begged to move an amendment upon the 15th clause. That clause empowered the Lord Chamberlain to prohibit, at his pleasure, the representation of any play whatever in any theatre within his jurisdiction. He (Lord Campbell) was quite ready to invest the Lord Chamberlain with full powers to prevent any performances which were calculated to offend public decency, or to peril the public peace; but beyond this he did not think that officer ought to interfere with a manager's arrangements. He did not propose to omit any of the words of the clause, but merely to guide the Lord Chamberlain in his exercise of this power, by proposing these words before the existing clause:— "Be it enacted, that for the preservation of good manners, decorum, and of the public peace, it shall be lawful for the Lord Chamberlain, for the time being," the rest of the clause remaining as at present.
§ Lord Wharncliffe
objected to the amendment, because it would restrict the powers of the Lord Chamberlain within 690 narrower limits than they had at present, whereas the object of the bill was not to restrict his powers, but to extend his jurisdiction. The Lord Chamberlain was a great officer of State, a Member of their Lordship's House, and always ready to defend any proceedings which might be deemed an abuse of his powers.
The Lord Chancellor
would suggest an alteration in the amendment of his noble and learned Friend, which he thought would remove all objection to it. He recommended that the words, "whenever in the opinion of the Lord Chamberlain it was necessary for the promotion of good manners and decorum, or of the public peace, to forbid the performance of any stage play, farce, &c."
§ Amendment altered and adopted.
§ Bill read a third time and passed.