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before the regulation was in force. In | ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS AND REGISconsequence, however, of the very strong
TRIES (IRELAND) BILL. opinion expressed on a previous occasion by the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Argyll) and others, although the regula
Order of the Day for the Second Readtion had been introduced for the public
ing read. benefit entirely, still, as it was thought to understood to say that the object of the
TAE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE was be attended with public inconvenience, he had taken upon himself to direct that it
measure was to appoint two vicars-general, should no longer be acted upon - and he
who were to act as assessors for the whole might state that the warrant to which the of the Irish Bishops, and thus to alter the noble Lord referred, and for a copy of existing law under which each prelate in which he had moved, had been already
Ireland had a vicar-general who acted as
his individual assessor. withdrawn.
A majority of the
Irish Bishops would have the power of apTHE DUKE OF SOMERSET said, it was satisfactory to hear from the noble Lord pointing the two new functionaries.
Moved_That the Bill be now read 2“. the Postmaster General that he had been
LORD CRANWORTH expressed his apinduced to abandon the recent arrangement. At the same time, he thought it proval of the Bill which, he said, proceeded most desirable that something should be very much on the same principle as done to expedite the delivery of letters, measure which he had some time since unand, therefore, the suggestion made by the successfully introduced, and which would noble Lord near hiin (Lord Monteagle), have embraced in its operation this country
well Ireland. that prepaid letters should have an advan
The BISHOP OF OXFORD said, his right tage over others in respect to early delivery, appeared an important one.
rev. Brethren of England objected to the
It was found that in large towns that men of business, appointment of two functionaries to act as tired of waiting for their letters, were
vicars-general, believing that it would be often obliged to leave home in the morning injurious to the Church, and prejudicial to
He without receiving them ; and they frequently found after they had left that the cidedly protest against the adoption of any
should not oppose the Bill, but would dedelay arose from the letter carrier having similar
measure affecting the English to stop at a house, every now and then, to
Church. get two pence from some old woman to
Motion agreed to : Bill read 2* accordwhom an unpaid letter had been addressed. He, therefore, thought it would be most whole House on Monday the 7th of March
ingly, and committed to a Committee of the desirable if some arrangement could be in
next. troduced by which all prepaid letters should have the advantage of early delivery, and
EXAMINATION OF PARTIES IN that those which were unpaid should be
CRIMINAL CASES. delivered at a later hour. People would then see the importance of prepaying their
LAW OF EVIDENCE FURTHER
AMENDMENT letters. He was not sure how such an arrangement would affect the delivery of foreign letters ; but if it could be intro- LORD BROUGHAM presented a Bill, duced into large towns it would be a great the object of which, he said, was to extend boon to the public.
to criminal cases the provisions of the Act THE DUKE OF ARGYLL said, he feared of 1851 which enabled parties in civil suits the noble Duke would be disappointed if to be witnesses. The effect would be to he expected great advantage in respect to enable the nccused party, if he so chose, the acceleration of the delivery of letters to offer himself for examination at his own from the suggestion he had mentioned ; trial, just in the same way that parties inasmuch as the number of unpaid letters were enabled to present themselves for bore a very small proportion indeed to examination in their own suits—with this those that were paid, and the time would difference, however, that in criminal cases be
very little diminished by the subtraction the examination was not to be compulsory ; of the unpaid letters.
and therefore this measure was of a perMotion agreed to.
missive character only. He readily adCopy of Paper ordered to be laid before mitted that the measure he proposed would the House.
be an important change in our criminal
procedure. But the more the subject was for the purpose of opposing the Motion that examined into the more it would be found the Bill be read a first time; but he bethat there was no solid foundation for the lieved that it was a measure that would present rule of our land by which a limita. call for the most mature consideration on tion was placed on the reception of evidence the part of their Lordships, because it was in criminal cases. The fact was that at one of the most important Bills as regarded present one of the parties was actually the administration of justice that had for a permitted to be a witness—for the prose- long time been brought under the notice of cutor was almost_invariably examined at the Legislature. He had always been an a criminal trial. But then it was said that advocate of the measure by which parties the Crown was the prosecutor, and that were allowed to give evidence in civil suits, the party was only the witness of the and he was of opinion that the change of Crown. A more utter fallacy could scarcely the law in 1851 had, on the whole, worked be imagined. In ninety-nine cases out of well. He must, however, at the same time every hundred the Crown was only theo- observe that his noble and learned Friend retically the prosecutor, and the real pro- appeared to him to entertain a somewhat secutor was some private individual—it too sanguine idea of the effect of that was a mere fallacy to maintain the contrary measure if he supposed that a considerable -yet this person was admitted to tell his amount of perjury had not prevailed under own story, while his adversary the party its operation, and to labour under an indicted was not allowed to say a word. erroneous impression if he imagined that This was especially unjust in cases of the extent to which that offence had been criminal prosecutions for libel or assault or committed might be correctly estimated by conspiracy. By adopting the course of a the number of prosecutions with respect to criminal prosecution the one party was it which, since the passing of the Bill, had able to deprive his adversary of the advant- taken place, because in many cases the age he would have enjoyed if the plaint ends of justice had been frustrated without had been brought in the civil form. Surely detection. On the whole, however, he was it was most unfair that a man should be glad that that Act had been passed. His able to do by inilictment whut he could not noble and learned Friend, however, at predo in civil action-shut up the mouth of sent proposed an utter subversion of the the man he prosecuted. When in 1851 he mode in which criminal justice had hitherto introduced his Bill to enable defendants in been administered in this country; he procivil suits to be examined on their own posed that in all cases of misdemeanour, cases, he was met by the objection that he felony, and high treason, the accused party was giving occasion to endless perjury. might be examined and cross-examined; But what were the facts ? Why, that and he would thus introduce into England prosecutions and commitments for perjury a system which, as he inust be aware, had actually diminished. For a period of worked most lamentably in a neighbouring years preceding the passing of that Act country. He (Lord Campbell) had read of there had been 136 prosecutions for per- trials in France, in which the accused jury, and for a corresponding period subse- parties had been put to a species of moral
quent there had been only 107. It might torture, and had been driven to tell lies in • be objected that if, after this measure had their own defence, even though they should passed, any person indicted should refuse have been innocent of the special crimes to be examined it would raise the presump
with which they had been charged. His tion that he was guilty. That case would noble and learned Friend should bear in be met, and he for his own part was not mind that if he were to introduce that unwilling by making examination com- principle at all into this country it must pulsory. He must further observe that in prevail universally, and was equally applibankruptcy and insolvency the parties were cable to cases of high treason as to misdeexamined at present, whether they willed it meanour or felony. And he would ask his or not, and without receiving any protection noble and learned Friend to consider the against supplying evidence by which they situation of a person accused of the first might criminate themselves. The noble mentioned offence if he were reduced to the and learned Lord then presented a Bill for necessity of either refusing to give evithe further Amendment of the Law of dence, and thus in effect make an acknowEvidence as well in Criminal as in Civil ledgment of his guilt, or going into a Proceedings ; and moved that it be read 1". witness box and submitting to a cross ex
LORD CAMPBELL said, he did not rise amination as to every thoughtless espres.
sion which he might have uttered in his highest criminal judges in the kingdom, lifetime, or every indiscretion he might could rejoice at the increase of this crime. have committed ? Such a system would But his noble and learned Friend seemed exasperate the severity of the criminal law partly for and partly against that Bill, rein all departments to a degree of which minding him very much of certain witnesses their Lordships could hardly form any con- who stood at the Bar of their Lordships' ception. If the Bill were passed, prisoners House some seven and thirty years ago, who should refuse to avail themselves of and who, when certain questions were put the permission to be examined on oath to them, replied that they could not say would afford the strongest presumption of either
“ No," but rather their guilt; and the result would be that " · Yes” than "No." His noble and parties driven to tender themselves as wit- learned Friend had given his sanction to nesses would frequently be convicted on the Bill of 1851, when it was brought their own evidence. If his noble and forward in this House, and he (Lord learned Friend were to confine the opera- Brougham) should regret very much if his tion of his measure to one or two cases, experience of its effects led him to repent such, for instance, as indictments for per of the course he had taken on that occajury, and provided that the prosecutor sion. Upon the whole, that measure had should be heard on one side and the defen- worked well, and had furnished the Court dant on the other, he could have under- with additional opportunities for arriving stood such a proposition; but it seemed to at that which it was the only object of the him that the Bill, as it stood, was one of a Court to ascertain the truth of the case most alarming character; and it was only before them. because he was anxious to conform to the LORD CAMPBELL wished to undeceive courtesy of the House, by which a first his noble and learned Friend if he thought reading was always given to any measure that the Bill of 1851 had not led, in some that might be proposed, that he was led to cases, to perjury. But certainly, when refrain from opposing the introduction of parties were examined, they in general the Bill.
said nothing but what was decidedly in LORD BROUGHAM said, his noble and their own favour. When the law first learned Friend had rather astonished lim came into operation, either the plaintiff or by his reference to the practice on criminal the defendant was almost always committed trials in other countries, and to this measure for perjury ; and if his noble and learned as bearing the slightest analogy with, Friend believed that the present measure much less as resembling, that practice. would never tend to elicit anything but the What was the objection to the French truth, he would be greatly mistaken. system-an objection in which he entirely THE LORD CHANCELLOR said, he agreed? It was that the examination of had more than once endeavoured to prethe prisoner was conducted by the Court, vent the premature discussion of measures that it was a compulsory examination, that introduced into their Lordships' House; every prisoner was subjected to what Lord but he felt it his duty upon that occasion Denman called “a moral torture;” that to trespass on their attention for a few every word he had uttered out of Court was moments, lest it might be supposed from brought against bim on his examination in his silence that he approved of the Bill of. Court, and that he had no means of escape, his noble and learned Friend : on the conbeing compelled in all cases to undergo trary, he agreed with the Lord Chief Justhis questioning. But the present measure tice in his disapproval of the practice sought would have no such effect. Ile only pro- to be introduced by the Bill. His noble posed that the prisoner should be examined and learned Friend (Lord Brougham) said, if he presented himself for that purpose. that this practice differed entirely from the No doubt cross-examination would follow; French system, and that the latter conbut, if the prisoner were innocent, surely sisted in a compulsory examination of the he would desire above all things to submit prisoner by the Judge, wbo undoubtedly to this examination, while, if guilty, it endeavoured, with all the practised dex. would be that which he would most fear. terity at his command, to extract an acWith regard to the Bill of 1851, as his knowledgment of guilt. But the Bill con. noble and learned Friend approved on the tained even a worse feature, for, while in whole of that measure, its effect must have France the examination of the prisoner been to diminish perjury; for it was im- was not upon oath, his noble and learned possible that the Lord Chief Justice, the Friend proposed that he should be sworn
SURVEYORS OF TAXES.
applied for permission to use a certain QUESTION.
weighing machine for weighing paper GENERAL BUCKLEY asked the Secre- charged with duty. The machines were tary of the Treasury whether he has had i referred to the Commissioners of Inland any representation from Surveyors of Taxes Revenue, who thought that such machines respecting their salaries; and also respect
were not safe for the purpose of the pub
lic revenue. ing some fresh arrangements of the classi.
It was described here as the fication of their offices ?
weighing machine used in the Department SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE said,
of Customs ; and when an objection was that no representation had reached the raised against it that it was not secure, Treasury on the subject, and he was in Messrs. Rawlins said it was used in the formed that none had been made to the Department of Customs. It was true it Commissioners of Inland Revenue.
bad been used to a limited extent, but the had, however, received a pamphlet entitled Customs were by no means satisfied with
Statement of the case of the Surveyors it, as it was very liable to get out of order of Taxes respectfully submitted to the without the error being immediately deconsideration of Members of Parliament." tected. There was a further reason which
The niachines That was, however, not the usual way of rendered it unadvisable. submitting a representation of the kind, used by the Commissioners of Customs Dor, he must add, was it a very convenient were kept under the Government lock. mode to be adopted by any class of public Gentleman's question, the Treasury Let
With regard to the last part of the hon. servants for addressing the Government.
ter, no doubt, required the use of a beam
and scales. Exceptions might be taken to NAVY MEDICAL SERVICE.
the word “beam,” inasmuch as there was
no such word in the Act of Parliament ; QUESTION.
nevertheless, it was quite clear that scales SIR ERSKINE PERRY asked the could not be used without a beam. First Lord of the Admiralty whether, on going into the Navy Estimates to morrow,
THE ARMY.-THE BAND CHARGE. he would be enabled to state the decision of Government as to the claims of the
QUESTION. Navy Medical Service, to be placed on a MR. LAURIE asked the Secretary of footing of equality with the Army Medi. State for War when the Officers of the cal Service, in point of rank and other ad- Army are to be relieved from the Band vantages, such as they enjoyed before the charge, whether the Queen's Regiments issuing of the Royal Warrant of October, now employed in India would be also re1858?
lieved from it ; and whether any arrangeSIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, it was ment had been made to enlarge the School his intention, in the statement he proposed of Musketry at Hythe? to make in moving the Naval Estimates, GENERAL PEEL said, it would be in the to express the views he had formed upon recollection of the House that some time the subject referred to.
ago a question had been put to him on the subject of the bands. He had since
made an application to the Treasury to PAPER-WEIGHING-CASE OF MESSRS.
grant relief to the officers in regard to this RAWLINS.-QUESTION.
charge. A correspondence had subseMR. CRAUFURD asked the Secretary quently taken place which formed a portion of the Treasury on what ground permission of the Minutes moved for by the hon. and bad been refused to Messrs. Rawlins to gallant Member for Westminster (Sir De L. use, for weigbing the paper charged with Evans). That correspondence would be duty, the weighing machine used in the shortly produced, and the hon. Memberwould Department of Customs ; and what was then see what had been done in the matter. meant by the Treasury Letter, stating With regard to the last inquiry of the hon. that they must use a beam and scales, Gentleman he could say that no person according to law?
would be more anxious than himself to SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE said, give every facility for the enlargement and he thought the form in which the question efficiency of the School of Instruction in was put was likely to lead to confusion. Musketry, and several plans were under The facts were these :--Messrs. Rawlins the consideration of the Government in VOL. CLII. (THIRD SERIES.]
the other £41. The levy had been made SIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, it was in the usual manner, without notice ; in not the intention of the Government to some cases, a distress had been made, but distribute medals to the naval officers for he was happy to say that none of the their services during the recent operations cattle belonging to the people had been in China. The question with regard to sold.
prize-money he begged leave to postpone
SEIZURE OF THE “ HERALD” BY TIE SIR WILLIAM DUNBAR asked the
PORTUGUESE.-QUESTION. Lord Advocate, whether it is his intention MR. AYRTON asked the Under Secreto introduce, before Easter, a measure for tary of State for Foreign Affairs what improving the system of Education in steps have been taken by Her Majesty's Scotland, and for raising the salaries of Government respecting the Seizure of the the Parochial Schoolmasters, or for either Herald by the Portuguese authorities, purpose ?
and whether the Papers relating thereto THE LORD ADVOCATE said, it was will be laid upon the table of that House, the intention of the Government to propose The hon. Gentleman said that the vessel a measure to the House of the nature re- in question had been fitted out in 1857, ferred to in the hon. Baronet's Question ; by certain British subjects at the Cape of and he hoped to be able to lay such measure Good Hope, for the purpose of opening up upon the table before Easter,
commercial relations with the inhabitants on the banks of King George's River ;
and, whilst engaged in trading operations, LONDON BRIDGE-WORKS THERE.
was seized by the Portuguese authorities. QUESTION.
He hoped that the papers relating to the GENERAL CODRINGTON asked the transaction would be placed upon the table First Lord of the Admiralty whether the of the House. Board of Admiralty has given its official MR. SEYMOUR FITZGERALD said, sanction to the construction of the perma- that the matter to which the hon. Gentle. nent works now being made beneath the man referred was doubtless one of consisouthern arch of London Bridge ; and, derable importance, and had received the if so, at what date such sanction was careful attention of Her Majesty's Governgiven ?
ment. Representations had been made to Sir JOHN PAKINGTON said the Board the Portuguese Government; but as the of Admiralty had given their sanction to transaction had taken place at the other the works referred to at the end of last side of the globe, it was necessary to wait March ; since which time the hon, and for communications in the most authentic gallant Officer was aware that he had the form before Her Majesty's Government honour of receiving him, with others, as a could demand that reparation which the deputation upon this question. He was Portuguese Government might be called bound to say, after having given due con- upon to make. The case, as he said, was sideration to the representations made by one of great importance, because British that deputation, he had not thought it his subjects had been grievously outraged and duty to make any alteration in the decision maltreated, and a loss had been inflicted originally come to.
on the master of £4,000; but a claim had
been made on behalf of the Portuguese THE OPERATIONS IN CHINA.--MEDALS Her Majesty's Government could recog;
Government which it was impossible that AND PRIZE-MONEY.
nize, that they bad the right to stop all QUESTION.
intercourse with the interior of the country SIR GEORGE PECHELL asked the in the neighbourhood of which the vessel First Lord of the Admiralty if it was intend- in question was seized, inasmuch as it was ed to award Medals and Prize-Money to the asserted that they had the control of the Officers and Seamen of Her Majesty's mouths of all the great navigable rivers Navy for those gallant and successful ope- in that quarter. The case was under the rations in China which have been the careful consideration of Her Majesty's Gomeans of bringing that War to a satisfac-vernment, and every effort would be made tory conclusion.
to secure justice.