HL Deb 16 July 1840 vol 55 cc758-9

The Lord Chancellor moved the third reading of the Administration of Justice Bill.

Lord Denman

was of opinion, that it would be advisable to remove the present defects of the Court of Chancery by im- proving the forms and processes by which the business was carried on, as well as by adding to the judicial force of the court, although its present state might render that measure also absolutely necessary. The numerous petitions on this subject presented to their Lordships were not merely in favour of the present bill, but prayed likewise for further reforms. He was persuaded, that it was the duty of the heads of every department to cherish the spirit of reform as far as that could wisely be done, and this object could not be attained without calling in the aid of public opinion to sanction their efforts. On one part of this bill he looked with great satisfaction, he meant, that which abolished the equity jurisdiction of the Court of Exchequer—not that he presumed to form any opinion as to the propriety of dealing with the Exchequer as an equity court, but that he believed the common law of the country would derive great benefit from the constant attention of the Chief Baron. The bill of 1830 had removed many of the difficulties which stood in the way of the Exchequer becoming a good common law court, and had led to the appointment of the great judges who had since sat in the court, and had rendered it one of the most important in the country. Bill read a third time and passed.