HL Deb 19 June 1879 vol 247 cc167-8


  1. "1. "Whether the original award of Messrs. Denman and Pollock, the arbitrators in the case of the Attorney General v. Edmunds in the year 1868–69, is now preserved in the Treasury; and whether all the proceedings and evidence in the said arbitration were presented to and recorded in the Treasury:
  2. "2. To move that there he laid on the Table of the House a copy of the said award as deposited and recorded in the Treasury, and also a copy of the detailed evidence and proceedings before the said arbitrators, including the surcharges and allowances made by them:
  3. " 3. To ask whether the award of the arbitrators and the accompanying account of surcharges and allowances was returned to the Court of Chancery or to any other Court of Record; and whether it was made part of the record in the information suit of the Attorney General v. Edmunds, or any other suit?"


said, he would endeavour to give his noble Friend as clear answers to the Questions he had put as he was able. In regard to the first part of his Question, he might say that the original award had not been preserved. Judgment having been signed, the original was of no further use; if, however, the noble Earl wished it, a copy could be supplied to him. In regard to the other Papers, the shorthand writers' notes and proceedings being Treasury Papers, they could not be given; but if the noble Earl wished for the evidence, and he applied to the shorthand writers, no doubt they would be able to furnish it. The amount of the award and the surcharges and allowances was recorded in the Court of Queen's Bench.


asked when was it recorded?


said, he did not know.


said, he should like to say one word on this matter. His noble Friend took the course, year after year, of placing on the Paper, in various forms, a Motion of Inquiry into this unfortunate subject, which he (the Lord Chancellor) had looked upon as dead and buried years and years ago. Such a course could only do harm at the present time, when it was utterly impossible to revive the matter. He should like to direct his noble Friend's attention to the fact that his Question was founded on a misapprehension as to the nature of an award. An award was never recorded in the Court of Chancery, or in any other Court; but when it was made, either party could take it up; the award was made a Rule of Court—which was a very different thing to recording it—and on that Rule judgment was given. As regarded the Question which his noble Friend asked as to the evidence taken in the proceedings before the arbitrators, it was a mistake to suppose that the arbitrator put the evidence in his award; such a thing was never heard of. If either of the parties chose, for his own information, to employ a shorthand writer, it was perfectly open to him to do so, and it might be possible for his noble Friend to obtain a copy of the evidence from the shorthand writers. His Question, however, was founded on an entire misapprehension.

House adjourned at a quarter before Ten o'clock, till To-morrow, half-past Ten o'clock.