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Rural Constabulary

Volume 50: debated on Wednesday 14 August 1839

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Lord J. Russell moved the third reading of the Country and Constables District Bill.

Bill read a third time.

Several clauses by way of rider were added.

observed, that he thought the clauses from 1 to 6 did not, with sufficient clearness and force, enjoin the high constable to carry the orders which he might receive, into full operation. He admitted that this objection was rather technical than substantial. Another objection to a matter of detail which struck his mind was this, that the constables under the bill would wholly supersede the parochial constables. Though he did not think parochial constables the best possible force, he still thought it desirable that the power of summoning them should continue to exist, in order that they might be made available in the absence of the police constables. With respect to the rules and regulations, he fully concurred in the expediency of leaving the Home-office in possession of complete executive powers; at the same time, it was only right that the magistrates in the several counties should be permitted to express to the Home Secretary the view which they took of those regulations before Government should finally adopt them. On these points he wished to understand what course the noble Lord intended to pursue.

did not think the provisions of the bill, particularly as regarded the rules to be made by the Secretary of State, were liable to the objections which had been urged by the noble Lord. At the same time, he was ready to admit that the suggestions of the noble Lord deserved consideration, and he should therefore consent to postpone further proceedings until to-morrow (this day), with the view of affording an opportunity to his learned Friend the Solicitor-general of rendering the measure as perfect as possible, by availing himself of the various suggestions which had been made.

Further proceedings with the bill postponed.