HL Deb 24 August 1857 vol 147 cc2003-4

laid upon the table a copy of the legal Opinion taken by the East India Company, and dated the 5th August, 1857, as to the manufacture and sale of Opium, together with a copy of the case on which such opinion was given. The noble and learned Lord said that towards the close of last Session the Earl of Shaftesbury moved that certain questions upon this subject should be put to the Judges; but as it was thought inexpedient to consult the Judges, the Government consented to consult the law officers of the Crown, and a case was accordingly submitted to them, with the promise that their opinion, and the case in which it was founded, would be laid before this House.


did not object to the reception of the paper, but deemed it unusual to refer to the law officers of the Crown for their opinion.


concurred in thinking it a novelty to obtain for their Lordships the opinion of the law officers of the Crown. It was not respectful to the Judges, who were their Lordships' constitutional advisers, that they should be passed over, and he did not approve of it.


believed that by common consent it was thought inconvenient to consult the Judges upon a matter which might come before them judicially, and that all parties agreed in asking the Government to consult their law advisers upon it. The Government consented, and undertook to communicate to their Lordships what that advice was. Their Lordships were not bound to be guided by it, or to give it more attention than they thought it deserved.

BURIAL ACTS AMENDMENT BILL.—Commons' Amendments to Lords' Amendments considered (according to Order), and agreed to.

MILITIA BILL—SALE OF OBSCENE BOOKS, &c. PREVENTION BILL.—Commons'Amendments considered (according to Order), and agreed to.

DULWICH COLLEGE BILL—Commons' Reasons for insisting on certain Amendments to which the Lords have disagreed, considered (according to Order): Moved not to insist on disagreement to Amendments on which the Commons have insisted. On Question, Whether to insist? Resolved in the Negative; and a message sent to the Commons to acquaint them therewith.