Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

report to the Home Office on the criminal, with grand juries altogether, but the fourth law generally, in which he recommended clause provided that when the magistrate that grand juries should be abolished in thought there was not sufficient evidence the metropolitan districts,

In 1849, to warrant the putting the accused person Bill was brought in by the Government on bis trial, the party bringing the accuof the day for the same purpose, and a sation might prefer an indictment at the Select Committee of the House of Com. Central Criminal Court, or other Court, and mons was appointed to inquire into the the same proceedings should be bad theresubject. Six witnesses were examined on as was now the law in similar cases ; men of great practical experience—namely, provided he gave notice in writing to the Mr. Clark, the Clerk of Arraigns at the magistrate who had heard the case bis Central Criminal Court; Mr. Humphreys, intention to do so within two days, and an attorney of great experience in crimi- also gave notice of the Court to which he nal cases; Mr. Alderman Wire, the present intended to carry the case. There would Lord Mayor ; Mr. Mirehouse, the then be no great inconvenience in such a Common Serjeant; Mr. Puckle, Chairman course, as the accused would know who of the Surrey Sessions; and Mr. Bennoch, was the prosecutor and who were the a merchant of London; who all gave the witnesses. Then he proposed that the strongest possible evidence in favour of grand jury of the Central Criminal Court the abolitiou of grand juries. The Bill, should assemble three times a year, and however, was dropped. In 1852, when he that the grand juries at quarter sessions (the Lord Chancellor) was again Attorney four times a year, when charges of this General, he brought in a Bill for the same nature should be received and determined. purpose, which failed in consequence of a He further proposed, that upon the notice change of Government. In 1857, with being given the depositions should be sent the sanction of the late Government, he to the Court, hefore which the trial was to introduced a similar measure, but owing take place, and if any indictment in respect to the press of public business he was of such charge be preferred to the grand unable to proceed with it. Under these jury, the officer of the Court is to deliver circumstances he hoped that their Lord to them these depositions. These were ships would agree that there was no pro- the general provisions of a Bill which he position involved in his measure which thought would accomplish important obhad not been maturely considered, and jects. It would get rid altogether of which was not desirable. Provision was secret accusations—it would get rid of the made in the Bill for cases where parties absurdity of a second imperfect investiwere committed and bound over to take gation of a charge after a complete, full, their trial; but he had further to proviile and satisfactory examination before the for the fears of a noble and learned magistrate—and it would provide for what Friend (Lord Wensleydale), who was of some persons thought the accuser ought opinion that it was the right of every sub- to have—namely, the opportunity of going ject to put the criminal law in force ac- before a grand jury, and pressing his accucording to the established law. He (the sation in cases where the magistrate conLord Chancellor) did not altogether adopt sidered the evidence insufficient. that doctrine, but it appeared to him to be Bill to make better Provision concerning one of the strongest arguments against the the Procedure against Persons charged establishment of a Public Prosecutor he had with Indictable Offences within the Metroever heard. He was aware that the Lord politan Districts presented. Chief Justice considered that when the evi- The EARL OF SHAFTESBURY gave dence before the magistrate was not suffi- their Lordships an illustration of his own cient to justify the con mittal of the ac- personal experience of the uselessness and cused, the accuser should have the oppor- inconvenience of the system proposed to be tunity of applying to & Judge or some remedied by the noble Lord on the wool. other tribunal in order to put the party sack. On one occasion he had his pocket upon his trial, if sufficient evidence could picked, but he gave chase to the lightbe adduced. He had provided for such fingered fugitive, captured him and introcases, and he trusted that he had, induced him to the Rhadamanthus at Marlthe measure as it stood, met all objec borough Street, where the whole case was tions, and he might almost say all preju- fully investigated, and the case sent for diccs.

He did not propose io dispense trial by the magistrate ; but notwithstand


ing that, he was compelled to be two days

HOUSE OF COMMONS, in attendance at Clerkenwell Session-house, waiting the deliberation and decision of the

Thursday, March 10, 1859. grand jury; and, after all, the operation of finding a true bill did not occupy five mi- Minutes.] New Member Sworn.- For Sussex nutes, Ilad he not been an idle person,

(Western Division), Right Hon. the Earl of

March. but a man engaged in urgent business, the inconvenience and loss of time would have been exceedingly great. Nothing, more- TIE REFORM BILL.-NOTICE. over, could be worse than the accommodation given, for he and the public had to pace that in Committee on the Representation

MR. MILES : Sir, I beg to give notice about on the cold stones, and there was not of the People Bill, I the accommodation of even a single seat.


" To move LORD CRANWORTH expressed his

a clause giving to the electors of cities and entire concurrence in the measure pro- lung as they themselves possess freeholds

boroughs now represented the right, as pounded by the noble and learned Lord on within such cities and boroughs for which the woolsack. He had two days ago received a letter from a person with whom they have qualified for a county, to retain he was not acquainted, but who appeared vided their votes have been duly registered

the right of voting for such county proto be an intelligent person, suggesting in the Register of Electors for the year with reference to the Bill of the Lord 1858-9: Upon transfer by sale, or in any Chief Justice, that it might be the proper other manner of such freelolds, or by the occasion to remove what the writer con- decease of such elector, the freehold for sidered an anomaly, involving an which he has voted for the county to merge cessary expenditure of public money, of in the city or borough in which such freepresenting indictments in cases of man- hold shall be situate.” slaughter and murder after a coroner's in

LORD JONIN RUSSELL: I beg Sir, quest tad been held. He thought that his correspondent was mistaken on that point, Second Reading of the Representation of

to give notice that on the Motion for the and that there might be a difficulty in lay. the People Bill I shall move as a Resoluing it down that the inquest by the coroner

tionshould be the only preliminary charge on which the accused person should be tried.

“ That this House is of opinion that it is neither ]t often happened that very valuable evi- just nor politic to interfere in the manner pro

posed in this Bill with the Freehold Franchise as dence was given after the coroner bad held hitherto exercised in the Counties in England and his inquest.

Wales; and that no readjustment of the Franchise THE LORD CHANCELLOR would turn will satisfy this House or the country which does his attention to the point, but observed not provide for a greater extension of the suffrage

in cities and boroughs than is contemplated in the there was a clause in the Bill which ex

present measure.' empted proceedings upon coroner's inqui. sitions, when a verdict of murder or man. slaughter has been found. The Act also

BOROUGH ELECTORS.-QUESTION. was not to affect ex-officio informations by

MR. FOLJAMBE said, as it appears, the Attorney General, or the jurisdiction by Parliamentary Paper No. 108 of last of the Court of Queen's Bench.

Session, that the Registered Electors of LORD WENSLEYDALE, while admit- the borough of East Retford entitled to ting that some alteration of the law was vote for the northern division of the county desirable, thought the rights of prosecutors of Nottingham, are only eighty-six in to put the criminal law in force should be number, whereas it appears by the County preserved ; but the clause introduced by Register of Voters that the number liis noble and learned Friend removed much amouuts to 1,466, he would beg to ask of the objection he had expressed on a for- Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer to give iner occasion upon that point. He regard- an explanation of this difference ; and ed the grand jury as a constitutional and a whether the proposal to disfranchise the useful institution, and should be sorry to freeholders of boroughs in respect of their see it abolished in all cases.

county votes extended to the cases in which Bill read ja.

hundreds are included within the limits of

Parliameutary boroughs ?
House adjourned at a quarter before
Seven o'clock, till To-morrow,

Tue CUANCELLOR OF THE EXCUEhalf-past Ten o'clock. QUER : Sir, I have referred to the Par

liamentary Paper No. 108, and the entry subject just presented by a Committee to that appears for East Retford is as stated the Board of Admiralty, and which would by the hon. Gentleman ; but this Return shortly be laid on the table of the House. is made by the County Officers, and is not under our control; and I am quite at a loss

DISEMBODIMENT OF THE MILITIA. to explain the remarkable inconsistency pointed out by the hon. Gentleman-no

QUESTION. doubt, on correct local information-be- MR. BROWN-WESTHEAD said, he tween the return and the County Register. would beg to ask the Secretary of State With regard to the second part of the hon. for War what Regiments of Militia are to Gentleman's question, as to the disfran- be disembodied, and at what time ; and chisement of freeholders in boroughs in whether, when the number of Officers with respect of their county votes, I would in- a Regiment much exceeds the relative form the hon. Gentleman that our proposal proportion of Non-Commissioned Officers to disfranchise freeholders in boroughs in and Privates, the Government will permit voting for counties, will not extend to those a limited number of Officers to return to cases in which hundreds are included within their homes ? the limits of Parliamentary borouglis ; and GENERAL PEEL : Sir, the Regiments I will take this opportunity of explaining, in of Militia to be disembodied are the North reference to the notice just given by the Lancashire, Nottingham, North Durham, noble Lord the Member for the City of and Wexford, and that will take place beLondon and of my hon. Friend (Mr. Miles) fore the 1st of April. There will be some that it is not the intention of the Govern- Militia Artillery Regiments embodied at ment to propose the disfranchisement of the same time. If the number of Officers any borough freeholders, whether they ex. in any of the Regiments are greatly in ex. ercise the right of voting in hundreds with cess of the men, and desire to return to in the limits of Parliamentary boroughs or their homes, it is in the power of the Comnot. One of the principles of the measure mander in Chief to grant them leave of which I had the honour to introduce the absence. They will not be entitled to pay, other night is, that no place and no person and will be liable to be called out when shall be disfranchised. The subject is their services are required. under the consideration of the Government, and I intend shortly to place clauses on the

LANDLORD AND TENANT (IRELAND). table by which I trust we shall reconcile the main principle of the measure, which

QUESTION is the identity of the suffrage between MR. BOWYER said, he wished to know counties and boroughs, with the recognized whether Her Majesty's Government will be rights of the freeholders within the limits prepared to bring in a Bill for the adjustof Parliamentary boroughs. I shall pro- ment of the question of Landlord and Tenpose clauses with this object when we go ant in Ireland, and when. into Committee, and I will lay those clauses THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEon the table before the second reading of QUER replied, that his right hon. and the Bill.

learned Friend the Attorney General for

Ireland, in consequence of an application PIERS AND IIARBOURS.

to him by an hon. Gentleman opposite, had

asked him (the Chancellor of the ExcheQUESTION.

quer), before he left recently for Ireland, Mr. FINLAY said, he would beg to to appoint a day for bringing forward the ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if it is question. It was due to the House that the intention of Her Majesty's Ministers the views of Her Majesty's Government, to introduce a Bill to facilitate the con- with regard to the question of Landlord struction of Piers and Harbours, and, if so, and Tenant, which had been so long diswhen.

cussed, and respecting which the GovernSir JOHN PAKINGTON replied, that ment had announced its intention to bring it was the intention of Her Majesty's Go- in a Bill, should be known ; and on the vernment to introduce a Bill of the descrip- return of the Attorney General the Governtion referred to by the hon. Member, but ment would be ready to fulfil their engagethe introduction of that measure would be ment, and would endeavour to give him a postponed till the Government had had an day to state the policy of the Government opportunity of considering a Report on the before Easter.

[ocr errors]


which they could be repaid, and afterwards MR. HANKEY said, he rose to call the

the fundeď debt of the country would stand attention of the House to the late funding transaction. But mark the difference that

precisely in the same way as before the of Exchequer Bills, preparatory to moving, took place, if, instead of purchasing stock

“That in future no funding of Exchequer Bills, in the open market, the deposits of the held by the Commissioners of Savings Banks, be savings' banks were invested in Exchequer made without the special authority of an Act of bills; those bills, after a certain lapse of Parliament."

time, were converted into stock, and by The words of that Motion were precisely being funded these Exchequer bills were identical with one of the Resolutions of cancelled, but the stock remained as a the late Committee which sat last year, permanent charge. He was quite aware presided over by the right hon. Gen- that the indebtedness of the country, as tleman the Secretary of State for the regards capital, was not altered by the Home Department. He brought forward operation ; the country was still indebted the Motion with no object of making an for the amount of the savings' banks attack on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. deposits ; but it did appear to He might be told that it was in conse- great difference if the repayments when quence of the Act of the late Government, required had to be made by the sale of who possessed themselves of a certain stock, instead of by the sale of Excheamount of Exchequer bills, that this mea- quer bills, as in that case the funded debt sure of fuoding became almost a matter of remained the same. Now, the amount of necessity. The operation which had taken Exchequer Bills of which he had spoken place was this. There had been a new was obtained in this way. It was perfectly creation of funded debt to the amount of competent for the Commissioners of savings' £8,456,239, involving a permanent charge banks to invest in any Government se. of £254,000 a year, in lieu of cancel- curity. If they invested in stock he had led Eschequer bills to the amount of stated what was the effect ; if in Exche£7,600,000, involving an annual charge quer bills-to those bills if held merely of £160,000. He was not going to lay as a temporary investment he had no any stress on this difference between the objection — but if, acting on the power charge on the Exchequer bills as com- granted by the Acts under which all the pared with the charge on the 3 per cent savings' banks were now constituted, the Stock, because he was aware that the real Government turned those Exchequer bills charge on the Exchequer was the amount into stock, that clearly involved a perwhich the Government was bound to pay to manent increase of the national debt. the depositors of the savings' banks, and, And it appeared to be most desirable therefore, it might be said it was a matter that the House should watch with jealousy of but little difference whether the interest any increase of the funded debt of this was more or less ; but he did think that it country. Well, some of these bills liad was a matter of very great importance that been bought in the open market ; but a this House should well consider any question considerable portion of those so bought which involved an increase of the funded were bouglit with funds obtained by the debt on the country. The ordinary mode sale of stock. It was during the time of of dealing with savings' banks deposits was the late Chancellor of the Exchequerthis : it was presumed that the deposits he believed in 1853 or 1854, during the were invested as soon as possible in Go- late war—that the right hon. Gentleman vernment securities. That was necessary found himself under what he probably conin order to prevent the waste of any money sidered to be a necessity to provide some lying idle in the bank of England in the fund which was not readily at his comnames of the Commissioners of savings' mand in the ordinary course of the money banks ; but when the deposits were invest- market; and perhaps, indeed, the exed in that manner there was not necessarily penditure of the war any increase in the total amount of the as to baffle every calculation. He took funded debt. Supposing that these de- the power of obtaining money from this posits were to be required again by the House. But there might have been diffidepositors, then if the stock had been culties in getting the money in the way he bought in the open market, the stock thought most advantageous to the country. could be sold again in the same way, and He therefore touk advantage of the provithus a fund would be provided out of sions of the Act, and he sold abuut


[ocr errors]


£4,000,000 of stock, and he bought Ex-1 of the debt, but made in a manner that chequer bills. The effect of that operation appeared quite unnecessary. Including was that he took a certain amount of Ex- that £8,000,000, he believed that about chequer bills out of the market, thereby £16,000,000 had been added within the tending to enhance the price of Exchequer last twenty years to the funded debt by bills, which were at a discount at the mo- such arrangements. He was not about ment; and he was then enabled, by having to discuss at any length the provisions a smaller amount of bills in the market, to of that Act, though he believed there was replace those bills which he took out. lle a very strong feeling in the House that was enabled in some way or other to sell it would not be wise to continue them. that amount of Exchequer bills. These He was not afraid at this moment of bills, therefore, came into possession of the any abuse of that power by the Chanlate Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Com- cellor of the Exchequer ; but he thought missioner of Savings' Bankis, purely by the it a most unwise provision.

It was a sale of stock. It appeared to him (Mr. thing that Pariament ought to guard Hankey) that it would have been wise, if against under almost any possible circumpossible, to have avoided the necessity of stances-an increase of the funded debt. funding those bills, and thereby of increas. That £16,000,000 involved an expendiing the amount of the funded debt. He ture of upwards of £400,000 a year ; thought it would have been quite possible. and if even the whole of the Savings' There was no difficulty at the time of Bank money were paid off by the sale of selling Exchequer bills. He did not mean stock, the country would be left in this to say that it would have been possible or predicament, that it would be saddled with prudent to have thrown any large amount an extension of the funded debt to the of Exchequer bills into the market; but if extent of £16,000,000. He did pot think those Exchequer bills had been disposed of that that was intended by the provisions by degrees the stock might again have been of the Savings Bank Act; but that bought, and the result of that transaction the Commissioners of Savings' Banks would have been no permanent increase of were to place themselves in the position the National Debt. . The transaction was of the depositors themselves - be their in effect nothing more nor less than a pure representatives, in short — and as soon war loan. It was owing, probably, to that as possible invest the money in stock, arrangement of the late Chancellor of the and keep that stock in their names, Exchequer that the present Chancellor of the same as a banker would do to enable the Exchequer thought it expedient to him to meet the requirements of bis carry out what he thought his predecessor customers. The Committee of last Seswould have done had he remained in office. sion recommended in their Report that He (Mr. Hankey) was quite aware that the funded debt of the country should this was in strict conformity with the Act not be increased by means of the money of Parliament. The Act of Parliament, in the Savings' Banks. llis right hon. for what purpose he could not divine, seemed Friend opposite (Mr. Gladstone) had laid to have given large powers to the Chan- it down as a principle that it was the duty cellor of the Exchequer with regard to of the Chancellor of the Exchequer always funding Exchequer bills.

It would be to take care that as much money as lie strictly in conformity with the provisions could require was raised from the taxation of the Act if the Chancellor of the Exche- of the year, and he hoped his right hon. quer were to-morrow to find himself in this Friend would support him in maintaining position, that in consequence of some to the utmost the power of this House, sudden demand for money which raised its and that the House would not consent value, and placed Exchequer bills in the to sanction, unless on occasions of great market at a discount, — it would be within emergency, an increase of the funded the provisions of that Act for bin to sell debt. In bringing this subject under the whole of that £8,000,000 of the fund- the notice of the House he was actuated ed debt, and buy Excheqner bills, and by no party feelings whatever. His chief therefore relieve the Exchequer bill market desire was to elicit the opinions of the to that extent. The same operation might Ilouse on the principles upon which the go on again, but limited of course by the operations of savings' banks ought to be amount of Exchequer bills to be bought conducted ; and if the House would agree in the market. It might go on for some with him in the Resolution he proposed, time, and the result would be an increase he believed the result would be to put an

« ZurückWeiter »