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but the reasons which had been alleged gretted the depression of the shipping were sufficient to explain it, without refer- interest, but he believed that it was only ence to the repeal of the Navigation Laws. I temporary, and that it would die away as They had now and then great depression trade resumed its natural course. in the cotton trade. There was never any
MR. SPAIGIIT said, that under the particularly good trade in any line of busi operation of the Passengers' Act, eminess, but it was invariably followed by a grants from the western coast of Ireland reaction, which was aggravated by the to America were led to obtain their passage very success which had attended it. Let in foreign ships, in which they were subthe House look at the great increase of jected to the most infamous treatment; and ship-building which had taken place in the measure had in that way been producthis country since the repeal of the Na- tive of the most disastrous consequences. vigation Laws, and they would easily un- It was at present almost impossible for a derstand how it was that a sudden check British shipowner to carry on his business in that tide of successful industry had except at a loss; and he (Mr. Spaight) been productive of considerable mischief hoped that the Committee would devise and inconvenience. The amount of ship. some remedy for that evil. ping built in 1849 was 227,000 tons; in MR. LINDSAY replied. He had no 1850, 245,000 tons; in 1851, 262,000 objection to the substitution of the word tons; and it had averaged 250,000 tons "all" for the word “ certain” in the Moa year.
But in 1855, under the excite- tion. IIe did not, however, propose that ment of the war, it was no less than the Committee should enter into the details 389,000 tons; in 1856, 492,000 tons; in of the question of Lights, Passing Tolls, 1857, 423,000 tons, and in 1858 even still and Local Dues. Those subjects had algreater. It seemed to be assumed in all ready been amply dealt with by Committees the arguments out of doors that the Navi- of that Ilouse; and he only regretted that gation Laws were repealed for the express the recommendations of those Committees purpose of increasing the amount of British had not been carried into operation. The shipping; and because British shipping hon. Gentleman who spoke in two capacihad not increased in an equal ratio with ties, one as Secretary to the Treasury and foreign shipping, it was alleged that the the other as Secretary to the Board of repeal of those laws had not been suc- Trade, said that, whatever were the recomcessful. He thought it a distinct proof mendations of the Committee, he hoped of the necessity of the measure. Com- that they would not come to the Treasury merce had increased 90 per cent since for assistance. With regard to that ques1844, and if there had not been a large tion, he thought that if it was shown that increase of foreign shipping the increased the burdeus to which the shipping interest commerce could not have been conveyed. was subjected were unjust, and such as the So far from the repeal of the Navigation shipping interest ought not to be called Laws not having succeeded, its success upon to bear, the country would have no was proved by the fact that, although the objection to relieve them of it, even though amount of British shipping had been of the expense should fall on itself. late vears double what it was before, they Question “ That those words be there had been able to call in aid the services of added,” put, and agreed to. even a larger increased amount of foreign Main Question, as amended, put, and shipping It was not because the amount agreed to. of home grown corn or the amount of Select Committee appointed, colonial sugar had not increased in the
“ To inquire into the operation of all burdens and same ratio as the amount of foreign-grown restrictions especially affecting Merchant Shipping. corn and sugar that the repeal of the and of the following Statutes : 9 & 10 Vict. c. 93
, Corn Laws or of the duties on sugar killed by Accidents ; the Merchant Shipping Act,
An Act for compensating the Families of Persons had failed. He could not admit that 1854 ; the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment the repeal of the Navigation Laws was Act, 1855 ; the l'assengers' Act, 1855; and the for any other purpose than for the be. Chinese Passengers' Act, 1855." nefit of the whole community. or that any argument had been ailduced which proved
APPEAL IN CRIMINAL CASES BILL. that it had not been equally successful as in every other case in which the principles MR. M'MATION said, he rose to move of Free Trade had been applica. He re- for leave to bring in a Bill to secure a
right of appeal in criminal cases. The Bill that objection to the consideration of the was substantially as that he had introduced house. As to this Bill, he would wait till in the course of last Session, but as he it was- laid upon the table before coming understood that the Government did not to a decision as to its merits. intend to oppose the first reading of the quite ready to admit that there were mat.. Bill, he would not occupy the attention and ters connected with the subject which retime of the House in going into its pro- quired Amendment, but he did not think visions, which could be fully discussed here that he was disposed to go the length of after.
the hon. Meniber. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL said, Leave given. that he had no intention to oppose the in- Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. troduction of the Bill. The matter was DILLWYN, Sir RICHARD BETHELL, and Mr. one of considerable importance, and Her MASSEY. , Majesty's Government were impressed with Bill presented and read 1°. the necessity of granting an appeal, if not to the extent that the on, and learned Mem.
PETITIONS OF RIGHT BILL. ber desired, at any rate to some extent. He thought that the appeal, however,
FIRST READING. should be confined to matters of law. If MR. BOVILL said, he rose to move for the Bill of his hon. and learned Friend did leave to bring in a Bill to amend the law not completely attain the desired end, some relating to Petitions of Right. His object Member of the Government would bring in was to afford the Subject a simple and a Bill for that purpose, which would be laid efficient remedy against the Crown and the ou the table very shortly ;- and he hoped various departinents of the Government. that when both Bills were considered to. The only mode by which a Subject could gether, some mode of appeal would be obtain redress in a dispute with the Crown
or the Government was by a Petition of Leave given.
Right, and this form of proceeding was of Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. such a character as, in many instances, to M.Maion, Mr. Burt, and Mr. HadrielD. amount to a complete and absolute deBill presented and read 1°.
nial of justice. The proceeding was so dilatory and expensive that few were in
clined to adopt it, and so antiquated that ENDOWED SCHOOLS (No. 2) BILL.
few persons even in the profession of the FIRST READING.
law were acquainted with its forms, and MR. DILWYNN said, he wished to as each counsel was consulted it often remove for leave to bring in a Bill for the quired days of study to ascertain what were better regulation of Endowed Schools, the proper forms to be adopted. The law He had brought in a measure previously, officers of the Crown were embarrassed, the but was advised that it ought not to be highest judges of the land had condemned made applicable to public schools, and that it, and Lord Chancellor after Lord Chanthere was also a legal objection to the form cellor had expressed his regret that this of that Bill. He had therefore withdrawn method of examining questions between it, and now begged leave to substitute the Crown and the subject should be reanother for it; in which he had introduced tained. When a Subject sought redress a clause excepting the Universities of Ox. from the Crown as represented by one of ford and Cambridge, and also the public the public departments he prepared a schools, from its operation. He had, in Petition of Right, which was presented to addition, provided against the legal objec- the Ilome Secretary, and referred by him tions that were taken to the last Bill, so to the law officers of the Crown. If the he hoped that it would meet with the ap- claim for redress were made out, the petiproval of the House. He understood that tion passed from the Ilome Secretary and the Government did not intend to oppose obtained the sign manual of the Queen, the introduction of the measure, so he with the words, “ Let right be done." would not detain the Ilouse further, but This fiat acted as a reference to the Lord would simply move for leave to introduce it. Chancellor, and a Commission was there.
THE SOLICITOR GENERAL said, he upon issued, and a jury summoned before thought that the legal objection that had whom the Suppliant produced evidence at been taken to the last Bill would have a great expense in support of his case. proved quite fatal to if he had submitted If the verdict on the Commission was in
his favour he was then only in the posi- | ceeding. He proposed to allow the perition of an ordinary suitor commencing a tion to be presented and prosecuted in the suit. The whole expense previously in- form either of a bill in Chancery or of a curred, and it frequenıly amounted to some declaration at law, the Attorney General hundreds of pounds, was entirely thrown being called upon to answer it on the part away. The Crown was then called upon of the Government. In that way delay to answer, and the suit proceeded accord- and expense would be avoided ; but, in ing to the ordinary forms applicable to the order that there should not be frivolous and
Another jury were summoned, and vexatious suits brought against the Governthe case was tried before the Judge and ment, liis Bill provided that no person jury. The result was that, unless he re- should be at liberty to prosecute bis Peticovered more than £1,000 the suitor would tion of Right until he had satisfied a Judge generally be out of pocket, and no one of one of the superior courts that he had would embark in such a litigation to en- reasonable grounds for proceeding with his force his claims against the Crown un- suit. If he were told that affording a less he had a claim amounting to £2,000 simple remedy would encourage useless or £3,000. Many contracts were made litigation, his answer was that the penalty during the late war by the different de- of having to pay the costs in the event partments of the Government, and some of failure would deter persons from veedwere rather abruptly broken by the Govern- lessly embarking in law proceedings. The ment at the close of the war, so that the change which he proposed was not withquestion had a practical interest at the out precedents, for in 1855 an Act present moment.
If a person who entered was passed by which the costs in revenue into a contract with the Government was prosecutions were made payable or recharged with a breach of it, the remedy coverable by the Crown, as the case on the part of the Crown against him might be. So, too, there were precewas direct and immediate ; but, on the dents for allowing persons to sue the Atother hand, when he wanted to enforce his torney General on the part of the Crown. rights against the Government, he was In 1857 an Act was passed which enabled practically prevented from doing so, and all persons having claims upon the Governthe result was that the greatest possible ment in Scotland to sue the Lord Advodissatisfaction prevailed among the mer. cate, and last Session, when the adminiscantile community. Under these circum- tration of India was transferred to the stances it had occurred to him and many Crown, it was provided that persons havother lawyers that some amendment should ing claims against the Government in rebe made in the law. He desired to sim. spect to Indian affairs should be entitled plify the present cumbrous and expensive to issue a writ against the Secretary of proceedings, and there was no reason why State, and so have their cases determined they should not be assimilated to those that by the ordinary tribunals of the country, took place between Subject and Subject, He was sure that the change he proposed or to those that were adopted when the would be of essential advantage to the Crown endeavoured to enforce its rights by public service, because when people knew process of law. The Bill which he had they had a clear and simple remedy they prepared would be found to accomplish would be more willing to enter into conthat object. Delay would be avoided, ex- tracts with the Government; and, at all pense would be saved, and wherever a events, the public would have the satisSubject succeeded in maintaining his claim faction of knowing that there was one he would be entitled to his costs, while, if equal law for the Crown and its Subjects. on the other hand he brought forward a | The hon. and learned Gentleman concludclaim which he could not substantiate, heed by moving for leave to bring in a Bill would then equally have to pay the costs “to amend the Law relating to Petitions incurred by the Crown. The mode in of Right, to simplify the proceedings, and which he proposed to carry out this to make provision for the costs thereof." amendment of the law was, not to allow The ATTORNEY GENERAL said, a writ to be issued in the name of the the Ilouse and the country were much Sovereign, but to preserve, as more con- indebted to his hon, and learned Friend sistent with the Constitution, the form for having brought this important subject of the ancient Petition of Right, at the under their notice. Claims founded in jussame time sweeping away all the other tice might exist against the Crown, someunnecessary and expensive forms of pro- times to a considerable amount, and if a resort were necessary to legal proceedings, or eldest son took the property under the there was no other course open to a sub- existing law, but always under settlements ject of the Queen than the strange and or entail. But there was a very large class most inconvenient proceeding by way of of persons who were seriously injured by petition of right. It would be impossible the present law. He alluded to the numer. to exaggerate the dilatoriness, expensive- ous small proprietors of land or houses, ness, and olijectionable character of that who were quite ignorant of the operation proceeding from beginning to end, and he of the law. In their cases, as a rule, no had Jong desired to see a simple and effec- settlement was made upon marriage, and tive remedy supplied. In assenting, on whenever they did find out what the state the part of Her Majesty's Government, to of the law was they always made wills, in the introduction of the Bill, he, of course, order to defeat the injustice of the law. reserved the right of considering the pro- He felt confident that if a different law visions and details of the measure when it had prevailed many distressing cases of came before them for the second reading, hardship which were now continually ocand of ascertaining whether a sufficient curring would have been spared. The presafeguard had been provided against undue, sent law, it was said, was in harmony with frivolous and vexatious proceedings. the feelings of the great body of the landed Leave given.
proprietors of the kingdom, who are not Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. affected by it; but it was certainly not in Bovill, Sir RICHARD BETHELL, and Mr. harmony with the feelings of the small MACAULAY.
owners of property whose families are inBill presented, and read 1°.
juriously atfected by it. It should not Ilouse adjourned at a quarter after be said that this Bill was an insidious Twelve o'clock. attempt to assimilate the English law of
succession to that of France. In France there was scarcely any power of making a will allowed to the landed proprietor, since the land must be divided amongst his chil
dren ; under this Bill every person would HOUSE OF COMMONS, be able to make his will; but in the event
of his not making a will, all his family would Wednesday, March 2, 1859.
be provided for. We hoped the gentlemen Minutes.] Public Bills.—20 Newspapers, &c.; of the legal profession would not endeavour
Conveyance of Voters; Recreation Grounds. by dwelling upon mere technicalities to de3o Medical Act (1858) Amandment.
feat this Bill, for it was by promoting re
forms of the law that they would make their REAL ESTATE INTESTACY BILL.
presence in that House popular with the community. The principle which he now
contended for had been adopted with regard Order for Second Reading read. to leasehold property, and no difficulty was
MR. LOCKE KING rose to move the found in its distribution ; why, therefore, second reading of this Bill. Ile said it should it not be extended to small freeholds ? had been attempted to make it appear There was no danger of its leading to an that this Bill would interfere with settle excessive subdivision of the land, which ments and family arrangements. In his the common sense of the people might be opinion the measure would have no effect relied on to prevent.
lle would not dewhatever on the estates or the families tain the llouse with any lengthened arof the upper classes or the great landed guments in support of the Bill; he would proprietors in the country, for it would only remind it there was a strong feel. only come into operation when there was ing in the mind of the middle classes no will, and no settlement of any kind that much injury was done by the present had been made. In the families of the systeai. higher class a settlement was invariably Motion made and Question proposed, made upon marriage, so that the widow or “ That the Bill be read a second time.' younger children would not gain anything, LORD WILLIAM GRAHAM said, he and the eldest son or heir-at-law would should move as an Amendment that the lose nothing by this Bill if it should pass Bill be read a second time that day six into law. Amongst the great landowners montlis. Ile did not propose to enter into there was bardly a case in which the heir the legal technicalities of the case, but
only to draw the attention of the House | admit the influence of the commercial and to one or two broad and general results. manufacturing interests, he still believed The great or the noble, or the rich of that the maintenance of the great landed the land, would not to be the first to be properties was essential to the working of injured by the Bill. The class that would the British constitution. They are the be most injuriously affected by the measure balance or makeweight in the political was one that had been left entirely out of machine. If they were destroyed, they consideration. It was the class of small might have an American Republic, or a yeomen and small freeholders--the persons French despotism, but not the English who had acquired a small proprietorship in Government. It was the solid substratum land by industry and perseverance, and of power derived from the land that rewhose interests ought ever to be upheld by sisted all unnecessary change. The conthat House. The number of such persons tinual subdivision of land in France was had by a recent Parliamentary return been at the bottom of all the political troubles placed at 300,000. By the operation of the of that country during the last fifty Bill the land of these small proprietors would years It was by the votes of the numerbe divided and subdivided, and their cot- ous body of small landed proprietors that tages and freeholds, which, as stated by Louis Napoleon was raised to the Inthe noble Lord the Member for the City of perial throne. He did not wish to make London (Lord John Russell), might have any attack on the system of government been in their possession 400 years, or ever which prevailed in France, but he did not since the Norman Conquest, would be think the people of England were at all gradually swept away. And why ? Merely desirous that that form of government to satisfy a crochet of the hon. Member for should be introduced here. They regarded East Surrey that was entirely opposed to with dislike any legislation that would tend the feelings of the people of England; and, to produce that state of society which contrary to the general devisement of land might pave the way for such a form of goby will and testament. In all ordinary vernment in this country. Any one wbo cases land was left in a mass to the eldest had travelled in France must have observed 8on, with a provision from it for the other that the minute subdivision of land had also branches of the family. What does this seriously affected the agriculture of that prove? That the law of primogeniture is country. Stock, implements, and the culinherent in the character, customs, and tivation of the land had all deteriorated. feelings of Englishmen. He knew that the This was admitted even by the French hon. Member would say that the law of themselves. A French gentleman of exprimogeniture was not openly and directly perience in these matters, lecturing before attacked by this measure; but if it passed the Agricultural Society at Paris, had a most important step would have been stated that France was half a century taken towards abrogating the ordinary law behind England in the practice of agriof succession. If you once declare that culture ; and he gave it as his delibein cases of intestacy real estate shall be rate opinion that the superiority of Engcompulsorily divided, that it is a crying in- land in this respect was owing to those justice that land should not be equally di- social and political institutions this meavided amongst all the children, you raise sure would undermine anil destroy. And up a most formidable argument against what was the overwhelming necessity for the law of succession. The principle and the change? What was the crying inprecedent established by this Bill would justice that demanded such a remedy? If hereafter be quoted against it, and though any injustice was committed it was the conyou may not directly abrogate the law of sequence of a man's own negligence, and to primogeniture, you would so limit and re-call on Parliament to pass a special law to strain it as to attain that object in an in- remedy evils caused by individual neglect direct manner. They were bound to con- certainly required an unusual amount of sider what effect such an alteration of presumption. He would not impute any the law of property would have on the such presumption to the hon. Member; but government and constitution of this coun- then he thought it was plain he must have try. They were about to consider a Bill some other object, some ulterior aim, some modifying the representative system. With greater principle in view, that induced him, out wishing to attribute any exaggerated year after year, and Session after Session, importance to the large territorial posses- to introduce this Bill to alter a law which sions of the country, and perfectly ready to had worked so well, had produced such