§ [SECOND READING.]
§ Order of the day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD LOREBURN)
My Lords, I shall not occupy any time in moving the Second Reading of this Bill. I explained, in moving the First Reading, the reasons why it was brought in, and gave notice that I would move the suspension of the Standing Order to enable it to be passed through all its stages to-day. The Bill is not controversial, and there is only one small Amendment, which in substance I am ready to accept.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a.
§ Then Standing Order No. XXXIX considered (according to order) and dispensed with, and Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House forthwith.
§ House in Committee accordingly.
§ Clause 1:
§ Power to appoint two additional Judges.
§ 1.—(l) It shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint two judges of the High Court in addition to the number of judges of that court authorised to be appointed by the Judicature Acts, 1873 to 1902.230
§ (2) The judges so appointed shall be attached to the King's Bench Division of the High Court subject to such power of transfer as in the Supreme Court of Judicature Act, 1873, mentioned, and the law relating to the appointment and qualification of judges of the High Court, to their duties and tenure of office, to their precedence, salary and pensions, and otherwise, shall apply to any judge appointed under this section.
§ It shall be lawful for His Majesty, after the appointment of the said judges, to fill any vacancy occurring among the puisne judges of the King's Bench Division, provided that where the whole number of such puisne judges amounts to upwards of fifteen such vacancy shall not be filled unless and until an address is presented from both Houses of Parliament representing that the state of business in the King's Bench Division requires that such vacancy should be filled.
§ EARL CAWDOR, on behalf of Lord ALVERSTONE, moved to omit from the second paragraph of subsection (2) the word "where" ["King's Bench Division provided that where"] and to insert the words "whenever after the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and twelve."
§ The noble Earl said: My Lords, there is an Amendment on the Paper in the name of the Lord Chief Justice, who is unable to be present to-day, and as Chairman of the Joint Committee appointed to consider the condition of the business in the King's Bench Division, to whose Report the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack referred in introducing the Bill, I beg to move the Amendment in Lord Alverstone's behalf. The object of the Amendment is to provide that in the event of a vacancy occurring after the appointment of the two now Judges of the King's Bench Division it should be filled up forthwith at any time up to January 1, 1912, whether Parliament be sitting and its consent obtained or not. As the clause stands it would be impossible to fill up the vacancies unless Parliament was sitting and the assent of Parliament could be obtained. This might lead to inconvenience and delay, and therefore Lord Alverstone has suggested this Amendment, which I beg to move.
Clause 1, page 1, line 18, leave out ('where') and insert ('whenever after the first day of January one thousand nine hundred and twelve')."—(Earl Cawdor.)
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR
My Lords, as I have said, I agree in substance with the Amendment, but I hope the noble Earl will not mind substituting the year 1911 for 1912. The point is to make it possible for a certain time to have vacancies filled, 231 and if my suggestion is adopted no difficulty would arise, as Parliament would be sitting in the ordinary course from the beginning of 1911 until the following August. If the noble Earl will accept that, I think we might close the transaction.
§ THE EARL OF HALSBURY
My Lords, I think it would be reasonable that we should assent to the Lord Chancellor's suggestion. It seems to me, in the position which he occupies, that it would be impossible for him efficiently to arrange the Judicial business unless he is given by us a free hand.
§ On Question, Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
§ Clause 1, as amended, agreed to.
§ Remaining Clause agreed to.
§ Standing Committee negatived: Amendment reported: Bill read 3a, and passed., and sent to the Commons.