HL Deb 13 June 1839 vol 48 cc173-4
Lord Denman

rose to lay on their Lordships' Table, a Bill for regulating the proceedings in the Borough Courts in England and Wales, the object of which was to enable the Judges who had the power of regulating those proceedings, to do so on an uniform system. The bill which he had introduced at the commencement of the Session had been altered in some respects by the House of Commons. He thought, that the amendments introduced by that House would more properly form the subject of another bill. Unfortunately, when this bill had left that House, it was imperfect in this respect, that instead of naming the date from which it was to come into operation, it ran "from and after—day of—year;" and it had been returned by the House of Commons with the same blanks; consequently, it was no bill at all. He, therefore, brought in a new bill confined to the object of the original bill, in the hope, that the House of Commons would, upon consideration, give up their amendments

Lord Brougham

wished to ask his noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack, as three or four months had elapsed and nothing had been yet heard of the promised judicial reforms whether any steps had been taken to remove one of the greatest existing evils, by altering the position in which the Chief Judge of the Admiralty Court, alone of all the Judges, was placed; for that learned Judge was paid, not a salary, but by an annual grant of Parliament. He had a seat in the Privy Council, and he was the only Judge in that Court who had not an independent and fixed salary; the only Judge who was at the mercy of the cry for economy.

The Lord Chancellor

spoke in a very low tone, but he was understood to say, that undoubtedly it was extremely desirable, that the position of that learned Judge should in that respect be changed, and that some measure with that object was under consideration.

Lord Brougham

was glad to hear it; and he begged also to observe that every argument which went to show the impropriety of leaving that learned Judge in that dependent situation as to salary, applied with equal force to his going to the hustings and there stating what his opinions on certain subjects were.

Bill read a first time.

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