§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
§ LORD COLERIDGE,
in moving that the Bill, which had come up from the Commons, be now read a second time, explained that its object was to enable the Official Referees not only to hear cases sent before them, but, if thought desirable, to finally determine them without the necessity of sending the cases back to the Court. The Bill was introduced by Gentlemen on both sides of the other House, and he believed that it passed there without opposition. He understood that his noble and learned Friend on the Woolsack had no objection to the principle of the Bill, though he had one or two objections to its phraseology. To such Amendments he (Lord Coleridge) would offer no objection.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a"—(The Lord Coleridge.)
§ THE EARL OF POWIS
thought that facilities should be afforded for the continuous sitting of Arbitrators or Referees. The great delays in such cases made it a great hardship to be driven to a Referee by the Judge to expedite an Assize. It sometimes happened that when an Arbitrator had been sitting for a long time he was made a Judge, and then all the proceedings in arbitration were thrown away. He should, under these circumstances, have power to continue the arbitration.
§ LORD PENZANCE
said, that the Bill did not deal with Arbitrators all, but only with the Official Referees.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he entirely agreed with the principle of the measure; and, beyond making some verbal Amendments, he had no desire to interfere with its progress. He believed it would mitigate many evils which were complained of as being incidental to the system of Referees.
§ On Question? Resolved in the Affirmative.
§ Bill read 2a accordingly.