HL Deb 15 March 1858 vol 149 cc169-70



then presented a Bill to limit the jurisdiction of Her Majesty's Court of Bankruptcy; to Abolish the Courts of Bankruptcy for the Country Districts; to give to the Judges of the County Courts acting in the Country jurisdiction in matters of Arrangement and of Bankruptcy in certain cases; and further, to increase the jurisdiction of the County Courts, and to amend the Laws relating to Bankrupts and to the Estates of deceased Debtors.


thought that the noble and learned Lord had taken a very wise course in consenting to discharge the Order. With reference to the course originally proposed by the noble and learned Lord of reading the Bill a second time and committing it Pro formâ, he observed that his noble and learned Friend on the woolsack had had so short an experience in that House as yet that he was not aware, probably, how irregular they were. His noble and learned Friend on the woolsack very naturally supposed that the second reading of a Bill affirmed the principle of the measure, and that the details were regulated in its passage through Committee. But the custom had grown up in that House, which he could not but think was "more honoured in the breach than the observance," of bringing forward Bills, laying them on the table without a statement, reading them a second time sub silentio, when no one thought of affirming the principle, and passing them through Committee pro formâ. By this practice only one, or at most, two discussions could take place upon a Bill—namely, upon bringing up the Report, and upon the third reading. He (the Earl of Derby) could not help thinking that the more regular course of proceeding would be that of discussing the principle of a measure upon its second reading, and not of postponing its discussion until the latter stages of the measure.

Bill read 1a