HL Deb 17 August 1843 vol 71 cc906-7
The Earl of Aberdeen

moved the committal of the Foreign Jurisdictions Bill.

Lord Campbell

suggested the postponement of the measure until next Session, and complained that no opportunity had yet been taken for explaining the various clauses, which were open to many objections. He applauded the principle, but saw many reasons for disapproving of the mode in which it was carried into execution. The object of the bill was to give the Queen in Council the same power over criminals in ceded as in conquered colonies; but as it was framed and worded, it was repugnant to the existing law in many respects.

The Earl of Aberdeen

observed, that the bill had long been considered very necessary, and reminded the noble and learned Lord, that in 18:35 he had himself prepared a measure with the same object. True it was, that it had not been effectual, and having become already a dead letter, it was to be repealed by the law upon the Table. His Lordship explained, that in the Levant in particular English subjects, and especially those who were natives of Malta and the Ionian Islands, committed the most lawless crimes with impunity, so that their conduct was, in many instances, utterly disgraceful. The bill before the House was not a crude effort of legislation to remedy this evil, but it had been framed with the utmost care, and for months had been under the consideration of the law officers of the Crown. At the same time he was ready to admit any amendments the noble Lord might propose, which would have the effect of better accomplishing the object in view.

Bill committed, and ordered to be reported.

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