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fundholder was certainly, therefore, not a | those difficulties would be removed ; and, case for pity. The grand point for their if they proceeded on the same principle lordships' consideration was, the great in- as the former bill, they should have his crease, not only of poaching, but of crime decided support. He fully agreed with the generally; not owing to the operation of noble lord who spoke before him, that the Game-laws, but to the extraordinary great demoralization had been produced in state of penury and distress to which the the condition of the labouring classes, more labouring classes had lately been reduced. especially in the agricultural districts,
The Earl of Hardwicke" said, he could where the wages of labour were reduced to not agree with the noble lord who spoke the minimum, and the poor-laws were last, that the great increase of poaching executed in such a manner as to aggravate arose out of the distressed state of the the evil. That this was one cause of the country, and not out of the laws. He increase of the crime of poaching, as well thought the country was highly indebted as of other crimes, there could be no reato the noble lord opposite for the great sonable doubt; but still it could as little pains which he had taken upon this sub- be doubted, that the increase of the crime ject; which was certainly one which de- of poaching ought, in a considerable deseryed the serious consideration of the gree, to be ascribed to the operation of the whole legislature. It was notorious that Game-laws. It was impossible that those the gaols of the country were filled with laws should not contribute, in a high depersons accused of the crime of poaching; gree, to the increase of that crime, when it and it would be a happy circumstance, if was considered, that game was a commoany device could be found to give a check dity which no one was ashamed to buy, to the growing increase of that, and of although, in the first instance, it could be other crimes. He trusted that, whatever sold only by thieves. Respectable people the result might be, the noble lord would would feel ashamed to purchase any other proceed with his measure, that their lord- article, knowing it to be stolen ; but this ships might at least have the opportunity feeling did not extend to game. No man of fully considering the subject. Nothing could attach more consideration to the could be more absurd than that an alder- comforts of the country gentlemen than he man of the city of London should not did; but, owing to the present state of be able to purchase a pheasant as well the Game-laws, crimes against them reas a turkey. He would allow him to mained often concealed and unpunished, purchase all kinds of game.
and, by that means, naturally led to crimes Lord Teynham adverted to the great of greater magnitude. Until the qualifidemoralization of the peasantry which had cations and other obnoxious parts of those taken place, and thought that no time laws were done away, matters could not be ought to be lost in entering upon a tho- placed on a proper footing. He highly rough investigation of the subject. The approved of affixing a milder punishment peasantry of the present day were not the to the crime of poaching, in the first peasantry of our ancestors," their country's instance; and he was satisfied that in pride," but a degenerated peasantry. such cases, the parents and other relations, Taxation had reduced that portion of the and even the farmers whom they served, population of this country to such a state, might often be induced to become sureties as existed in no other part of the world. for their future good behaviour; and that He himself would move for the appoint- this would have a good effect in repressing mentofa committee to examine into the con- the crime. It was a common saying, that dition of the labouring classes, if no other there was honour even among thieves; and of their lordships thought proper to do so. these people would be deterred more
The Earl of Carnarvon thought that the effectually by the consideration that their best thanks of the House and the country relations and friends would be compromised were due to the noble lord for bringing this by a second crime, than if they knew that important subject under theirconsideration. they themselves would be the only sufferers. A bill had, not long ago, been brought up This sort of feeling was apparent, in the from the other House on the same sub- extreme difficulty found in inducing one ject, which was in some respects attended poacher to give up another. He concluded with difficulties, and their lordships had by again thanking the noble lord for bringthought proper to reject it. In the bills ing forward the subject, and for the now to be brought forward he trusted that pains which he had bestowed upon it.
· Lord Clifden said, that there was one main cause was, in his opinion, the unforpart of the question which the noble lord tunate habit of paying wages out of the had entirely omitted to mention in bring- poor - rates -- thus destroying, in the ing forward his laudable propositions; but labourer's mind, every feeling of indehe supposed the great difficulty of touching pendence, honour and honesty--for there upon so delicate a subject must have oc- might be honour and honesty in all stations, casioned the omission. He alluded to the and rendering them negligent of character, use of spring-guns. Two years ago, a when they found that character could be noble lord had carried a bill through that of no use to them. This was an evil which, House, which had for its object the putting perhaps, was not so well known to the an end to their use ; but it was lost in the noble mover, as it had not, as yet, in its other House. It was a disgrace to the worst features, extended to the north of country that they were ever allowed to be England, though it must soon reach that set. Every paper related the accidents quarter also. Thus the labourers were which they occasioned, and the mischief first led to commit offences against the was, that the guilty seldom suffered by Game-laws, and these paved the way for them. Their lordships were aware that still more heinous offences. no man would buy a fowl if he knew it to The bills were then read a first time. have been stolen, but no one was ashamed to buy game; and he believed that the
HOUSE OF COMMONS. bighest personage in the state had bought game to a considerable amount. Every
Tuesday, February 27. man thought he had a right to buy game. ADMINISTRATION OF Justice in thE
The Marquis of Lansdown said, he had Court or CHANCERY.] Mr. M. A. Tay. no wish to detain the House by going into lor, being called upon by the Speaker to the details of the bill which had just been make his motion on the subject of separatoffered to their lordships' consideration, as ing the jurisdiction in all matters of Banknoble lords would be better prepared to ruptcy in the High Court of Chancery, give their opinions upon the subject on the said, that, as his right hon. and learned second reading of the bill; but, in rising to friend, the Master of the Rolls, intended say a few words, he wished to convey the on that night to submit to the House his most cordial expressions of his respect and bill for the improvement of the Adminisgratitude to the noble lord for bringing tration of Justice in the Court of Chanthe subject under the consideration of the cery, he thought it due as well to his right House, in a manner which must secure for hon. and learned friend, as to the conveit an ample and full discussion. Greatly nience of the House, to withdraw his moas the offences against the Game-laws had tion, until they should be in possession of directly increased, a very imperfect esti- the measures which were intended to be mate would be formed of the consequences carried into effect by that bill. He hoped, of those offences, unless their indirect however, that in thus withdrawing his effects were taken into consideration ; they motion, he should not ultimately lose any being the first step towards other crimes of thing, as he reserved to himself the power all descriptions, and of a more heinous of bringing the subject under their connature. The offences against the Game- sideration at a future opportunity, as well laws undoubtedly led, especially in the as to make any observation in the course agricultural districts, to the commission of of that night, which he might think necesa variety of other and more desperate sary to a proper elucidation of the subject. crimes ; and it would be taking a very No exertion, he begged to assure the narrow view of the subject to suppose that House, had been wanting on his part, to the consequences were confined to the have those evils and abuses of the Court increase of the single crime of poaching. of Chancery, under which the suitors of He therefore, intended to have on their that court had so long writhed, fully and lordships' table, by the time these bills fairly examined, and he trusted the time should be read a second time, a return of was now arrived when they would be efcommitments for crimes in general, which fectually redressed. might have the effect of throwing much The Master of the Rolls (sir John Coplight on this subject. He agreed that the ley) then rose, and addressed the House increase of crime had been owing to other to the follow purport :causes besides the Game-laws; and the I have, in the first place, to return thanks to my hon. friend for his courtesy in giving embodying those provisions which I thought way on this occasion. I certainly did adequate to effect the reformations which anticipate the indulgence which he has were proposed. This is the short history afforded me; but, at the same time, I am of the measure which I then introduced; bound to express my acknowledgments for and I am happy to be able to say, that I the readiness with which it has been con- have reason to believe I acted correctly ceded. I rise now, therefore, in pursuance upon that occasion, and that the course I of the notice I gave some time back, to pursued has obtained the approbation of move for leave to bring in a bill to alter those whose soundness of judgment and amend the practice of the High Court entitles them to respect. I rejoice, indeed, of Chancery. The House is aware, that, that I did so postpone the consideration in the course of the last session of parlia- of the question, because that postponement ment, I gave a notice of nearly the same has afforded me additional opportunities description, and that in pursuance of that of considering subjects, as I have already notice I obtained leave to bring in a bill observed, of very great difficulty, and of for the same purpose as that which I am maturing the plans which I am about to now about to propose. It will be neces- submit to the House. I am satisfied, too, sary, therefore, in the first place, to explain, from that more mature consideration, that in a few words, why I did not avail myself it will not be necessary, in the bill which of the permission I then obtained, and I am now about to propose, to make any why I did not follow up the measure I provisions which shall call for pecuniary then proposed in the subsequent stages. assistance; but that, on the contrary, we It must be quite obvious to every one ac- shall be able to carry all its objects into quainted with the subject, that a measure effect, without requiring from the country which purposed to alter the course of pro- any grant of money. ceeding in the highest court of the king- It will not be expected that I should dom, must involve great complexity of ar- now go into an explanation of all the parrangement, and call for extraordinary ticulars of the evils or the remedies, as minuteness of detail. In the measure applicable to the practice of the court of which I submitted to the House last ses- Chancery, with the same minuteness of sion, there were provisions which would detail, as when I had last the honour to have rendered it necessary to make an ap- address the House on this subject. I am plication to parliament for a very consi- convinced, that such a course would be as
a derable pecuniary grant, in order to give irksome to the House, as it would be painthem full and efficient operation. After ful to myself. I shall endeavour, therefore, having given that and other circumstances to treat the subject generally, and to rendue consideration, it appeared to me, and der my references as clear and as intelligito others, by whose advice I was influenced, ble as possible, not only to those who are that it would be almost impossible, during acquainted with the practice of the court, the remainder of the session, to succeed in but-at least in its outline-also to those carrying that bill, and the other measures who are not practically acquainted with by which it must have been accompanied, the court, and who have no practical through the two Houses of parliament in knowledge upon the subject. such a manner as to give them the effect In the first place, therefore, it will be of law. These considerations, therefore, necessary to understand the nature of the in conjunction with others, induced me to subject, that I should get rid of all those abstain from pressing the bill upon the cavils and objections which have no bearattention of this House during that session; ing upon the question we are about to for I thought it would be an idle waste of examine. I may say, with confidence, time to enter upon the discussion of the that I have never found any one individual, matters contained in it, without a prospect upon whose judgment I could place the of coming to any satisfactory issue, and least reliance, who attempted to find fault involving the House in discussions which with that system of jurisprudence which could only lead to unprofitable debates. I distinguishes the court of Chancery from thought it, therefore, better at once to the other courts of civil and criminal law, abandon the bill which I then introduced, and which is with us called Equity. Í reserving to myself the right to repeat the never recollect any one who ventured to motion when I considered it to be more assert, that the jurisdiction of that court expedient, and to follow it up by a bill, I could be dispensed with ; and, considering the nature of the subjects brought under one body of men, and another body, supits consideration, which it is called upon porting their rights upon different interests. to be conversant with, I consider it im- To take, for an illustration to the House, possible that such a court could be dis- a familiar instance of the nature of propensed with, in the present state of society. ceedings in the court of law and the court If one party, for instance, enters into an of equity. A man sues another for a debt agreement, the stipulations of which may in a court of law. The questions to be be binding to a great extent, every person determined are simple—the existence of knows that, if we attempt to call him to a the debt, and its amount, and the process specific performance of his contract, the is ended. Let us take an analogous case law affords no remedy. The relief which, in a court of equity, and see the course of in that case, must be obtained, is peculiar proceeding there. A man dies, perhaps to a court of equity. If I have a tenant insolvent, the whole mass of his creditors who, under the power of a lease, attempts step in, and demand a division of his to cut down my timber and to commit ! effects; but, instead of the question being other dilapidations upon my property, determined there, as in a court of law, by what remedy have I in a court of law? one action, every individual creditor is There is none to be had. If I wish to called upon to prove his debt, and there obtain my object, I must call upon a court are, consequently, as many causes to be of equity to interpose, and prevent what tried as there are creditors to claim. It would otherwise prove perhaps an irrepa- would be no difficult matter to enumerate rable injury to my property. I mention many other instances in which a complexthese instances to shew that a court of ity, arising from the claims of several equity possesses a power of affording parties, might occur, which could only be relief which cannot be dispensed with, and settled in a court of equity. The interests, which we might seek in vain from a court and the proportion of interests, which of law; and I repeat the observation which contending claimants had frequently in I made before; namely, that I never knew property, could only be adjusted in such a an individual, who possessed any know- court. No person, therefore, I presume, ledge upon the subject, and whose opinion supposes that equity can or ought to be could be relied upon, who would venture dispensed with; or that it is not essentially to say that equity could be dispensed with, necessary to continue and persevere in our that what is called equity could be even system of jurisprudence. I yield to no administered by the courts of law, or that man in my admiration of the simplicity of it could be obtained by any other means proceedings in courts of law. I have been than a distinct and different tribunal, brought up in early prejudices in favour of limited to a peculiar object. If that be so that simplicity; but it is in consequence --and I can scarcely think it will be denied of the separation of the business in the
- then it will not be difficult to under-courts of law, from that which should be stand the points to which our inquiries conducted in courts of equity, that the must be directed.
simplicity of the former has been preserved. Before, however, I go further, I think it It is in consequence of this just distriburight to endeavour to remove a reproach tion, that a single judge in one year has which has been frequently cast upon the been able to dispose of, causes during the court of Chancery, with respect to the sittings in Middlesex and Westminster, to slowness of its operations, as compared the number of three thousand. with those of the courts of law. In one These preliminary observations I have respect, the operations of the court of deemed it necessary to make, to assist me Chancery are impeded from the very in directing the attention of the House to nature of the questions which it is called the points which it appears to me most upon to determine. In a court of law, requisite that their attention should be there is only one issue to be tried, upon directed. If, then, it appears obvious, which the court may be, perhaps, able to that there can be no question of destroying decide almost instantly. "In a court of the jurisdiction of courts of equity, nor of equity, the judge who presides is called uniting and blending the two jurisdictions upon to determine upon many complicated -and if it is found that individuals come questions connected with large masses of forward with evidence of great delay existproperty, in the hands of various indivi- ing in the business of these courts to duals, and to decide between the claims of what branch of the subject must our minds be directed with a view to a remedy? Of derstand, that the bill which he should necessity, to the machinery, with a view to have the honour of introducing, was framed quicken its motion. And, accordingly, upon the propositions contained in this we find, that when the government com- report; and, therefore, that in calling missioners commenced their labours, two upon them to consent to certain alterayears ago, it was to this point that their tions and amendments, in long-established attention was directed by his majesty's practice, he was suggesting no new spegovernment. The instructions to them culations, no visionary improvements, but were, to inquire into the practice of the the adoption of certain changes, which court of Chancery; to ascertain whether had been recommended, after two years any alteration or amendment in that prac- deliberate inquiry, and the elaborate extice would diminish the time and expenses amination of witnesses, by persons such usually attendant upon suits in that court. as he had described. This being the
This was the inquiry directed by govern- basis of his bill, he was sure the House ment; and its object was, in my opinion, would be disposed to receive it with the a most proper and legitimate one. same approbation which they had bestowed
Thus much, the right hon. and learned upon the report itself. He had not, howgentleman said, he felt himself called on ever, implicitly followed the directions of to explain to the House, in introducing to the report. It was upwards of a year their attention the nature of the measure since that document had been laid before founded upon the report of these com- the House; it related to subjects of the missioners. This commission was directed most intricate and complex nature; and to persons of great learning and intelli- since its first appearance, it had been subgence, and who, with the exception of two mitted to the eyes of an acute, discerning, or three, whom he should afterwards and accomplished, profession; and not, mention, had spent their lives in the study he might add, without commensurate beand practice of equity. It was impossible nefit. During that period, a noble lord, that persons more fitted to the task could a member of the other House, and also a have been found in the country. He knew member of the commission (lord Redesit had been said, that, although all of them dale), but whose name did not appear to were qualified, from their long acquaint- the report, had published to the world his ance with the subject, to take a better view opinions on the propositions contained in of it than any others, yet the prejudices of it. No one in the country was better inhabit would prevent them from taking a formed upon the subject of the proposijust judgment on the subject. But in tions investigated by the commission, and answer to this, he would point to his hon. further, as to the details of the subject, no and learned friend, the member for Tre- one was more intimately conversant; and gony (Dr. Lushington), who, if he had he regretted, with all the respect that he any prejudices, were such as would lead entertained for his talents and integrity, his mind rather in a contrary direction; that that noble lord had not, day by day, yet he found his hon. and learned friend's attended in his place as a commissioner, name signed to the report, upon the re- to inform his own mind, and the minds of commendation of which the bill which it his colleagues ; but that he had waited, was his intention to introduce, was found until the end of their labours, to give the ed. He would also point to another name public, in the form of a pamphlet, the (Mr. R. Smith's) in the same situation-benefit of his reasons, why the propositions the name of one whom he was proud to of the commission ought not to be relied call his friend—a man of great learning, on. This much he had felt it his duty seldom voting upon his side of the House, thus boldly to state, notwithstanding an accomplished scholar, uncompromising the admiration he felt for the extensive in his principles, and industrious, active, knowledge and talents of that noble and and zealous in attending on the commis- learned lord, and his general disposition sion, day after day, in the progress of the to serve his country; still he had profited inquiry. He found the report had the by one or two suggestions made against sanction of his distinguished name; and the recommendations of the commission. he appealed to the authority of these two He would not enter into a lengthened denames to refute the charge of bias brought tail of these suggestions, but confine him against the judgment of the commissioners. self to the mention of one of them. Gen
The House, then, would distinctly un- 1 tlemen acquainted with the practice of