HL Deb 16 March 1869 vol 194 cc1459-60

House in Committee (according to Order).

LORD WESTBURY moved to insert a new clause, vesting the appointment of the Master and certain other officers in the Chief Judge of each Court. At present this patronage was vested in the Lord Lieutenant, and the exercise of it was sometimes accompanied by anomalous and inconvenient results. The English Judges appointed the officers of their own Courts, and it was invidious to place the Irish Judges in a different position, especially as these officers were important auxiliaries in the administration of the courts. The change was recommended by a Royal Commission in 1862, and the present was a very opportune moment for carrying it into effect, there being little probability of the patronage being exercised for some time. He was glad to learn that the Government were prepared to accede to the proposal.


said, that the object of the measure being to assimilate the procedure of the Common Law Courts in England and Ireland, the Government were of opinion that on this point also there should be an assimilation, and they were prepared to accept the clause moved by his noble and learned Friend.


said, it was most anomalous that appointments which in this country were made by the Chiefs of the different Courts should in Ireland be made by the Lord Lieutenant. The existing practice in Ireland was inconvenient and injurious, and placed an invidious and responsible task on the Irish Government. He could quite understand their willingness to get rid of that task, for it was only natural that there should be differences of opinion between the Government which appointed these officers and the Judges, who, of course, believed themselves to be best qualified to make the selection.


said, that he had on a former occasion expressed a strong opinion on the matter, and he was therefore glad the Government had accepted the clause. He was sure they had done so on principle, and not on account of the probability of the exercise of the patronage being remote.


said, that his assent to a proposition of this nature was not new, as he approved such a change when he acted as a Commissioner on the subject with the noble and learned Lord opposite (Lord Chelmsford), and his signature was appended to the Report.

Clause agreed to.

Further Amendments made: The Report thereof to be received on Friday next.

House adjourned at half past Five o'clock, to Thursday nest, half past Ten o'clock.