HL Deb 23 August 1831 vol 6 cc453-4
The Lord Chancellor

, adverting to the order of the day for the further consideration of the report of the Bankruptcy Court Bill, which stood for Friday next, observed, that when he had fixed it for that day, he had calculated that by the evenings' sittings he should have been able to have got through the business of his court by that time, but he found that he had miscalculated as to its amount. He would beg leave, therefore, to postpone the Bill till Friday week. He had to apologize to their Lordships for his absence from their sittings, in consequence of the evening sittings in his court, but those sittings, he hoped their Lordships would admit, were for a purpose of great public convenience. He had a confident hope, that in another week he should have got through the whole of the business in his court. It might be convenient to their Lordships and to the public, to know, that after the business was despatched in his own court, he would then attend in the House, from day to day, until he had disposed of the arrears of appeals, and he hoped that in a fortnight he should be able to get through them all. Their Lordships then would have no appeals before them, except such as had been entered within the last three months; but if any of these should be ripe for decision when he had disposed of the others, he would be happy to give his assistance in disposing of those also, so that by the end of the Session—if it should ever have an end—the whole of the appeals would, he hoped, be disposed of.

The Earl of Eldon

had no doubt that his noble and learned friend was most usefully employing his time in his court, but at the same time he must state, that according to the standing orders of their Lordships' House, the paramount duty of the Lord Chancellor was, to be in his place in that House during their Lordships' sittings, and not to be employed elsewhere; and there were many precedents where permission to attend elsewhere during the sittings of that House, was refused. He had no doubt, whatever, that his noble and learned friend was most usefully employed elsewhere, but he had no power to dispense with the standing orders, which required his attendance during the sittings here. With respect to the Bankruptcy Court Bill, he hoped that his noble and learned friend would consent to postpone it till some period after the time of adjournment for the Coronation. He made this request as a matter of personal convenience to himself, for in waiting for this Bill he was unable to take that change of air which had been declared necessary for his health, but, at the same time, he was ready to attend on any day which his noble friend might fix for bringing on the Bill.

The Lord Chancellor

hoped his noble and learned friend would do him the justice to believe, that no man was more ready than he was to adopt any arrangement which might tend to his noble friend's personal convenience. He would, therefore, put off the Bill to Friday fortnight, or to any other day which might be more convenient to his noble and learned friend. His noble friend had mentioned till after the adjournment for the Coronation, but he (the Lord Chancellor) understood that there would be no Motion for an adjournment, beyond an adjournment over the day of the Coronation itself. As to what had been said by his noble and learned friend, of the attendance of the Lord Chancellor during the sittings of the House, he fully admitted that such attendance was a paramount duty, and therefore he had mentioned the urgency of the case which required his attendance elsewhere, in order that their Lordships might dispense with the standing order which required his attendance. He repeated, however, his confident hope, that the business of his court would detain him only a few days more, and he should then be wholly at their Lordships' disposal.