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Commons Chamber

Volume 114: debated on Wednesday 19 February 1851

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House Of Commons

Wednesday, February 19, 1851.

MINUTES.] NEW MEMBER SWORN.—For Dungannon, the Hon. William Stuart Knox.

PUBLIC BILLS.—1a Smithfield Market Removal; Expenses of Prosecutions.

2a Compound Householders; Highways (South Wales).

The Window Tax—Rule For Petitions

presented a petition from the parish of St. James, Bath, against the measure proposed by Her Majesty's Government for the modification of the window tax. The petitioners prayed that the House should repeal the window tax unconditionally, without the substitution of any other tax.

begged Mr. Speaker would let them know precisely the regulations of the House on the subject, for probably there would be numerous petitions with reference to the measure before the House.

The rule is that no person shall allude to what takes place in a debate in this House by petition or in any other manner; but if a proposition be once submitted to the House for an alteration in the window tax, and that proposition forms part of your proceedings, then the public arrive at the information in a legitimate manner, and may petition the House against it. But it is not competent for parties to petition against a matter that can only have come to their knowledge from having been mentioned in debates in this House.

Compound Householders Bill

Order for Second Reading read.

SIR W. CLAY moved the second reading of this Bill, the object of which was to remedy what might be described as an accidental omission in the machinery of the Reform Act. There were in London and the large towns of the kingdom many thousands of persons who came precisely within the spirit of the Act, and yet were deprived of the franchise which that Bill intended to bestow. By the Act the new franchise was extended to all householders

who occupied a house of the value of 10 l. and upwards, and who had paid rates and taxes up to a specified period. The title to the enjoyment of that franchise depended upon the ratebook. A person, therefore, whose name was not on the ratebook, although he might have complied with all that was required by the Reform Bill, could not have a vote. There were in almost all the parishes in London, and in all the large towns in the kingdom, local Acts which empowered the parish officers to compound with the landlord for the payment of the rates upon houses occupied by their tenants. The consequence was that there appeared on the ratebook no other name than that of the landlord who compounded for the rates. Many of the houses so compounded for were of the value of 10 l. and upwards. There was a clause in the Reform Act which enacted that a person paying 10 l. a year and upwards might apply to have his name entered on the list of ratepayers on tendering the rates then due. But by various decisions of the superior courts it had been held that the claim must be renewed upon every rate that was made. Now, it happened in large parishes that as many as four, five, and six rates were made in the course of the year; the effect, therefore, of those decisions was virtually to disfranchise those persons; and the fact was, that many thousands were actually so disfranchised. All that was sought to be done by this Bill was to remedy that evil. It simply enacted that persons having tendered the rate once, and having been once entered on the list of ratepayers, should not have occasion to renew that tender, but should be entitled to be registered as voters. He could not conceive any inconvenience to arise from such an enactment, and therefore begged to move that the Bill be read a second time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a Second Time."

hoped the hon. Baronet would not press the second reading of the Bill on that occasion. The Bill had only been delivered the day before yesterday. [Sir W. CLAY: It is the same as the Bill introduced last year.] It was no answer to say that the Bill was the same as the one introduced last year, because the subject underwent but a very partial discussion last year. It dealt largely with the ratepaying clauses of the Reform Bill. He had always been opposed to the principle of that Bill, and he thought it rather hard that year after year individual Members should introduce Bills for altering and extending that law. If any Bill were required on the subject, it ought to be brought in by the Government. He should move as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time that day fortnight.

Amendment proposed, to leave out the word "now," and at the end of the Question to add the words "upon this day fortnight."

hoped his hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets would not yield to the appeal which had been made to him. The Bill was fairly discussed last year; it was also discussed in the previous year, and amongst those who then took part in the debate, was the right hon. Baronet the Member for Ripon. It could not be said, therefore, that the House was taken by surprise. As to the observation that this was a Bill which ought to have been brought in by the Government, it appeared to him that there could be no fitter person to introduce it than the Member for a borough which contained so many parties who were personally interested in the matter. In that large borough hundreds of persons were disfranchised in consequence of an omission in the Reform Act.

hoped the Bill would be postponed. It had been discussed at late hours last Session, and also towards the close. Therefore time was required; to consider it. He should like to hear from the noble Lord at the head of the Government whether this measure was necessary or not. It appeared to him to be in contravention of, instead of carrying out, the principles of the Reform Bill. He hoped time would be given to the House to communicate with the country as to the objects intended to be carried out by the measure.

did not think his hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets was under any necessity of agreeing to the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman opposite the Member for Peebles-shire, that this Bill should be postponed. The subject was not new to the House; on the contrary, it was one with which the House was perfectly familiar. On late occasions, this measure had been objected to on the ground of its having been brought before the House at a late hour; that, at all events, could not be said now. The next question was, whether his hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets was at all entitled to bring forward a Bill of that kind. He (Lord J. Russell) should be disposed to say, if any Amendments to the Reform Bill were to be brought forward, and if it was proposed to go further in the direction in which the Reform Bill went, it would be desirable to know if the Government intended to offer any objection to such a Bill; but he did not think that argument was applicable to this case. With respect to the present Bill, it was founded on a clause which was in the Reform Bill already. That was a clause declaring that, besides those who were rated to the relief of the poor, and had houses of 10l. a year, those who should be entitled to be rated, but were not rated, who occupied houses of the value of 10l. a year, rated in the name of the landlord, and not of the occupier, might claim to have their names placed upon the rate-book. That was a clause which the late Earl Grey was exceedingly careful to have inserted in the Bill; but since the passing of the Reform Act, the person who claimed under that clause, who was not rated, but who claimed to be rated, and having established his claim was placed on the rate, did not thereby obtain his franchise like other ten-pound householders, but he was obliged on the making of every rate to make a new claim to be placed on the rate. Now, that was a practical difficulty in carrying out what was the clear intention of Parliament in passing the Reform Act. He should, therefore, hold that his hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets was perfectly entitled to see that the Act should be amended in that particular. Then arose another question, though that was for the consideration of the Committee on the Bill, namely, that those persons whom Parliament intended should acquire the right, and who were not rated, should not be placed in a more disadvantageous position than those who were in the enjoyment of that privilege. Now, he thought that it would be necessary to see in Committee that persons who claimed the right to vote (the rates being payable by the landlord), should be made liable for the rate, in case it should not be paid by the landlord. He thought it would be right in Committee to look narrowly to the wording of the clause, in order that the rate should be thus secured. If that were done, they would have a security which he believed the Reform Bill wished to retain, namely, the security of a person who was solvent and able to pay the rates. In that case, all the conditions of the Reform Bill would be substantially accomplished, and therefore he should cheerfully give his vote for the second reading of the Bill. At the same time, they ought not to hurry the Bill through Committee, but give ample time to hon. Members representing the large boroughs to con suit their constituents; and that, afterwards in Committee, they should be careful to see the object of his hon. Friend carried into effect in such a manner that, while on the one hand no person was deprived of his vote, so on the other the right of voting should not be carried further than was intended by the Reform Bill.

said, so far as the principle of this Bill had been laid down by the noble Lord who had just addressed the House, and by the hon. Baronet who introduced the Bill, he believed there would be very little, if any, difference of opinion in the House. He (Mr. Henley) believed that to carry out, legitimately, the franchise that was conferred by the Reform Bill, no one would object. But, unfortunately, the wording of the Bill did something which was very different. What did it do? The rate was the foundation of the register in boroughs; but this Bill was so worded, that when persons had once made their claim, then the person who made up the register would never have to look at the rate in future, but must take that particular class of persons from the old register. He thought the House ought to provide that, when a person having so made his claim was put on the register, he was not to remain there for ever, whether he had the same tenement or not, unless somebody objected to him. That was the real difficulty of the case. If the noble Lord wished to carry out that which was the object of the Reform Bill, he (Mr. Henley) should offer no opposition; but if, in attempting to carry that out, the House put persons on the register where they would remain until they were objected to, they put them in a position in which no other voter was placed. That certainly was not the object of the Reform Bill. He did not care a farthing whether the Bill was postponed for a fortnight or not, so that the House had ample time given them before they went into Committee.

said, if the House would agree to the second reading, he should propose that the Bill be committed on Wednesday, the 12th of March.

Question proposed, "That the word "now" stand part of the Question."

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put and agreed to.

Bill read 2°, and committed for Wednesday 12th March.

Expenses Of Prosecutions

SIR G. GREY moved for leave to bring in a Bill to amend the law relating to the expenses of prosecutions. His object was to make the law and practice more uniform as to the expenses, and to remedy some anomalies that now existed in regard to the apprehension and trial of offenders. The expenses of criminal prosecutions were regulated by the 7th George IV., cap. 61. They might be divided into three classes. The first class embraced the expenses of the preliminary proceedings before the magistrates, and previous to a committal, including compensation for trouble and loss of time to the witnesses. The second class consisted of the expenses of attending before the grand jury and at the trial at the assizes or sessions, and the expenses of the prosecutor in preparing the indictment, and carrying on the prosecution. The third class consisted partly of expenses, partly of rewards ordered by the court to parties active in the apprehension of offenders. As to the first class of expenses, they were now regulated simply by the certificate of the committing magistrate. Those in the second class were ascertained by an officer of the court, subject to regulations laid down by the magistrates at quarter-sessions, and approved of by the Judges at the assizes. As to the third class of expenses, there existed at present no power to make regulations, the payment depending on the discretion of the court. The effect of this state of the law had been to produce the greatest discrepancies in the amount of the expenses for criminal prosecutions in different counties. He last year called for a return of the amount of the expenses under these heads in all the counties and boroughs in England and Wales, and the result showed discrepancies far greater than could be accounted for by any circumstances peculiar to the different counties, and which must have arisen from the different discretion exercised by those who had the power in their respective jurisdictions of fixing the amount to be paid on account of such expenses. By the Bill he wished to intro-

duce, it was proposed to repeal the existing law with regard to these expenses, and to give a power to the Secretary of State to regulate them. As to the preliminary expenses—namely, those previous to committal—it was intended that they should still be certified by the magistrates, but that the certificate should not be final. The ordinary payments for the apprehension of offenders, would be reduced to a uniform scale, but the court would still retain the power of granting rewards for extraordinary courage and activity. By a subsequent clause in the Bill, the justices in quarter-sessions would be empowered, if they should think fit, to recommend that clerks of the peace should be paid by a salary instead of by fees. He had not thought it right to lay down an inflexible rule in that matter, but to leave it to the judgment of the magistrates in quarter-sessions whether they would recommend such a change to the Secretary of State, who, in that case, was to have the power to fix the amount of salary to be paid, provided it did not exceed the amount recommended by the magistrates. Clerks to the justices of peace would also be prohibited from being concerned in conducting any prosecution that had arisen out of examinations taken before such justices. There were other provisions in the Bill, which he would only shortly advert to. One of them related to the Central Criminal Court. When that court was established by 4 & 5 William IV., c. 36, jurisdiction was taken away in a variety of cases from the courts of quarter-sessions held within the district of the Central Criminal Court. The effect of this had been that at the Westminster Sessions, although presided over by a learned and highly-qualified Judge, certain cases could not be tried, notwithstanding similar cases were being tried every day in the courts of quarter-sessions in every other part of the kingdom. Delay in the administration of justice, as well as expense, was found to result from this arrangement. He therefore proposed to repeal so much of the Act as restricted the cases cognisable by the quarter-sessions within the district of the Central Criminal Court, and restore to those courts the same jurisdiction as was now exercised by the quarter-sessions in every other part of the country. The Bill also contained a provision for remedying inconveniences connected with the practice of backing warrants in the Channel Islands. Another circumstance had been pointed out to him

as being productive of considerable trouble, expense, and delay. There were certain towns and cities which, were counties of themselves, but in which no assizes were held, those places not being considered counties for such a purpose. Persons charged with offences in those towns and cities were committed by the magistrates to the gaol within the jurisdiction of such towns or cities, and could not be removed for trial at the assizes of the adjoining county—until a habeas corpus had been sued out, with considerable inconvenience and delay. It was proposed to give the magistrates of those towns and cities power to commit prisoners at once to take their trial at the assizes held in the adjoining county; and the removal of the prisoners from the gaol of the county, of a city or town, would then take place as a matter of course without any writ.

wished to know whether the Bill was intended to apply to Scotland? The present system entailed very heavy expenses on that country, and he was afraid those expenses were likely to be increased by a resolution of the Treasury to pay by salaries instead of fees.

said, there was one point in the right hon. Baronet's speech which ought to be considered: that was, the allowing differences to exist in different counties with regard to the payment of officers connected with public prosecutions. If hon. Gentlemen would take the trouble to read the evidence given before the Committee of the hon. Member for Manchester, they would see that the evidence of the chief constable of Stockport was directed entirely to that point, and threw much light upon it. That was a subject of the greatest possible importance; and during the progress of the Bill, he should use his best exertions to provide a remedy for the evil, for he could not think the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary would allow one rule, to obtain in Lancashire, and another in Cheshire, instead of providing, as he ought, that clerks of the peace should be placed on the same footing in every part of the kingdom. He (Mr. Hume) would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should repeal all the present Bills relating to prosecutions, and bring forward one single measure relating to that question, for at present the law was so exceedingly complicated that none but a lawyer could understand it. A Bill of that nature would be of immense importance, and would greatly facilitate the proceedings, while it would considerably lessen the expenses of criminal prosecutions.

agreed with the hon. Member for Peebles-shire, that it was of considerable importance to know whether this measure was to extend to Scotland. But the object for which he principally rose, was to notice a point which had not yet been adverted to—namely, the necessity of making some provision, not for the regulation of the expenses of, but for the conducting of prosecutions. The existing system was an extremely defective one. How it was to be remedied might require much consideration; but, as it was, it placed not only the Judge but the administration of justice in the greatest jeopardy. In a great majority of cases there was no one responsible for the prosecution. The depositions were placed in the hands of the Judge, who had no previous knowledge of the case, and had to extract the facts from the depositions as well as he could. It was said, that the Judge ought to be the counsel of the accused; but he differed from that maxim, and thought the Judge should hold himself impartial between the accused and the accuser. The Judge was now, however, placed in a peculiar position from being obliged to rely on the depositions for the prosecution; and it very often lengthened the trial, as the Judge could not know to what points he ought to direct his attention. He (Mr. Wortley) knew cases where such confusion arose from the depositions, that prisoners of whose guilt there could be no doubt had escaped. He was aware that the observations he was making tended to the creation of a public prosecutor; but he did not believe it would be necessary to go to such an extent, though he was decidedly of opinion there ought to be some person to see the depositions were in a proper form, and that the case was properly brought before the jury. As to the expenses of grand jury cases, his experience induced him to think it very doubtful whether they could hope for any decided saving without a change in the system. The Chief Justice of the Common Pleas had introduced some alterations which worked well, and some expense might be saved in those districts where there were stipendiary magistrates.

said, with regard to the observations of the hon. Member for Montrose, he had to assure him that the Bill provided a limitation of the expenses of prosecutions; and in reply to the question put by the hon. Member for Peebles-shire, he had to state that Scotland did not come within the purpose of the Bill. In some respects Scotland had an advantage over England in the matter of prosecutions. For instance, owing to the difference between the law of Scotland and England, certain offences were tried before the sheriff-substitute, which in England would go before a grand jury. With respect to the remarks that had been addressed to the House by the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Buteshire, the difficulty was to attain the end which the right hon. Gentleman had in view without establishing a public prosecutor. His right hon. Friend know that there was great difficulty connected with the question of a public prosecutor, in relation to the loss to which the establishing such an officer would subject gentlemen of the bar and attorneys whose professional practice chiefly depended on their attendance on assize circuits, and at sessions.

said, the public were undoubtedly indebted to the Government for bringing forward the Bill, dealing as it did with a very important subject. It was a question on which much difference of opinion existed as to magistrates' clerks being concerned in criminal prosecutions. If the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department thought that provision should be made to prohibit magistrates' clerks from being connected in the prosecution of cases heard originally before the magistrates to whom they acted as clerks, he must of necessity do something with respect to the proceedings of public prosecutions, which were now brought before the courts so imperfectly that their miscarriage frequently occurred. With reference to the question of a public prosecutor, he (Mr. Henley) was certain that to prevent the miscarriage of public prosecutions, something must be done in that direction.

Leave given; Bill brought in by Sir G. Grey, Mr. Attorney General, and Mr. Solicitor General.

Smithfield Market—Removal

rose to ask for leave to bring in a Bill for the removal of Smith-field Market. The subject was one which had been brought frequently under the consideration of the House in past Sessions, and it was not necessary, therefore, to enter into an explanation of the circumstances which led to the appointment of a Committee in 1849. That Committee had heard evidence, and had proposed a series of resolutions on the subject submitted to them. In those resolutions they recommended the removal of Smithfield market altogether, the creation of a new market on some site more convenient, and more conducive to the general health, order, and cleanliness of the metropolis. After the Committee had made their report to the House, the Government referred the consideration of the whole subject to a Commission of seven gentlemen, two of whom were connected with the city of London, which, by ancient charter, had long possessed the right of regulating the market of Smithfield, and instructed them to consider the question of convenience to the public at large, and the consequences which resulted from the position of that market. The Commission were not unanimous in their report; but the exceptions were the two gentlemen connected with the city of London; and, with those exceptions, the Commission were unanimous. They considered not only the evidence taken by the Committee, but had before them in detail the plans prepared by the city of London for the improvement of Smithfield; and the question they considered was, whether the plans proposed by the City, and of which he was bound to say the City authorities afforded the most ample explanations, would meet the evils complained of, and provide sufficient remedy for the inconveniences which had been proved to exist. It was not necessary for him to go into the details of the measure which had been adopted by Government, as the House would have ample opportunities of considering them in future stages of the Bill; and he did not anticipate any lengthened discussion upon the present Motion, or any opposition to laying the Bill on the table. He would only say, that the Commission, having the plans proposed by the City before them, and giving the City ample credit for the great improvements which would, no doubt, be made if those plans were carried into effect, came to the conclusion, that it was expedient to remove the market from its present site, and that it should no longer remain in the heart of a populous and crowded city. After the Commission had reported the result of their inquiry to the Crown, a letter was written, by his directions, to the City Remembrancer, dated June 24, 1850, and enclosing the report. The letter was as follows:—

"I am directed by Secretary Sir George Grey to enclose, for your information, a copy of the report made by the Commissioners appointed by Her Majesty to inquire into Smithfield market, and the markets of the city of London for the sale of meat, and to request that you will bring under the notice of the corporation the recommendation of the Commissioners with respect to the discontinuance of the present market at Smithfield, and the establishment of a new market for the sale of cattle in a place without the City, and detached from the central portion of the metropolis. Before a Bill founded on the recommendations of the Commissioners is proposed to Parliament, Sir George Grey is desirous of ascertaining whether the corporation are willing to undertake the task of constructing a new cattle-market without the limits of the City, and of exercising the supervision of it when formed."
To that letter the City Remembrancer sent the following reply on the 21st of July:—
"Sir—In answer to your letter of the 24th of June, I am directed by the Markets Improvement Committee of the Corporation of London, in pursuance of an order of the Court of Common Council of the 23rd of July, to state, that your letter, and the reports accompanying it, have been fully and maturely considered; and, the notice of the corporation having been drawn by your letter to the recommendation of five of the Commissioners for the discontinuance of the present market at Smithfield, and the establishment of a new market for the sale of cattle without the City, the corporation are advised to protest against the commission being used for the purpose of affecting the rights prescriptive, chartered, and Parliamentarily and judicially confirmed to the corporation of London, and cannot concur in the proposed removal of the market from the place where it has been held by the citizens of London from time immemorial under the common law and their charters, which prohibit the establishment of any other market within seven miles of the City, and which charters have been confirmed by Parliament, and lately supported by the judgment of the House of Lords, assisted by the Judges. The corporation of London, therefore, feel themselves called upon to maintain those charters for the sake of the public and of their fellow-citizens; and rely with confidence that no such Bill as that referred to in your letter will be proposed to Parliament. The corporation having recently prepared a comprehensive plan and model, for the purpose of meeting the suggestions pointed out by the reports of the several Select Committees of the House of Commons, and proposed means for effecting it, they cannot undertake the task of constructing a new market without the limits of the City, for which ne site, nor plan, nor estimate is suggested; while the plan proposed by the corporation is ready, when sanctioned by Parliament, for immediate execution."
In other words, the Government were desirous that the supervision of the new market should continue in the hands of the city of London, in the hope that the City would have acted on the recommendations of the Commissioners. The corporation, however, by their letter, declared they would take no share in the concerns of the new market. It therefore became the duty of Government to consider how the recommendation of a Committee of that House, and the report of the Commissioners, should be carried into effect. A Bill had been framed with that object, and he would briefly state what were its principal provisions. In the first place, it would empower the Crown to appoint a commission of five person, to be incorporated under the name of "The Metropolitan Cattle Market Commissioners." These commissioners would have power to provide a cattle market in lieu of Smithfield, having at the same time full discretionary powers left to them as to the choice of a site for the new market. They would also be authorised to provide a meat market, and to make the requisite conveniences for both the markets thus to be created. The commissioners further would have power to make by-laws as to the days and hours for holding the markets, as well as for their regulation and conduct internally. They would be empowered to fix a table of tolls and a table of payments in respect of cattle, horses, and meat sold in the market, and of the use of pens and lairs, with a power to levy such tolls, rates, and payments, subject to the proviso that they were not to exceed an amount to be fixed in a schedule to the Bill. The commissioners were to report to the Secretary of State when the markets were ready for public use, and a notice would then be inserted in the Gazette as to the time when the markets would be opened; and after a time to be specified in such notice, Smith-field would cease to be a market, and no new cattle market would be allowed to be created within five miles of St. Paul's. The Commissioners of Police would have authority to regulate the routes and hours for driving cattle to and from the market. The Market Commissioners by other provisions of the Act would be empowered to raise money by mortgage on future tolls for the necessary expenses. They would be required to fix penalties, as directed by the Bill, which would provide for enforcing their payment, and they would also have to keep accounts of all transactions in their department; provision was made for auditing and publishing those accounts, and the commissioners would be required to make an annual report to the Secretary of State to lay before Parliament. The Bill also gave them power to inquire into the state of all slaughter-houses, and pro- vided that all slaughter-houses, except those under the Act, should be licensed by justices at quarter-sessions. These were the principal provisions of the Bill. He believed it was to some extent of the nature of a Private Bill, and must, therefore, be referred to the Committee on Standing Orders. He had no wish to press it with undue haste, and he would give ample time for considering all the details of the Bill; but, as it would have to be referred to the Committee, he could not fix a time for the second reading until the report of the Committee had been received.

said, the farmers and graziers around the metropolis ought to feel extremely indebted to Her Majesty's Government for bringing this subject under the consideration of Parliament. He knew that the proposal to change the site of the market would be exceedingly welcome news to many of his constituents in North Devon.

thought the assurance of the right hon. Baronet the Secretary of State, that the Bill would not be pressed with undue precipitation was very necessary, and was of opinion considerable time should be given to understand the provisions of a measure involving an immense amount of patronage, and a large discretionary power in the hands of a new set of Commissioners, as well as a complete change of the metropolitan markets. He observed that their discretionary power was unlimited, and that no appeal was to be given from them, whatever districts might object to the new market sites. The Bill also contained a clause that no market for live or dead meat should be allowed within five miles of St. Paul's. [Sir G. GREY: The prohibition only applies to live cattle-markets at present.] It was rather premature for the hon. Member for North Devonshire to express his thanks, and those of the farmers, to Government till they knew where the new market was to be; the change might be from bad to worse. The changes proposed to be made respecting slaughterhouses involved an immense amount of capital, and introduced a mode of dealing with private property which the House never had adopted before. The House had now before it one Bill from the Great Northern Railway Company, another from the Islington Market, a third from the City, and a fourth from Government. The latter would exclude all the others, unless it was understood that they would select Islington as the site for the new market, and that had been condemned by the Commissioners. The charters of the corporation must be considered; and he warned the right hon. Gentleman how he brought in a Bill which would meet an opposition he little expected in another place, where charters were more carefully regarded than in that House. He would not offer any opposition to the right hon. Baronet's Motion; but he begged to ask when he proposed to take the next stage, and if it would be presented as a public or as a private Bill?

replied, that he had already stated he could not fix any day for the second reading; because the nature of the Bill required it to be presented to the Standing Orders Committee. The Bill was partly of a private and partly of a public nature, and before it was presented to the House must go through certain stages before that Committee.

hoped that, in the absence of any of the Members for the city of London, his connexion with the corporation would entitle him to say a few words, and to ask the House to give full consideration to the claims of that corporation. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary had explained the plan of the Government, but he had not entered upon any explanation of that suggested by the corporation; and, though considerable difference of opinion existed in the corporation as to the removal of the market, he knew they were unanimous in the wish to effect the greatest improvement consistent with the public interest and the importance of private rights. He thought it would only be fair to refer the rival schemes to the same Committee, who could decide which was best. Although the right hon. Baronet had not mentioned the intended site of the new market, it was generally known to be somewhere about Holloway; but, before it was fixed upon, he wished to secure for the proposal of the City a full consideration by the House.

said, the Bill would be hailed with great satisfaction by the graziers in every part of the country.

said, that he gave every credit to the City for the desire to improve Smithfield as far as possible; but the question was, whether the evils arising from the locality did not call for the absolute removal of the market to another site.

Leave given.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir G. Grey and Mr. Cornewall Lewis.