HL Deb 24 June 1852 vol 122 cc1264-6

House in Committee (according to Order).


moved the restoration of clauses with regard to compensation to persons whose offices were abolished by this measure, as they originally stood in the Bill when first introduced into the Commons, but which had been struck out on the third reading—for what reason he could not undertake to say.


said, it struck him that if they increased the amount of compensation, the other House would scarcely acquiesce in it. He would suggest to the noble and learned Lord to postpone the consideration of this question until he had an opportunity in a day or two of seeing how it was likely to be viewed by the other House. Then the noble and learned Lord would be better able to determine the course it would be advisable for him to pursue. At all events he hoped that the noble and learned Lord would not place so much value upon his proposition as to risk the passing of the measure by pressing his proposition at that moment.


said, that there were four of the senior clerks to receive compensation for the loss of the fees which they had been hitherto authorised to receive. He thought it would be most unjust if compensation were not awarded to the junior clerks also, in respect to such fees, inasmuch as under the existing system they would be entitled to succeed to the offices of the senior clerks, and of course to receive such fees in the event of vacancies occurring. He had, therefore, prepared a clause to effect that object.


objected to the clause. The House must remember that this Bill was one of the late Government's, and the House of Commons had gone on altering and altering it, until it reached their Lordships' House at such a period of the Session, that it was utterly impossible to make it a perfect measure. He was therefore placed in this position—either to take the Bill, which was an excellent Bill in many respects, with all its defects, or not to proceed with it at all. He had thought it his duty to adopt the measure, hut, not having had time thoroughly to revise it, or to send it to a Select Committee, he could not take upon himself the responsibility of all its demerits. If it perpetrated any injustice, that could be remedied hereafter.


said, he would state his objections to the Bill. First, it was founded on the Report of a Select Committee of the other House of Parliament, of which the Master of the Rolls was Chairman, and one of the principal recommendations of that Commission was, that the subordinate offices in the Court of Chancery should be abolished. Look at its provisions. To whom did it restrict the issue of injunctions? The Master of the Rolls! Who received the fees? The secretary of the Master of the Rolls! At whose suggestion was it passed through the other House? At that of the Master of the Rolls! Then, again, he wished to call the attention of their Lordships to the unsparing manner in which it dealt with the officers of the Lord Chancellor. It reduced them to such a degree as that they would be hardly able to carry on their business. But what did it do with the officers of the Master of the Rolls? It did not touch them at all! No mention was made of them, except to make their offices of more advantage. It provided that the Lord Chancellor's secretary should have an additional clerk; but it stipulated that the salary should not exceed the insufficient sum of 200l. a year. At the same time it provided that the secretary of the Master of the Rolls shall have two additional clerks, at salaries not exceeding 300l. a year. The Committee, upon whose Report this Bill was framed, had the Master of the Rolls amongst its members; it was brought in by the Master of the Rolls; and it passed through the House of Commons under his superintendence. Although it cut down the establishments of the noble and learned Lord in the manner he had described, he (Lord Lyndhurst) admitted that there might be in it some parts which it would be desirable to pass into a law; but he would never consent to the enact- ment of a law which would do any injustice.

Clauses negatived.

Amendment made; the Report thereof to he received To-morrow.