HL Deb 26 July 1938 vol 110 cc1161-2

Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.


My Lords, with your Lordships' permission I may be allowed, before moving the usual Resolution to go into Committee, to make two observations about this Bill which I regret to say escaped my recollection yesterday, when moving the Second Reading. The first is that this Bill is, of course, of considerable importance from a legal point of view, and I ought to have observed to your Lordships that the original scheme of it, and the contents of it, are due to my predecessor in the office of Lord Chancellor. I should like the credit to go where it is deserved and not on this occasion, at all events, to me.

The other remark which I wish to make to your Lordships, and which I ought to have mentioned yesterday but which again slipped my mind at the moment, is that in Clause 3 of the Bill there is contained a provision of some importance, inserting in a section of the principal Act a paragraph to the effect that if after the occurrence at any time of a vacancy among the puisne Judges attached to the Chancery Division the number of those Judges amounts to five, the vacancy shall not be filled unless and until the Lord Chancellor, with the concurrence of the Treasury, advises His Majesty that the state of business in that Division requires that the vacancy should be filled. I ought certainly to have mentioned that to the House, because it is a matter of some importance to the Chancery Division. There is at the moment a diminution of work in the Chancery Division. That may not last a very long period, and I think there are reasons for supposing that in a very short time there will be an increase of work in that Division, when it will be necessary to fill up the vacancy again. But at the moment it is thought that if there is a vacancy in the number of puisne Judges in the Chancery Division it will not be necessary to fill it. I express my regret that for the moment that slipped my mind. I beg to move.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to: House in Committee accordingly: Bill reported without amendment.