§ Lord Tenterden,
in rising to move the second reading of five bills which had come up from the other House for amending the Criminal-laws, said that they had originated with a right hon. gentleman (Mr. Peel), whose ability and exertions in bringing them forward could not be too highly commended. It was fortunate for the country when a gentleman of comprehensive mind, not bred to the law, turned his attention to the subject, for those who were bred to the law were too often, by habit, dull to its imperfections. He could not help thinking that the bills would be most valuable to those who were engaged in the administration of justice in the country.
doubted not that these bills would be a very great improvement in the criminal laws of the country; but he thought it would be impossible, at that late period of the session, to go into an examination of their merits; as there were not less than one hundred and thirty acts which it would be necessary to look over. He therefore thought it would be necessary for the House to have an assurance from the learned lord, that he had consulted those acts, and felt satisfied of the expediency of the measures now proposed.
§ Lord Tenterden
said, it would be presumption in him to give such an assurance; but a paper had been put into his hand, re- 1262 ferring him to every clause in the new bills; and, in his opinion, the committee would be the proper stage for considering all the details.
The Lord Chancellor
said, that the bills had long been under the anxious consideration of his right hon. friend, who had been assisted in his labours both by the learned lord, by himself, the late Attorney-general, and the present Solicitor-general.
The bills were read a second time.