§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, he de sired to make an explanation of a somewhat personal character in reference to the part he had taken in the appointment of Mr. Edmunds. He found, upon looking over the evidence given before their Lordships' Committee upon the Edmunds case, that, 718 in answer to the Earl of Clarendon, the Master of the Rolls said he did not know exactly in what year the office of Clerk to the Commissioners of Patents was created, but he knew that Mr. Edmunds was appointed by Lord St. Leo nards—he believed under the statute of 1852. The fact was that under the Act constituting the Commission the power of making appointments was granted to three of the Commissioners, one of which number must be the Lord Chancellor or the Master of the Rolls. He could not recollect the meeting to which the learned Master of the Rolls referred in his evidence, but he was not in any way complaining of the statement. He had writ ten to the Master of the Rolls, who, in reply, stated that he never meant to imply that there had been any irregularity in the appointment of Mr. Edmunds. The fact was that Mr. Edmunds had been Clerk of the Patents for many years before the Commission was appointed, having received the appointment in 1833, and when it became necessary to appoint a Clerk to the Commissioners it appeared only fair that Mr. Edmunds should have that appointment, and it was regularly made with the concurrence of the two other Commissioners.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
was sure it had never been intended to impute to his noble and learned Friend that he had either made an appointment which was beyond his authority, nor that he had made an appointment which was not justifiable.