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Metropolitan Police Courts Bill

Volume 49: debated on Tuesday 6 August 1839

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Mr. F. Maule moved the third reading of the Metropolitan Police Courts Bill.

objected to the bill, because it was not what it professed to be. It was stated to be a bill for establishing police courts in the metropolis, but instead of that it was to establish those courts in any place within fifteen miles of the metropolis, and to supersede the unpaid magistracy of the country. There was one clause which completely showed the "cloven foot" on the part of her Majesty's Government—he meant the 16th Clause. [The Solicitor-General: "It is struck out."] Struck out or not, it distinctly showed the cloven foot—it showed the intentions of the Government, and what they would do if they could to spread the system over the kingdom. The unpaid magistracy of the country had been the boast of Englishmen so long as he could remember, and he strongly objected to a measure which aimed so heavy a blow at their existence. Mr. Canning said, that if they superseded the local magistracy, that connecting link between the higher and poorer classes, they would do more by that single blow to destroy the constitution of the country than could be accomplished by all the efforts of the Radical reformers. It was one instance of the noble Lord's endeavouring, to upset the dearest institutions of the country. He was destroying every connection the country enjoyed with foreign powers, and he had gone to the same ruinous extent in the exercise of the prerogative of mercy by the recal of the Dorchester labourers from transportation, to please the solicitations of a certain party who were pressing the Government. He moved, as an amendment, that the bill be read a third time that day three weeks.

Motion not seconded.

said, the hon. Member, the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department had committed a gross breach of faith in persisting on the third reading of this bill. He moved an amendment on the 10th Clause, that the salaries of the magistrates be reduced from 1,200l. to 1,000l. a-year.

The House divided on the question, that the words "twelve hundred" stand part of the bill: Ayes 36; Noes 17: Majority 19.

List of the AYES.

Adam, AdmiralChichester, J. P. B.
Bernal, R.Eliot, Lord
Bramston, T. W.Estcourt, T.
Buller, C.Fitzroy, Lord C.

Grosvenor, Lord R.Rolfe, Sir R. M.
Hill, Lord A. M. C.Russell, Lord J.
Hobhouse, rt. hn, Sir J.Seymour, Lord
Hodges, T. L.Smith, R. V.
Hope, hon. C.Stanley, hon. E. J.
Hoskins, K.Stock, Dr.
Howick, ViscountSurrey, Earl of
Lushington, rt. hon. S.Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Macaulay, T. B.Wilmot, Sir J. E.
O'Ferrall, R. M.Wood, G. W.
Paget, F.Wrightson, W. B.
Palmer, G.Yates, J.A.
Parker, R.T.
Parnell, rt. hon. Sir H.TELLERS.
Rice, rt. hn. T. S.Maule, hon. F.
Rich, H.Parker, J.

List of the NOES.

Bridgeman, H.Polhill, F.
Broadley, H.Redington, T. N.
Bruges, W. H. L.Round, J.
Burroughes, H. N.Sheppard, T.
Chute, W. L. W.Somerset, Lord G.
Hamilton, C. J. B.Stanley, hon. W. O.
Hector, C. J.Vigors, N. A.
Hodgson, R.TELLERS.
Lowther, J. H.Duncombe, T.
Phillpotts, J.Hinde, J. H.

Bill passed.