HL Deb 21 March 1831 vol 3 cc596-7

The Earl of Eldon, on the Order of the Day being read for receiving the Report of the Committee on this Bill, rose to request the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack to postpone the Motion till the return of a noble and learned Chief Baron (Lyndhurst) from Circuit. The Bill was one of great importance—involving most serious alterations in the legal institutions of the country—requiring, therefore, a calm and deliberate and unhurried investigation of its provisions and principle. It was to procure for it this deliberate discussion—and because it was due to the country that those who had filled the high office to the jurisdiction of which it related, should state their views of its character and tendency, and not from any motives of party, or for the purpose of throwing needless obstacles in the way of the Government, that he requested the noble and learned Lord to agree to having the Order of the Day postponed.

The Lord Chancellor

could have no objection, founded on views of personal consideration, to acceding to the noble Lord's request. He was himself anxious that the noble and learned Chief Baron should be present at the discussion of the Bill; that, in fact, the Bill should be thoroughly examined and debated in its every detail; for he was convinced that the more it was investigated the more their Lordships would be convinced that it would be an amendment in our commercial law which could not be too soon effected. Besides, he was not a stickler for a day; he cared not, so far as he individually was concerned, when the discussion would be taken; only he hoped that, for the sake of the public interests, the delay would be the shortest compatible with that calm and deliberate investigation so justly insisted upon by the noble and learned Earl, whom he acquitted altogether of being actuated in his request by any paltry or contemptible motives of party. The only hesitation he had in acceding to the request for further delay was, that he feared that such a short one —say a week—as their Lordships might with reason assent to, would not be sufficient to ensure them the presence of the noble and learned Chief Baron now on Circuit. [The Earl of Eldon expected Lord Lyndhurst in town next week.] He apprehended that such would not be the case, and that the noble and learned Lord would not be able to attend before the Recess. He, however, hoped to be able to speak more decidedly on this point tomorrow, when he expected an answer from the noble and learned Lord to a letter which he (the Lord Chancellor) had written to him on Friday last, with a view of ascertaining his intentions respecting the Bill, and in order to promote them as much as lay in his power. To-morrow, then, when he expected his noble and learned friend's answer, he should fix a day for taking the discussion on the Bill; for the more thoroughly it was discussed, the more his object would be accomplished.