HL Deb 01 May 1815 vol 30 cc999-1000

The House being in a Committee on the Bill,

Lord Ellenborough

proposed the insertion of an amendment of some length, the principal object of which appeared to be to prevent any thing in the Act from operating to the prejudice of the sheriff, who otherwise, though an innocent person, may be affected injuriously.

The amendment was adopted.

The Marquis of Buckingham

understood that the exception of the Fleet, King's-bench, and Marshalsea, and Palace-court prisons, from the operation of the Bill, arose from there being yet no other allowance for keeping up the establishment of these prisons than what arose from Gaol Fees. There was a report from a committee of the House of Commons on the subject, and he should move to-morrow for a copy of that Report.

The Lord Chancellor

stated, that he had received a great many clauses to be inserted with respect to the London gaols, which appeared very proper in themselves, but if they were introduced into that House, would endanger the loss of the Bill altogether, and prevent, for the time, the good which it was calculated to do. His lordship stated what had been proved at the bar on a former occasion, that the city of London expended no less a sum, than 15,000l. in providing comforts for their prisoners; and if the fees of their gaols were put an end to, they must increase their gaolers salaries, and could not afford so great a sum for their prisoners. The fees in all gaols being abolished, prisoners having a power of removing themselves would crowd to the London gaols for the sake of the allowance, and this would be more particularly the case when the new gaol should be built. It would be desirable not to check the hand of charily, and yet it would be improper to risk the loss of the Bill: the best course appeared to be to make the clauses in question the subject of a separate Bill, which might be passed this session, and for these reasons he refrained from proposing them at present.

The Marquis of Lansdowne

concurred with the noble and learned lord as to the best course of proceeding, but did not think that the abolition of the fees would tend much to crowd the London gaols. A removal could not be accomplished at a less expense than 6l., and to those who could afford this, the fees could not be a great object.

The Bill passed through the Committee.

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