HL Deb 22 July 1834 vol 25 cc331-2

Lord Wynford moved, that the amendments made by the Commons to the Central Criminal Court Bill be taken into consideration.

Motion agreed to. Some of the amendments, being verbal, were agreed to; but one altering the extent of the Bill was negatived.

Lord Wynford

said, the present was the only opportunity which was afforded him of reminding the noble Lord on the Woolsack, that he promised, when this Bill was introduced, to take into consideration the propriety of granting some compensation to such officers as were deprived by its operation of their employment, and the noble Lord then admitted, that such a principle was fair and ought to be affirmed in all cases of reform in the institutions of the country. Now, this compensation had not been awarded to the Clerks of the Peace, the Clerks of Assize, and the other persons deprived of their offices by this Bill; and if such compensation were not granted, it would lay the House of Commons open to the charge of being ready to grant full compensation to the rich and powerful in such cases, whilst they denied it to the humble and needy. The omission of such a clause was, he thought, a great neglect on the part of the House of Commons. He should, therefore, beg to move, "That a Conference be demanded of the Commons, with a view to bring this subject more particularly under their consideration, in order that justice might be done to these deprived Clerks."

The Lord Chancellor

agreed that, in all cases where persons were deprived of their offices to make way for any improvements and reform in the institutions, the loss sustained by them ought to be in part borne by the community at large; and it was with this feeling, that he had made the promise his noble friend alluded to. He was very sorry to find, that the Bill had come up from the House of Commons without any provisions for the compensation of the deprived clerks (of whom, by the way, he must observe, that the Clerks of Assize were provided for); the grant of some annual allowance had been proposed, and had been thrown out by a vote of the House of Commons, and he doubted very much if the House would retrace its steps in this matter. He should, however, make an application to the noble Lord in charge of the finances of the country, who, he knew, was disposed to do justice to these persons, to see whether it could not yet be done. The Motion for a conference he found would, if agreed to, be of no use, for the Commons, with that jealousy which characterised their proceedings in money matters, would inevitably refuse to confer with their Lordships on such a subject; and perhaps, after all, the only way to amend the omission would be by the introduction of some Bill for the purpose next Session.

Lord Wynford

was satisfied with the view taken by his noble and learned friend, and would not press the matter.