HC Deb 24 August 1893 vol 16 cc1052-4

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

asked for information concerning the Bill.

*THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir C. Russell,) Hackney, S.

My explanation of this Bill will be very brief, and I hope it will be acceptable to the House. It is entirely non-contentious, and it is a Bill mainly aiming at the codification and consolidation of a very important branch of the law. It was introduced in the form in which it substantially now stands during the last Parliament by the then Lord Chancellor, and, with the assent of the present Lord Chancellor, passed through the House of Lords after a very careful examination. It was re-introduced by the present Lord Chancellor, and, with the assent of the late Lord Chancellor, passed through the House of Lords in the present Session. It then came to this House, and was referred to a Select Committee, upon which Committee all sides of the House were represented. Among those who were Members of that Committee were my hon. and learned Friend opposite, the Member for the Isle of Wight (Sir E. Webster), my hon. and learned Friend the Member for North Hackney (Mr. Bousfield), the Solicitor General for Scotland, and several other distinguished lawyers in this House. After very careful examination it was passed by that Committee, and I hope the House will not interpose any difficulty in the way of its passing now.

SIR R. WEBSTER (Isle of Wight)

The Bill certainly did receive very careful consideration by the Select Committee, and I think anyone who has studied the subject and has had an opportunity of reading the Bill will, I am sure, be of opinion that it does represent the law as it now stands.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 2 agreed to.

Clause 3.


asked if it was to be understood that there was nothing new in the Bill? Was it simply a codification?


There is only one qualification I have to make in respect of that, and that is this: that while certain characteristics of the Scotch law are preserved, certain others are removed and brought into harmony with the existing law in this country. The approximation of the laws between the two countries has received the assent of Representative Bodies in Scotland, and there were several Scotch Members on the Committee.


Then, so far as the English law is concerned, it is simply a codification?


Practically so.


There is an alteration in the English law later on in the Bill. Certain modifications are introduced into the English law, but they are in accordance, as the Attorney General has rightly said, with the Scotch law. They are not of any great importance.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 4 to 11, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 12.

MR. HANBURY (Preston)

requested further information.


explained the effect of the clause, and said, ho ventured to think that the Amendments made were Amendments of the law in a matter in which the Scotch law had been in advance of ours for some time.


said, he thought attention ought to be called to the fact that only a few minutes after midnight could be given to this Bill, which enormously affected the interests of the people, while a whole Session was being devoted to an abortive Bill which was not going, to pass.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 13 to 31, inclusive, agreed to.

Clause 32.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Hanbury.)

Motion agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.