§ House in Committee (according to order).
This Bill is certainly a very necessary one, because a very important office has been discontinued, and now there is a power given to the Lord Chancellor to arrange everything under this Bill. The noble and learned Lord will have a most difficult task in arranging how those who have really to do the duty shall be remunerated in future; but in case his Lordship's alterations should not meet the approbation of the country, I do think the country and beth Houses of Parliament ought to have an opportunity of seeing what those alterations are. Therefore, I venture to move that this Bill should only be for the space of one year. That cours3 was adopted with regard to the Ballot Bill, and it has been a continuance Bill from year to year. I do not believe that any inconvenience would arise from the adoption of this Amendment.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
I am afraid I cannot acquiesce in what the noble Lord suggests. Practically, the effect of this Bill is to put into the coffers of the State what has hitherto gone to the holders of a particular office I may remind your Lordships that the history of the Middlesex Registry has been rather a curious one. From time to time its numbers have been altered. By a Statute of Anne it had consisted of four Registrars. The number was then reduced to two; but, though there was then power to appoint in respect of two, the good feeling of those who had the right of appointment induced them not to exercise that power, and only one was appointed. The effect of the present Bill is that, there being an existing staff in the Registry office which exists for the purpose of registering titles, there shall be amalgamated with it the Middlesex Registry, which for all purposes will have the same staff and be worked in the same manner as formerly, except that there will be a real head actually working. Under those circumstances I cannot recommend to your Lordships that the improvement should only last for one year, the whole 785 object of this Act being to amalgamate the two systems together and to nominate one person as the responsible head for the administration of the office. I must, therefore, ask your Lordships to negative the noble Lord's Amendment.
I am quite satisfied with having been the means of obtaining from the noble and learned Lord an explanation of what his views are upon this question.
§ Amendment (by leave of the Committee) withdrawn.
§ Bill reported without Amendment; Standing Committee negatived; and Bill to be read 3a on Monday next.