HL Deb 04 August 1840 vol 55 c1251

On the Order of the Day for the third reading of the Law of Evidence (Scotland),

The Earl of Haddington

objected to the further progress of the bill, though he was aware, that he should expose himself to the fire of the great law guns in this House. The noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack had treated the opinion of the faculty of advocates very lightly; but he (Lord Haddington) had made inquiry and had found, that they had considered the report of the committee which had been rejected, only three of the learned body having voted for it. The noble Earl then went into some details respecting the law of evidence in Scotland. He proposed to the noble and learned Lord, that he should drop this bill during the present Session, and bring in another bill on this subject next Session after a full and due inquiry into it. If the noble and learned Lord would not agree to that proposition, he would move, that this bill be read a third time that day six months.

The Lord Chancellor

advocated the propriety of passing this bill during the present Session. It had been before th House nearly all the present Session; and, if any measure could have undergone more investigation than this had, he should be obliged to the noble Earl if he would mention what that measure was. There were no grounds for the imputation, that this bill had been hurried through Parliament.

Lord Wharncliffe

would support the amendment of his noble Friend. He thought, that his noble Friend had made out distinctly, that the Scotch bar was not prepared at this moment for the alteration proposed in the bill; he would rather therefore postpone it to the next Session, that a general consent might be procured on the part of the bar of Scotland.

Their Lordships divided on the original motion:—Contents 15; Not-Contents 11; Majority 4.

Bill read a third time and passed.

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