HL Deb 21 May 1852 vol 121 cc851-2

rose to put a question to his noble and learned Friend on the woolsack respecting this Bill, which stood for a second reading that evening. The Bill was read a first time about a fortnight ago; but, by some accident or mistake, printed copies of the Bill, which contained sixty-five clauses, and treated of the most complicated subjects, were not delivered till late yesterday evening. It therefore appeared to him to be quite impossible for their Lordships to enter into a discussion of it that night. He understood, further, that his noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor, that very day had gone through the clauses of the Bill with the Master of the Rolls and the three other Equity Judges. Notwithstanding the great attention and skill which his noble and learned Friend had applied to the Bill, he thought that it was very likely that that consultation had resulted in the suggestion of some valuable alterations. He therefore suggested that the Bill should be read a second time that evening pro formâ, that it should then be printed with the Amendments, that it should then be referred to a Select Committee, and that any discussion on the Bill itself should be postponed until the Motion for going into a Committee of the House; the report of which would probably be presented early next week. He merely threw this out as a suggestion, and not as dictating to his noble and learned Friend the course which he ought to pursue.


said, that the course suggested by his noble and learned Friend was the very course which he had himself intended to ask the House to adopt. Having framed the Bill on the recommendation of the Commissioners, he had given up the whole of that day to going over it word by word with the Equity Judges—he meant the Master of the Rolls, the Lords Justices of Appeal, and the three Vice-Chancellors. They had made some alterations in the Bill as originally framed; but he believed they were now unanimous in opinion with respect to the Bill as it stood after those alterations. He proposed that the Bill should be read pro formâ that evening, and that it should then be referred to the same Select Committee to which the Bill for the Abolition of the Masters' Offices had been already referred. He intended that that Committee should meet on Monday next, and he hoped that his noble and learned Friend would be able to give them his valuable assistance. When the report on the Bill was received from the Committee, it would be competent for any noble Lord to raise a discussion upon it at that stage. He hoped, too, that the Bill would pass through that House in time to be passed into law during the present Session.


had no objection to the course now proposed. As to the principle of the Bill, he believed that there was no dispute, but its details might become subject of discussion.


should be glad to see the Bill printed with the alterations. He had examined the Bill as printed, and found that its provisions substantially carried the recommendations of the Commissioners into effect.

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