HL Deb 06 July 1882 vol 271 cc1575-6

House in Committee (according to order).

Clause 1 (Short title) agreed to.

Clause 2 (Additional attendance in Court of Appeal).

On the Motion of The LORD CHANCELLOR, the following Amendment made:—In page 1, line 12, after ("or") insert ("who has held and does not for the time being hold.")

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 3 (Precedence of President of Probate, &c. Division).

Moved, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."—(The Lord Chancellor.)


said, he objected to the clause, on the ground that since the changes which had taken place by the abolition of the offices of the Chief Justice of England and the Chief Baron, and the transfer of the Master of the Rolls to the office he held in the Court of Appeal, there was no reason to make any distinctions in precedence; and, inasmuch as such distinctions must be of an invidious character, he thought they ought not to perpetuate them.


said, he also objected to the clause, and quite agreed with the noble and learned Earl (Earl Cairns) as to the invidiousness of such a distinction. He thought that it would be unreasonable that a Judge who might have been recently appointed Judge of the Probate and Admiralty Division should take precedence of Lords Justices appointed before him. At present the Lords Justices had precedence over the President of the Court of Probate; and, though the matter was not of great importance, he did not think this change should be made. Let them take his own case. He had been for 26 years on the Bench, and had the honour of being a Privy Councillor, yet, according to this clause, a young man who had been named President of the Probate Court would have been entitled to take precedence of him when he was a Lord Justice of Appeal. He could not see that any good would be gained by the change.


said, that his motives in proposing the clause were not of sufficient force to make him press it against the objections of both his noble and learned Friends; but, at the same time, he certainly considered it desirable that the question of precedence should be settled. With respect to the objection of his noble and learned Friend (Lord Bramwell), he (the Lord Chancellor) must say he did not think it probable that the office of Judge of the Probate and Divorce Court was ever likely to be filled by some gentleman lately called to the Bar. The course hitherto had been to appoint a person whose services had already been valuable, if not a Privy Councillor, at all events, one whose position would command general respect, and he was an. ex-officio Judge of the Court of Appeal. As the other ex-officio members of the Court had precedence, it had been thought desirable, in settling precedence, that this Judge also, when he became an ex-officio member of the Court, should rank next to them. However, he would consider the matter further, and on the Report would bring up the clause in an amended form, which he thought would meet with approval.

On Question? Resolved in the negative.

Clause struck out accordingly.

Clauses 4, 5, and 6 severally agreed to.

Clause 7 (Amendment of 36 & 37 Vict. c. 66 s. 91).

On the Motion of The LORD CHANCELLOR, the following Amendment made:—In page 2, line 4, after ("act,") insert ("as amended by section ten of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1875.")

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

The Report of the Amendments to be received To-morrow; and Bill to be printed as amended. (No. 179.)