he might occupy his time more fully in the interests of the public.
SIR G. CAMPBELL&c.) (Kirkcaldy,
I have noticed that there is very great inequality in the work of the County Court Judges. Their functions are not sufficiently supervised, and I am glad, therefore, to hear the Attorney General promise on behalf of the Government to re-arrange the circuits.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
What I said was that the desirability of doing so should be borne in mind when vacancies occurred.
§ SIR G. CAMPBELL
I am afraid that excessive regard is paid to vested rights. It seems to be assumed that when once a man is appointed to an office it is necessary to consider his position tenderly, and that no change can be made. If the circuits can only 350 be re-arranged when a vacancy arises, it seems to me it will be necessary to wait for the re-arrangement until four or five County Court Judges die simultaneously, for no change can be made in the event of one vacancy without disturbing the arrangements in adjoining circuits.
§ MR. MORTON
I suppose the reduction in the amount of the Vote is due to the changes regarding bankruptcy. What has astonished me is that although the receipts have exceeded £400,000 there has been a loss of £100,000. How can that be explained? I know that the business in the City of London Court is so well managed that it is transacted at a profit. Why should not the other Courts be similarly managed? I have no desire to move the reduction of the Vote.
§ (11.21.) MR. P. STANHOPE (Wednesbury)
I should like to draw attention to the increasing practice of sons of County Court Judges practising in the Courts over which their fathers preside.
§ MR. P. STANHOPE
I was going to suggest that the Lord Chancellor, when appointing County Court Judges (whose salaries are included in this Vote) should suggest the impropriety of such a practice.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
With regard to the point raised by the hon. Member for Peterborough, I may point out that the position of the City of London Court is unique. It is worked at a profit because so enormous a number of undefended causes come before it. That is the Court in which I have seen from 60 to 100 cases disposed of in an hour. But the Provincial Courts do not get anything like the amount of business that passes through the City of London Court. In many the number of cases dealt with does not exceed 500 in a year, whereas in the City of London Court the number is 30,000 or 40,000. It is impossible to impose on suitors in the country Courts fees which would be 351 sufficient to ensure the working of the Courts at a profit.
§ (11.26.) MR. MORTON
Is it not on account of the superior management in the City of London Court that the profit arises?
§ MR. MORTON
I would suggest that Parliament should be asked to transfer the management of these Courts to County Councils and Corporations; then, possibly, a profit would be obtained, as in the City of London.
§ SIR R. WEBSTER
There is a fixed allowance—3d. per mile by rail, 2s. per mile by road, and an allowance of 21s. per day.
4. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £13,047, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1892, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Police Courts of London and Sheerness.
§ *(11.28.) MR. T. H. BOLTON
I wish to call attention to the necessity of a Police Court for Pancras. At the present time the Courts serving that district are situate outside it. Some cases are taken to Highgate, some to the North London Police Court, some to Clerkenwell, and some to Marylebone. All these Courts are excessively inconvenient for the populous portion of St. Pancras. I would suggest that there might be some re-arrangement of the Courts in the West Central District. There are three Courts close together—Bow Street, Marlborough Street, and Westminster—and one of these might be removed 352 to St. Pancras. There are three Magistrates at Bow Street, and two at each of the other two Courts, and I have not heard that they are overworked. I would suggest that one Court might be transferred to St. Pancras with great advantage to the public. I wish to thank the Home Secretary for the courtesy with which he received this suggestion when it was made to him privately some time ago. I believe the change I have suggested is a public necessary, and in the interests of my constituents I hope it will be effected.
§ DR. CLARK
I understand that for these London Courts Parliament pays nearly £91,000 a year, and that £20,000 is received back in fees. I think we have cause to complain that the Imperial Exchequer should have to pay £70,000 for the London Police Courts, while every other large town in the United Kingdom pays for its own. The only course to adopt is to vote against the charge every year; then, possibly, we may in time get rid of this grievance.
§ (11.32.) MR. WEBSTER (St. Pancras, E.)
I should like to say a few words in support of the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for North St. Pancras. The population of St. Pancras numbers, I believe, 300,000; it is a population which, to some extent, works together, and has local interests. May I point out that the persons who find their way into the London Police Courts are not always Londoners; that a good many of them are individuals from the country; and that, consequently, there is a reason for charging the expense on the Imperial Exchequer? The present arrangements for St. Pancras are very inconvenient to those who have from time to time to attend the Police Court; and though there is no district in London which less requires a Court, yet it is necessary to have one, and that Court should be in a central situation. I therefore support the suggestion for a re-arrangement of the existing Courts.
§ (11.35.) MR. PICKERSGILL
I wish to ask the Home Secretary what 353 steps have been taken to provide female attendants for female prisoners at the various stations and Police Courts? The right hon. Gentleman on a former occasion promised that steps should be taken to avoid the necessity of leaving female prisoners under the charge of male warders.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. MATTHEWS, Birmingham, E.)
I have promised that during the Recess I will endeavour to ascertain whether it is possible to re-arrange the Metropolitan Police Courts. It would be inconvenient to displace the old Courts and so interfere with the habits of the people who live near them. I remember I had a Departmental Committee which proposed to do away with Marlborough Street Police Court, but immediately the proposal was made there was a great outcry. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green will see from the Estimates that provision has been made for one female warder for each of the 14 Metropolitan Police Courts.
§ MR. MORTON
This is one of the Votes I am specially pledged to vote against. I cannot understand why the taxpayers of the country should pay for keeping up the London Courts. Experience has shown that the City Magistrates do the work better than Stipendiaries, and I would suggest to the people of London that they should do away with paid Magistrates. I shall go with my hon. Friend the Member for Caithness into the Lobby against this Vote.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
I think I am entitled to fuller information with regard to the appointment of female warders. The number provided for in this Estimate is exactly the same as in last year's Estimate. I want to know are there female attendants at police stations where women are detained at night? If so, what is the expense?
§ (11.41.) MR. ATKINSON (Boston)
Having regard to the treatment of the Salvation Army at Eastbourne by the Home Secretary, I cannot have much confidence in the promises of the right hon. Gentleman, and if a Division takes place I shall vote against the Government.
§ (11.42.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 97; Noes 48.—(Div. List, No. 379.)
5. Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £37,586, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1892, for the Salaries of the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, and of the Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District, the Pay and Expenses of Officers of Metropolitan Police employed on special duties, and the Salaries and Expenses of the Inspectors of Constabulary.
§ (11.52.) MR. PICKERSGILL
I shall be glad if the Home Secretary will inform the Committee to what extent female warders have been supplied at police stations where women are detained at night?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. STUART WORTLEY, Sheffield, Hallam)
A start has been made in that direction in some of the larger stations. I will give the hon. Member details on Report.
§ MR. MORTON
I beg to move to reduce the salary of the Chief Commissioner of Metropolitan Police by £500. I am told there is a place in Bond Street where fortunes are told at 10s. a head. The place is run by a syndicate, who have put a young lady named Kennedy in charge of the business, and, I suppose, make a profit. There is a considerable establishment, and a footman is employed. I want to know why the Chief Commissioner or 355 the Home Office prosecute poor people who charge 6d. or 1s., and do not prosecute those persons in Bond Street who charge 10s. a head? I am told that this business is carried on to a large extent. I am speaking from facts and not from mere hearsay, for a friend of mine sent his servant there with 10s. and he came back without the money. Vice seems to be peculiar to the West End of London, and the authorities appear to think it their duty not be interfere. I beg to move the reduction of the Vote.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A, Salaries, be reduced by £500, part of the Salary of the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ (11.56.) SIR W. LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
The Home Secretary does not appear to intend to answer. I hope the Committee will get some information on the subject. It appears that poor people are prosecuted for this sort of thing, while rich people are not.
§ MR. MATTHEWS
I really heard the observations of the hon. Member for Peterborough so imperfectly that I do not feel able to answer him. The function of the police is not to play the part of public prosecutors, nor is it my function. The police are always glad to aid in bringing offenders against the law to justice when their offences are brought to their knowledge. I did not hear what the facts of this case are—
§ MR. MATTHEWS
There is no necessity for that. If the hon. Gentleman will lay the facts of the case before the superintendent of the district, I have no doubt that that officer will assist the hon. Gentleman in bringing the offenders to justice.
§ MR. MORTON
I shall do nothing of the sort. The police and the right hon. Gentleman are paid to do this work. After what the Home Secretary has said, I feel it my duty to make my statement over again. My duty is to make 356 this statement, and it is the duty of the Home Secretary to see that the law is carried out. A friend of mine sent his servant to this place in Bond Street lately, and he was ushered in to see this young lady by a footman. He came back without the 10s. The police prosecute from time to time persons who tell fortunes at 6d. a head, and what I want to know is why they do not prosecute this person in Bond Street, who tells fortunes at 10s. a head. The business in Bond Street is, I am told, run by a syndicate, who divide the profits after paying the footman.
§ (12.2.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 41; Noes 102.—(Div. List. No, 380.)
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ (12.12.) DR. TANNER
I think this is a good opportunity to get some assurance from the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Vote in reference to the occurrences at Eastbourne in connection with the Salvation Army.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £438,490, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1892, for the Expenses of the Prisons in England, Wales, and the Colonies.
§ MR. PARNELL (Cork)
When the 12 o'clock Rule was suspended the Government undertook not to proceed with any Irish Votes after 12 o'clock. Although this particular Vote is not an Irish Vote, there is an Irish question of considerable importance which I wish to raise upon it, and I trust that as that question must give rise to a discussion of considerable length, the Government will consent to postpone the Vote, so that I and my friends may have an opportunity of putting our views before the Committee at a time when they can be fairly considered and understood.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I think the hon. Member will admit it would be a pity to close our discussion of Supply at this early hour (12.15). The Committee, I feel confident, desire to make progress. The hon. Gentleman suggests that this Vote should be postponed. It is understood that the Votes will be taken in their order, and unless it should be unanimously desired that this particular Vote should be postponed, I must adhere to that arrangement.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT (Derby)
The arrangement made was that after 12 o'clock no Vote of any consequence should be proceeded with, but I see no reason why the Committee should not enter upon the consideration of this Vote. If the subject which the hon. Member desires to bring forward is one of such importance that the discussion upon it cannot be concluded to-night, Progress can be reported at a later hour. Why should we not discuss the Vote now for a reasonable time? If we are to close the Session at an early date, it is quite plain we must make greater progress with the Votes than we have made lately.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
After what has fallen from the right hon. Gentleman, it is clear that I cannot consent to the postponement of the Vote.
§ MR. PARNELL
I regret very much that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby has intervened in this discussion to prevent me from bringing before the Committee in a satisfactory way the very serious matters to which it will be my duty to draw attention when this Vote is discussed. I cannot see that it is my duty to make my statement at this late hour. The right hon. Member for Derby has stated that he cannot see any reason why the Vote should not now be proceeded with. I can see reasons why the right hon. Gentleman should not wish the Vote to be taken in the daytime, and why he should desire that it should be taken at an hour when the discussion cannot be fully reported. 358 It will be my duty to deal with matters which had their origin during the right hon. Gentleman's tenure of office. It will be necessary for me to deal with considerations affecting the liberty of a prisoner who received his sentence under the policy and under the direction of the right hon. Member for Derby. I refer to the case of the prisoner John Daly. At this late period of the night I do not feel justified in bringing this subject before the Committee, because it cannot be profitably discussed. It is most unfair of the right hon. Member for Derby to insist that the subject should be opened to-night, and I shall do all I can within the Forms of the House to prevent the Vote being proceeded with at this late hour. I beg to move that you, Sir, do report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Parnell.)
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I rise to a point of order. I understand that the hon. Member for Cork intends to call attention to matters connected with the administration of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. I desire to ask you, Sir, whether the hon. Member would be in order in so doing on this Vote? I ask this question because the answer of the Chairman may influence the course which the hon. Member himself proposes to take. If he would not be in order in raising the question, I assume he would not object to the Committee making progress with the Vote.
§ (12.20.) MR. PARNELL
On the point of order, Sir, I submit to you that the question of the right hon. Gentleman is premature; no question of order can arise until I have infringed a Rule of Order, or until any hon. Member considers I have infringed a Rule of Order. I did not say that I intended to discuss the conduct of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby as Home Secretary; I said I proposed to refer to circumstances in connection with a 359 prisoner, the expense of whose imprisonment comes under this Vote, and which imprisonment had its origin during the term of office of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby. I respectfully submit to you, Sir, that to raise the question now, before it is alleged that I have infringed any Rule of Order, is entirely premature. I shall endeavour in any observations I may have to address to you to keep myself in order; I shall always be subject to your direction, and shall endeavour to observe your ruling; but until I break through any Rule governing debate in Committee I submit to you, Sir, no point of order can be raised.
It is no doubt true that the question raised by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer refers rather to what would happen after the question to report Progress has been disposed of, and it may therefore be said to be premature. But I was about to point out, in reference to the Motion to report Progress, that so far as I understood the purport of what the hon. Member intended to discuss, it was difficult to say exactly what was his intention; but it did appear to me that it would probably be out of order, and it would probably save time if I expressly decline to put the Motion to report Progress, in order that we may see what it is the hon. Member desires to bring forward.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. ATKINSON
It is a pleasant thing for us to notice now, and it will be a very pleasant thing for the country to see to-morrow, how the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby and the Member for Cork are drifting apart. It seems to me of very little consequence whether we discuss John Daly or any other prisoner; but whether they have been well or ill-treated we know that the hon. Member for Cork has been responsible for the imprisonment of a great number of John Dalys—
The Motion to report Progress has not been put. The 360 Vote is now before the Committee, and to that the hon. Member's remarks are not relevant.
§ MR. ATKINSON
The remarks that I have made are congratulatory to the House and to the country, that the right hon. Gentleman the present Leader of the Party on the other side—[Cries of "Order!"]—or part of the Party—and the Member for Cork seem to have less understanding as to what they should do—
§ (12.25.) MR. PARNELL
I regret that I should have to proceed when it is quite impossible that I can go into the very important subject it will be necessary for me to bring before the Committee, but there is a preliminary portion of it which I may perhaps deal with, and in doing so I shall address myself to the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary. It is in reference to the prisoner John Daly. The hon. Gentleman will remember that he recently received a letter from a Member of this House, Mr. John Redmond, the Member for North Wexford, asking his permission to hold a private interview of a professional character with John Daly in Portland Prison, an interview as professional adviser. It appears that in relation to the case of John Daly and the justice of his conviction fresh information—fresh evidence—had been received in the shape of a very important statement made by Alderman Manton, of Birmingham, on the authority of the Police Superintendent of that district, and the statement was of such a character as to render it necessary or desirable, before bringing the case of John Daly before the House of Commons, and even before bringing it before the Home Secretary, that somebody should have an interview of a private character with this prisoner to obtain from him certain information with regard to the identity of an unknown 361 person whose name did not transpire at the trial, but who on sworn evidence was stated to have handed to Daly certain explosive material for the possession of which John Daly was convicted. In order to obtain the necessary information, my hon. Friend requested a private interview with Daly, and he understood from the reply received from the right hon. Gentleman that his request had been granted, and, in pursuance of that understanding, he went to Portland to have the private interview. On his arrival at the prison he found that the prison officials insisted on being present at the interview. Daly, although most anxious to have the opportunity of conferring with my hon. Friend in private, was unwilling to give the necessary information in the presence of the prison officials. My hon. Friend accordingly retired from the prison, and telegraphed to the right hon. Gentleman for authority to see Daly privately. He received from the right hon. Gentleman a reply by telegraph that the authority could not be given. Now, I wish to bring this matter again under the notice of the right hon. Gentleman. This evidence, or further information, is of a most grave and important character. It is, in the opinion of Daly's legal adviser, absolutely necessary that he should have an opportunity of obtaining with the prisoner an interview of a confidential character in order to obtain further information with regard to this further evidence. The right hon. Gentleman has refused up to the present to grant this private interview. I cannot think that the right hon. Gentleman is carrying out strictly the rules which are enforced, for I know that in the case of convicted prisoners in Ireland their legal advisers are permitted to have private interviews with prisoners without the presence of a prison warder. It must be obvious to the right hon. Gentleman that in cases of this kind there may be special reasons why it is impossible for such prisoners to confer freely with their legal advisers in the presence of prison officials. At all events, it is certain that Daly has declined, and, as I think, reasonably and properly declined, to give the necessary information in the presence of an official. What I now ask from the right hon. Gentleman is permission for the legal 362 adviser of John Daly to see the prisoner privately in accordance with the precedent set by the Chief Secretary for Ireland and the Lord Lieutenant in regard to convicted prisoners under their jurisdiction, who are allowed private interviews with their legal advisers during their term of imprisonment. This is a subject of such very grave importance that I may be excused for pressing it very strongly on the attention of the Home Secretary. We believe that if an opportunity were given for the legal adviser of John Daly to confer freely in private with him, the result would be information of such a character being put before the Home Office as would lead to the re-opening of the case, and possibly—probably, as we hope—to the release of the prisoner. We think, under these circumstances, as there is no Court of Appeal established, and as the Home Secretary is the only Court of Appeal, that he ought to permit this interview between prisoner and legal adviser, which would be permitted if there were in existence in this country that Court of Appeal which successive Governments, both Liberal and Conservative, have supported and advocated from time to time. I trust, therefore, the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say that he will remove any difficulty in the way of this private interview, and that he will allow the legal adviser of John Daly to see him without the presence of a warder.
§ *(12.35.) MR. MATTHEWS
This question of interviews with prisoners is one which hon. Members sitting below the Gangway opposite brought prominently before the attention of the House at the time of the sitting of the Special Commission. At that time, and perhaps not without reason, they complained of the laxity of the rule. I recollect that they complained that representatives of the Times were allowed to see prisoners in custody within sight but out of the hearing of a warder. I remember at that time saying I thought the practice was one that ought to be reconsidered I said I thought it was not reasonable to allow a lawyer to see a prisoner in private except on the prisoner's own 363 legal business. Having had my attention directed to the subject, I believe the directions which I gave are in accordance with the public' declarations I made, namely, that when a legal person has bonâ fide business to transact with a prisoner, it is proper to grant an interview which shall take place out of the hearing of a warder. The privilege of absolute secrecy attaches to such communications, and we ought not to insist on imposing a witness in the shape of a warder, who might be compelled to state all that takes place. That seems to me to be a sound principle to proceed upon, but, as I think the Committee will see, it is absolutely essential, in order to guard the system from abuse, that clear and satisfactory explanation should be given to show that it is upon legal business of the prisoner's that the interview is desired. Now, even after the explanation of the hon. Member for Cork, I do not clearly understand what legal business Mr. Redmond proposes to transact with Daly. I can only say no sufficient reason has been stated why there should be a private interview. Mr. Redmond asked for an interview; and having gone to Portland for the purpose, and being informed that the rules did not allow the interview to take place without the presence of a warder, Mr. Redmond telegraphed to me that he wished to see the prisoner privately. My answer, not quite in the terms mentioned by the hon. Member for Cork, was that I saw no reason for departing from the usual Prison Rules in Mr. Redmond's case. If, however, I have before mo, or if the Governor has laid before him, substantial grounds for believing that the interview would be on legal business of the prisoner's, I should think it desirable that, although a warder should be in sight, he should be out of hearing.
§ (12.40.) MR. PARNELL
I think the right hon. Gentleman must be under some misapprehension. As I understand the facts of the case from my hon. Friend, Daly did apply to the prison authorities to be permitted to see his legal adviser, Mr. John Redmond, upon his own (Daly's) legal business, and Mr. John Redmond wrote to the right hon. Gentleman stating that 364 he was desirous of seeing Daly as his professional legal adviser—that he was desirous of having a professional interview. If my memory serves me aright, these were the words my hon. Friend represented to me he had used in his communication to the right hon. Gentleman in asking for an interview, and the right hon. Gentleman granted the application. Mr. Redmond then proceeded to Portland Prison in the firm belief that he was going to obtain the private interview with Daly which he had requested from the right hon. Gentleman, and which he supposed the right hon. Gentleman had agreed to grant, and he was perfectly amazed, when ushered into the presence of Daly, to find that an official of the prison insisted on remaining in the room. I have only to repeat that in my belief the request was distinctly made to the prison authorities by Daly and by Mr. John Redmond to the Home Secretary that Mr. Redmond should see Daly as his professional legal adviser. I cannot suppose that the right hon. Gentleman, knowing as he does the circumstances and history of this case, would wish for a single moment to suggest that this interview was sought for any other purpose by Mr. Redmond than that alleged, or that it was other than a professional interview between client and legal adviser. I trust, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman will see his way to giving the assurance that he will allow the interview to take place, in order that Daly may give the important information which he is anxious to give, and which my hon. and learned Friend, as a lawyer, believes to be absolutely essential in order to enable truth and justice in this case to be met.
§ (12.42.) MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)
I have listened with attention to the statement of the hon. Member for Cork and the reply of the Home Secretary, and I feel it my duty to say that not only has a case for a private interview been completely made out, but the right hon. Gentleman has himself admitted it. He has put before the Committee the principle that governs this matter, and the reasons upon which that principle is based. The right hon. 365 Gentleman has said that a prisoner is entitled to have an interview with his legal adviser in sight, but out of hearing, of the prison officials, who may disclose what passes between the legal adviser and his client. The hon. Member for Cork has stated that Mr. Redmond wished to see the prisoner to consult him upon evidence relating to the justice of his conviction, which evidence apparently rests first upon a statement of the Superintendent of Police of the district in which Daly was convicted; and, secondly, on that of a gentleman who heard the matter directly from the Superintendent, and who is a Magistrate in the borough. It is a matter of great gravity. It is said that Daly requested the interview on legal business, and undoubtedly it is legal business in which the prisoner is very closely interested. Following upon that, and confirmatory of it, we have the application made by Mr. Redmond, and I am bound to say that the name of the hon. Member for Wexford, well-known as a member of the Irish Bar, and as a Member of this House, should have been sufficient evidence of the bona fides of the application. There was an application by letter to the right hon. Gentleman for a private interview with Daly.
§ MR. SEXTON
I am going upon the statement of the hon. Member for Cork, who says that Mr. Redmond wrote to the Home Secretary to say he desired an interview upon professional business. Now, surely this is not Mr. Redmond's business as distinct from the prisoner's? The hon. Member for Cork has stated the object of the interview was to discuss matters of evidence having relation to the justice of the prisoner's conviction and I do not think that in common courtesy and common sense, after the hon. Member for Cork has stated on behalf of Mr. Redmond the object with which the application was made, any further statement can be desired. 366 If that is not the prisoner's business I do not know what is. The right hon. Gentleman has treated this matter in a somewhat pedantic spirit, and I think it would be only in conformity with the spirit of the rules and common sense if he were now to rise and say that such an interview does fall within the rules and shall be granted.
§ *(12.46.) MR. MATTHEWS
I do not think I treated the matter in a pedantic spirit when I said that the speech of the hon. Member for Cork was not sufficient to justify the demand. It must be made clear to the prison authorities before they can grant leave that there is some bonâ fide legal business on hand; it is not necessary that they should know the particulars, but there must be some representations upon which the authorities may judge if the application comes within the proper category or not. I was unable to judge from the speech of the hon. Member for Cork what the legal business was, and Mr. Redmond's letter contained, so far as I remember, no explanation of the kind of business.
§ *MR. MATTHEWS
From the speech of the hon. Member for West Belfast, I now gather, with some difficulty, that Mr. Redmond desires to see John Daly in order to ascertain from information Daly can give, coupled with subsequent information to be obtained elsewhere, whether he can make out a case for showing that Daly's conviction was wrong. That, I think, would come within the rule I have mentioned, and I think that Daly should see Mr. Redmond outside the hearing of the prison officials.
§ MR. ATKINSON
I think if the Home Secretary were in prison and his solicitor were trying to get him out, he would consider that legal business enough. I cannot understand the ramifications of his mind which enabled him to decide that this was a case in which 367 Daly should not be allowed to see his solicitor. The fact is, the Home Office seem so determined not to let their Irish prisoners or their Salvation Army prisoners at Eastbourne see solicitors, or anybody else who wants to do them good, that it amounts to a craze. I protest against the way in which the right hon. Gentleman looks at prisoners. He may be a prisoner himself some day. I do not mean that he is more liable to that misfortune than the rest of us, but we are all afflicted with human nature. I think the right hon. Gentleman has shown great hard-heartedness not only towards John Daly, but towards the Eastbourne prisoners. I protest against this. I think the hon. Member for Cork has made out his case, supported by the talented Member for West Belfast, and I hope the Home Secretary will give way.
§ (12.50.) MR. T. M. HEALY
I think we have reason to complain of the attitude of the Government. We ought not to be asked to take the Vote now. Many matters arise in connection with it. Contrast the manner in which Mr. Redmond was treated with the manner in which Mr. Soames was treated, or Inspector Littlechild, or any other gentleman connected with the prosecution before the Parnell or Special Commission. No one who takes up this Blue Book which deals with the treatment of these prisoners can fail to be struck with the facility afforded to the Times' pimps for seeing them for the purposes of the Parnell Commission, and frequently they were admitted against the protests of the prisoners themselves. Not once, but twice, and thrice were they allowed to be seen. If Soames failed to get anything out of them, then Pigott tried, and after him Littlechild. And all this was done to back up a bogus case on behalf of the Government, with no warder even in sight. Not only were these facilities given to the Times' men, but the Government actually, for their convenience, 368 brought over convicts from Ireland and kept them in London for three months. But here in this case the counsel for the prisoner, a Member of this House, desiring to see his client on a matter concerning the justice of his sentence and his liberty, after travelling some 300 or 400 miles, is denied the right conceded readily to the subordinate of the Times on a matter of far less importance. Can you expect the Irish people not to draw their own conclusions? This prisoner has been allowed to see three courses of the Times' spies, yet, when he wants to see his own legal adviser, it is denied him. This is not the way in which all prisoners charged with treason felony have been treated. Mr. Davitt was not treated in this way. I now understand the Government admit Mr. Redmond's title as the prisoner's legal adviser, and if it is right to admit him now he ought not to have been denied admission before. The Government and the right hon. Member for Derby have pressed the hon. Member for Cork to go on with this Vote to-night; but if we are to go on with it, it will take a very considerable time longer, and I think the Goverment might profitably agree to its postponement, and take some later Votes. I have matters to raise in connection with this Vote which will probably occupy some time in discussion. I have to refer to the treatment of the prisoner, James M'Grath, who died in prison. The right hon. Gentleman told me that the relatives of the deceased were communicated with before his death; but I have communications from his friends—most respectable people—directly traversing that statement. I have several other matters to mention, and several hours may be occupied.
§ COLONEL NOLAN (Galway, N.)
To a certain extent thanks are due to the Home Secretary for the permission to Mr. Redmond to visit the prisoner. I think my hon. Friend is quite entitled to make a Motion to strike out the Governor's salary, for the action of the Governor of the prison was most unjust, and has caused a vast amount of trouble.
§ (1.0.) MR. PARNELL
I think the right hon. Gentleman is mistaken. Mr. Redmond assured me that he made the strongest possible remonstrances to the prison officials, and gave the object and character of the business on which he wished to consult Daly.
§ COLONEL NOLAN
I think the statement of the Home Secretary is a good reason for postponing the Vote in the interest of Public Business. I would point out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that, in the interest of Public Business, it would be far better to go on with some other Vote. We are not yet in possession of all the facts of the case, and I have no doubt that if we have a short postponement, we shall be able to clear up all the facts in the case.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
I will agree to postpone this Vote upon the understanding that further progress is made with the remaining Votes.
I would like to ask the right hon. Gentleman how far he proposes to go to-night? The 11th Vote is for the Law Courts and Law Charges in Scotland, and I should oppose going on with that at this hour.
§ MR. GOSCHEN
If there is no protest against the postponement—and I think I may take it that silence gives consent—we will now proceed with Votes 9 and 10.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ 6. £135,894, to complete the sum for Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain.
§ 7. £23,866, to complete the sum for the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum.370
§ Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next.
§ Committee to sit again upon Monday next.