§ LORD FEVERSHAM
presented a petition from the solicitors residing at Witham, in the county of Essex, against the Registration of Assurances Bill.
presented a petition from the attorneys and solicitors, members of the Manchester Law Association, against the Registration of Assurances Bill, in which, though the petitioners objected to a central and metropolitan legislation, they admitted the propriety of establishing a local registration, either in counties or in union districts.
had, by the courtesy of the noble Lord, seen the petition now presented, which undoubtedly emanated from a very useful and influential body of men; but he hoped their Lordships would not be influenced by any suggestions in that petition from proceeding with the measure with as much vigour as possible. He should attend to some of the suggestions which had been made; but the petitioners objected chiefly to one metropolitan office, and they wished to have an office in every district. Now, he was certain that their Lordships must make up their minds to have only one registration office for England and Wales, or none at all. Twenty years ago a similar suggestion was made by the attorneys, and most 579 eager as he was that the measure then brought forward should pass, he objected to it, as he should do now. A strong opposition to the Bill was being got up by the attorneys, and he hoped, therefore, that no time would be lost in passing the measure. It was read a second time with the approbation of their Lordships; and he was glad to see that last Session the House of Commons had given a measure of a similar character, although imperfect in its nature, a second reading, because it showed their determination to have a general registration; but there was an estate in the realm more powerful than either their Lordships or the other House of Parliament, and that was the country solicitors; and it behoved their Lordships to beware of it.
§ Petition read, and referred to the Select Committee on the Bill.