The Lord Chancellor
said, that he had to present, to their Lordships a Bill, which completed the series of measures he proposed to introduce for the Reform and Amendment of the practice of the Court of Chancery. He had already introduced this Bill in the former Session of Parliament, and he believed that it had so far received the sanction of their Lordships then, that it was read a first and second time on that occasion. The object of this Bill, which he had now again to present to their Lordships, was to provide means for taking better care of those unfortunate persons who, on being declared lunatics, came under the care and jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery. It appeared to him that the operation of this Bill would be one attended by the most beneficial effects, and it was but right to say, that the Bill itself was founded on a plan which had been drawn up by his noble predecessor, with a view to provide for the due care of those unfortunate persons. One great object of this Bill, as he had already said, was to provide for the due care of lunatics; another principal object of it was, to effect a change in trying Commissions of Lunacy. He proposed that they should be tried before one of the Judges of the land, instead of three Commissioners appointed by the Keeper of the Great Seal, the number which was necessary under the existing practice. The introduction of such a change as that would enable them to dispense with several officers of the Court, who were as the practice at present stood, concerned in the execution of Commissions of Lunacy, and would secure the advantage of having such matters executed by one of the Judges of the Land sitting in Court, without the expense, delay, and considerable risk of misdecision, which were attendant upon the existing mode of executing such Commissions.
§ The Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.