Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

to 25,001. He received 2,500l. a year Member would be one of the very last until 1829, when he succeeded to another persons in that House to suggest or counpatent office in Jamaica which yielded him tenance any departure from a rigid and more than 500l. a year, and he, therefore, just observance of any bona fide engagebecame subject, so long as he held that ment that had seriously been entered into. office, to a deduction of 5001. from his The hon. Gentleman did not, however, apsalary as Clerk of the Council, which was pear quite distinctly to understand the thus reduced to 2,000l. He held the office real position of the case, and that Mr. in Jamaica until last year, when, upon his Greville had received his appointment on resignation, he applied to the Treasury to the understanding that the salary was at have the full salary of 2,500l. restored, as first to be 2,000l. a year, and to be inhe had a perfect right to do. The applica- creased at a stated period to 2,500l. Mr. tion was made in March last, and inquiry Greville was appointed regularly by an having been made into all the circum- Order in Council. The Order in Council stances of the case, which would be found might be objected to as an impolitic one, fully detailed in the evidence before the but there it was, and the only question Select Committee of 1839, they satisfied that remained was, not whether such themselves that they could not resist the Order was politic or not, but whether it Order in Council, and it therefore became had given Mr. Greville a certain right? their duty to provide for the increased What, then, did the Order in Council do? amount of salary. These were the cir- Why, it gave Mr. Greville for a certain cumstances of the case, and he might add time 2,000l. a year, and after that time it that arrangements of this nature were con- gave him an increase of 500l. to his stantly taking place in the public service. salary, which increase was to abate during The office in Jamaica, he might state, had the time he held any other office; but been abolished. It was a patent office, upon giving up such office, it was to revert the duties of which were performed by to him. In this way a positive title had deputy, with the consent of the Governor been conferred upon Mr. Greville to reand the House of Assembly, and the de- ceive the increased salary, and the title puty now performed the duties at the was of such a nature that it could have same salary as he had formerly received. been recovered by judicial proceedings. Mr. Greville had certainly resigned the If there were any grievance really to be office voluntarily, although its emoluments complained of in the matter, any comwere much larger than the amount of plaints relative to the same should have salary he received instead of them. been directed against the island of Jamaica, which ought to bear the burden of its own sinecures. As far as Mr. Greville was concerned, there was no doubt that his title was clear and indisputable, and could claim its origin even from so early a date as the year 1808.

In answer to a question of Mr. DIGBY SEYMOUR,

MR. J. WILSON added that no compensation had been given for the abolition of the office.

MR. W. WILLIAMS hoped that, as the duties of the Clerk of the Council had been performed for many years at a salary of 2,000l. a year, the Committee would not consent to the proposed increase. No additional duties had been thrown upon Mr. Greville, and why, therefore, should he receive an increase of 500l.? It had been said that the Treasury had no power to alter the Order in Council. He hoped the Committee would not pass a Vote for which no ground could be shown except a mere Minute of the Privy Council.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, that he felt quite sure the hon. Member for Lambeth had no desire to impute any improper or unworthy motives to the Treasury Board in reference to this transaction, and that the hon. Mr. J. Wilson

MR. KINNAIRD said, he considered the explanation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the hon. Member the Secretary to the Treasury as satisfactory on the subject, although he was sorry the matter stood as it did.

MR. HUME said, that it was evidently one of those cases that, under the present careful system of scrutiny with regard to these kind of Estimates, would not occur again; and it was a question whether it was worth while, under the circumstances, to discuss the matter further?

MR. SPOONER said, he wished to have some explanation of the salary of the Registrar to the Board of Trade being increased from 7001. a year to 1,000l.

MR. J. WILSON said, in consequence

of the increase of the duties attingent to, and the work connected with, the office of the Board of Trade, it had been thought just and expedient to increase the salary of the Registrar.

MR. SPOONER said, he did not consider this answer as satisfactory.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER explained that the increase of salary had been made upon the recommendation of the Judicial Committee, who, in their Report, had advised the cessation of the former clerkship that had existed, and the creation of the present office of Registrar.

interests of Ireland. The hon. and gallant Gentleman said that, inasmuch as the Government bore the whole expense of criminal prosecutions in England, they ought to do the same in Ireland. But it was quite impossible to accede to that proposition without acceding to the course proposed; for it must be admitted that the administration of justice could not be confined to the processes of the courts, and therefore they must look further, and he would ask who bore the expense of the police in England, and who bore it in Ireland? He found that a sum of 550,000l. was annually paid out of the Consolidated Fund to defray the charge of the Irish constabulary, and therefore if the same principle were to be acted on in the case of the three countries, the Scotch and English police ought also to be maintained from the same source. He frankly owned that if his wishes were carried into effect, it struck him that on a balance of account, Ireland would be considerably the loser by the labours of the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Vote agreed to; as were also the three following Votes

(20.) 17,0791., Sheriffs' Expenses, Officers of the Court of Exchequer, &c.

(21.) 8,415, Insolvent Debtors' Court. (22.) 92,455l., Law Expenses, Scotland. (23.) 55,470., Law Charges, Ireland. MR. M MAHON said, he would suggest that the expenses connected with the prosecution of assaults and other offences against the person in Ireland should be defrayed out of the Consolidated Fund, as was the case with regard to that class of offences committed in England.

COLONEL DUNNE said, that this allowance had already been made a set-off for twenty other things. He maintained, however, and he would undertake to prove before a Committee, that Ireland was overtaxed, and did not receive that aid from the Consolidated Fund to which she had a right.

MR. DIGBY SEYMOUR said, he must advert to the circumstance of the salary of the Attorney General for Ireland being only 1,158., and that of the Solicitor General for Ireland only 9741., while that MR. MACARTNEY said, the constabuof the counsel employed to advise the Go-lary was forced upon Ireland for two reavernment in matters relating to the slave sons; first, to give a general system of trade was 1,2007. If the latter salary police, by which a person could scarcely go were not more than enough, the former from one part of the country to another; must be less than sufficient. and, in the next place, to enable the Government to withdraw a very large military force from Ireland, amounting to no less than from 6,000 to 8,000 men, in two years after the establishment of the constabulary.

COLONEL DUNNE said, he wished to know why Ireland did not receive as much from the Consolidated Fund for the expenses of prosecutions as England did? Now that Ireland was taxed to the full as much as England, or even more, in comparison with her resources, she had a right to receive the same help from the Consolidated Fund.

MR. M MAHON hoped that these matters would be put in the same position in Ireland as they were in England.

THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER said, the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Colonel Dunne) seemed very anxious that, in the money arrangements of the State, no injustice should be done to Ireland. Now, he very much doubted whether, if he succeeded in pushing the question which he had raised to any issue, he would be at all favouring the pecuniary

MR. LUCAS said, he must contend that the issue raised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer between Ireland and the United Kingdom was not an answer to that raised by his hon. Friend the Member for Wexford (Mr. M'Mahon) between the State and a poor man who undertook to prosecute a criminal indictment under the existing state of the law.

MR. T. CHAMBERS said, that the argument used by the Chancellor of the Exchequer was a perfectly legitimate one.

MR. SERJEANT SHEE said, in England the expenses of prosecutions were allowed or disallowed by the Judge. Most generally they were allowed; but in Ireland

nothing of the kind took place; and the consequence was, that the property of poor people was, to a great extent, unprotected, because they could not afford to prosecute. He was surprised that right hon. Gentlemen opposite representing the Government of the country had not risen half an hour ago to say that this great grievance should be put an end to.

VISCOUNT BERNARD said, it had been distinctly pledged by Sir Robert Peel that Ireland should be placed upon the same footing as England, and with respect to the cost of the police it had been taken on the Consolidated Fund in consideration of the loss which Ireland was likely to suffer from the repeal of the Corn Law.

MR. WHITESIDE read an extract from Sir Robert Peel's speech, which sus tained this latter statement of the noble Lord, and which set out the advantages which were likely to result (in that right hon. Baronet's opinion) from the whole of the police force being entirely under the control of the Crown.

MR. M MAHON said, the people of Ireland would be quite prepared to pay the expense of the police if they had the same control over them as the people of England had.

Vote agreed to; as was also(24.) 37,000l., Metropolitan

Dublin.

The House resumed.

MR. ATHERTON said, he willingly joined in expressing approbation of the measure; and added that he but expressed the opinion of the English bar when he said that the Irish Common Law Procedure Bill, introduced last Session by the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Whiteside), obtained their cordial approval; and the Commissioners intrusted with the important office of considering this matter had been happy to borrow suggestions from him. He considered the Attorney General and Her Majesty's Ministers entitled to the thanks of the House for bringing forward this measure. No doubt in Committee there would be certain matters to be considered, but he anticipated that from both sides of the House Government would receive assistance to make the Bill as perfect as possible.

MR. STUART WORTLEY said, he believed that there was no disposition on the part of any one to oppose the second reading; but, as some serious questions were involved in the measure, which, on the whole, was a very valuable one, he trusted that ample notice would be given when the discussion would come on.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL promised that there should be full opportunity allowed for discussing the measure at a Police, future stage.

COMMON LAW PROCEDURE BILL. Order for Second Reading read. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, in moving the second reading of this Bill, said, as he believed there was no opposition to it, he trusted that the discussion would be reserved until a future stage.

MR. WHITESIDE said, he should spare the House the trouble of considering his Bill on this subject, as the present was a most excellent measure, and he suggested that there should be a transcript of the Bill applicable to Ireland, with only such alteration of words and phrases as circumstances might require. The measure deserved the cordial support of every one; and, if he might speak of his own thunder, he was gratified to find several of his clauses, struck out last year in the House of Lords, introduced into the present Bill. He was glad to see that the measure admitted parties by consent to try causes in the superior courts without a jury, and he would suggest that provision should be made to allow choses in action to be assignable. Mr. Serjeant Shee

Bill read 2°.

BILLS OF EXCHANGE (No. 2) BILL.
Order for Second Reading read.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL moved the second reading of this. He said, that it introduced into the English system of procedure what was known in Scotland as the process of "summary diligence." It enabled the holder of a dishonoured bill or note to register protest in the Court of Common Pleas against any of the parties to the bill or note, and at the same time it empowered the party who had been served with any order for the payment to apply to the Court to stay execution upon sufficient cause shown; and then the liability would be decided in the ordinary course of law. This practice had been in operation in Scotland for a century and a half; it had worked admirably there, and had met with the support of the mercantile community.

MR. GLYN said, that on the part of the mercantile community of this country, he begged to express his approbation of the general provisions of the measure. It was the commencement of the assimilation of

the commercial law of the kingdom, but if that assimilation went on piecemeal, he feared considerable difficulty would be the result with respect to the law of the two

countries.

MR. W. LOCKHART said, the object of the Bill was to assimilate the law of England respecting dishonoured bills of exchange to the law of Scotland, but it appeared to open a door to vexatious proceedings. It applied to all bills of exchange, whether accepted or made payable in England or elsewhere, and it gave power to the Court of Common Pleas to enforce payment of them beyond the jurisdiction of the English Courts. It would scem that the holder of such a bill might drag the parties interested into the English Courts by simply placing it in the hands of an attorney in England, although it was drawn, accepted, and made payable in Scotland, and although all the parties were domiciled in that part of the kingdom.

MR. CAIRNS said, the only objection he entertained to the Bill was, that it did not go far enough, being only at present extended to England. He hoped the hon. and learned Attorney General would accede to its extension to Ireland.

MR. ATHERTON said, he did not oppose the second reading of the Bill, though he thought several of its provisions required consideration, and he hoped that full opportunity would be given for discussing its provisions, because there could be no doubt that it introduced great changes into the existing law, and that it was more over to some extent at variance with its principles. At the same time he knew that its provisions had worked admirably in Scotland for a considerable time, and that the mercantile body highly approved of their operations being extended to England.

HOUSE OF LORDS,

Monday, June 12, 1854.
PUBLIC BILLS.-2a Exchequer Bonds(£6,000,000);
MINUTES.] Took the Oaths-Several Lords.

Vaccination Act Amendment.

Reported-Income Tax (No. 2); Church Building Acts Amendment; Industrial and Provident Societies.

3a Railway and Canal Traffic Regulation. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE AT

SINGAPORE-PETITION.

THE EARL OF ALBEMARLE, in presenting a petition from merchants, traders, and other residents at Singapore, in the Straits of Malacca, praying that a resident professional Judge be appointed to that settlement, and that certain other ameliorations in the administration of justice be introduced, said, that the principal prayer of the petitioners was for the appointment of a resident professional Judge, instead of one whose services were divided, as at the present moment, between three settlements, one of which was 400 miles distant from the others. The present population of the three settlements of Singapore, Malacca, and Prince of Wales' Island was a quarter of a million, and their import trade amounted to about 4,500,000l., which was within one-fourth part of the import trade of Bombay. Since 1827 the population had increased as much as 125 per cent, and the increase which had taken place in trade was still greater. He knew that Indian subjects were generally unpalatable in that House, but Singapore had some claim upon their Lordships' consideration, because it afforded the earliest instance of the operation of free trade. Only thirty-five years ago the population of Singapore consisted of a handful of Malay fishermen, who also engaged in piracy whenever they considered that piracy could be committed with safety. Singapore now contained a thriving population of 70,000, and its import trade amounted to upwards of 3,250,000l. But while this increase

MR. STUART WORTLEY said, he trusted that some provision would be made to restrict the facilities which were at pre-had taken place in the trade and populasent afforded for the commission of fraud with regard to bills of exchange.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL said, he concurred in the opinion expressed, that the Bill should be extended to Ireland, and that protection from fraud should be afforded.

Bill read 2°.

tion, the arrangements of the judicial establishment not only remained the same as it was in 1827, but the same as it was in 1807, when there was but one settlement. The judicial establishment of the settlements consisted of a recorder, who was an English barrister, and two lay Judges. There was also a Governor, and each of

The House adjourned at One o'clock the three settlements had a Lieutenant till Monday next.

Governor belonging to it under the title of a resident councillor." The two lay Judges-being, in fact, the executive

had ample business to attend to indepen- | creased the efficiency of the judicial estadent of their business as Judges, and, blishment by sending one Judge upon a having had no legal training, were entirely circuit of 3,200 miles every year, when incompetent to perform the high judicial duties, civil and criminal, that were required of them; and accordingly, it was said that when the recorder went on circuit to one of the stations there was a suspension for several months of all judicial business at the other stations. Bombay pos-been suggested by Mr. Crawfurd, the sessed a Chief Justice at a salary of 6,000l. a year, and two Puisne Judges at 5,000l. a year, with retiring pensions, and Madras had very much the same establishment, while the foreign imports of Madras were a fifth part less than those of the three settlements. Hong Kong also possessed a resident professional Judge, although its population was not one-seventh part that of the settlements. It might be said that these settlements would not bear the cost of an increased judicial establishment; but if this were a good argument, what would become of Bombay, the income of which was not sufficient to meet its expenditure? But, in fact, the argument with regard to revenue would not apply to Singapore, whick did produce sufficient to pay its own expenses. The taxes, which were easily levied, produced 55,000l. a year, which was amply sufficient to cover all the charges, civil and military, of the settlement. But Singapore did more than pay its own expenditure, for it was charged, in common with the other settlements, with the expenses of the convicts of the continent of British India, the share paid by Singapore amounting to 6,3151. What business had we to call upon Singapore to contribute to such a charge as that? It was just as if the convicts of England were inflicted upon Australia, and that country was also charged with their main tenance-and we knew that Australia had refused to receive the convicts of this country, even if an allowance were made for their maintenance. There was another burden placed upon the settlements to which he wished to allude, and that was the charge, amounting to 3,1861., of a steam-ship of war. It was said to be of use in contributing towards the suppression of piracy; but here again arose the question, what business had we to charge the settlements with the cost of the suppression of piracy in which England, the whole of India, and all commercial countries, were concerned? The charge might be placed with just as much justice upon one of the Ionian Islands. But they deThe Earl of Albemarle

the hire of the vessel in which he was sent would pay the salary of a resident Judge. Having pointed out the grievances of which the petitioners complained, he would now briefly point out the remedy that had been proposed, which was not his own, but had

former Governor of Singapore, a gentleman who was in every way competent to offer advice on the subject. He proposed that two Judges should be appointed, one for Singapore and Malacca, at 4,500l. a year, and another for Penang, at 3,500l. a year. To meet this expenditure, he proposed to do away with the charge for the Indian convicts, and with the expense of the Governor's salary and establishment, for he said, what must be obvious to any one who recollected the position of the three settlements, that the three settlements were so far apart that there was no use of him. He also proposed that the expense of the steam-vessel should be done away with. This would leave for Singapore alone a sum of upwards of 10,000l., and, taking the three settlements together, more than 22,000l. There was a deficit in the revenue of Penang; but by this proposition it would be reduced to about 11,000l., and there would remain besides sufficient for a resident professional Judge, leaving a broad margin for a retiring pension. He did not make any charge against the present Government on account of this system, which had been in existence for several years, and, now that we had a reformed Administration, he was sure the matter might be safely left in their hands, and that they would endeavour to remedy the evils of which the petitioners complained.

EARL GRANVILLE said, the matter had only lately been brought under the consideration of his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Control. It was rather complicated, and an Act of Parliament might be required to carry out the wishes of the petitioners if it should be found desirable so to do-but the best attention of the Government would be given to the subject.

Petition ordered to lie upon the table.

VANCOUVER'S ISLAND-PETITION.

EARL FITZWILLIAM presented a petition from landed proprietors and inhabitants of the Colony of Vancouver's Island,

« AnteriorContinua »