The LORD CHANCELLOR
moved that this Bill be read a Second Time, and referred to the same Select Committee as was now sitting on the Bill for the Abolition of the Masters' Offices.
§ LORD CRANWORTH
said, he had had the opportunity of perusing the Bill, and, so far as he considered it, he very much approved of it. But, taking into consideration the very short time which remained for carrying this Bill through Parliament, and for suggesting amendments which might become necessary on a long series of clauses in case any very great difficulty should arise, it might be impossible to pass the Bill this Session; but he saw no reason why that should interfere with the Bill for the Abolition of the Masters' Offices.
The LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he could hardly conceive of any circumstances arising to prevent both Bills passing into law during the present Session. The two Bills had been introduced at different times, not for the purpose of separating them in their passage through Parliament, but because the subject naturally divided itself into two parts, the one the Masters' Offices, and the other the function and procedure of the Courts. There was despatch used in connexion with these Bills, but no hurry. They were the result of a Commission appointed by the Crown, composed of persons of great ability, who took as much time and gave it as much consideration as it was possible for men conversant with the subject to dedicate to it. For his own part, he had taken great pains and used much care upon so important a measure; and if any difficulty should arise to obstruct its progress, he would be as ready as his noble Friend to give it his attention. But he could not foresee that there would be any serious difficulty in the way of the course suggested. The same subjects would be considered in the Select Committee, that had upon it every one of the Equity Lords, including, of course, the 891 noble and learned Lord himself; and the fullest opportunity of correcting what was imperfect in the Bill would be afforded there. He could not bring himself to press one measure without the other, for, if the first Bill were to pass without the second, the Court of Chancery, or rather those who presided over it, would be placed in a position in which they would find it extremely difficult to carry on the full and proper administration of justice in this country.
§ House adjourned to Monday next.