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Parliamentary Debates relating to the Law.


arrangements are unknown to professional cerity, or a more scupulous regard to chamen. On the contrary, they are matters of racter, than belongs to others, but because, every day occurrence. In fact, there is scarcely if there is any honourable Member in this any house of great professional business in House who entertains the slightest suspicion which there are not transactions in which some on the subject, or has any curiosity to gratify, of the parties have no interest. Some have no I can assure him that such is the state of the interest in the common law business; others business in the house of which I am a partner; do not participate in the profits of the convey. such is the notoriety on this subject, and such ancing department. And, in my own office, I is the information of the clerks in that househave one son who has no connection with the such the knowledge of official persons conbusiness of the Bank of England, and another nected with both Houses of Parliament- that son who is connected with me in the affairs of the statement I am now making, and which that great ('ompany. I and my sons are part will probably be in the papers to-morrow, ners in general business, -excluding one of would, if untrue, be contradicted by twenty them from the concerns of the bank, and I persons in my own establishment. The books being excluded from the parliamentary busic of the house, about which there is no mystery, ness. I state these as facts easily ascertained. would contradict me if I any way deviated from Similar arrangements to the one I have en- the exact facts. Therefore, I ask invite tered into have been made by other Members any honorable gentleman who has the slightest of this House belonging to the same profes. | doubt on the subject, to move for a committee sion. In the case, for instance, of Mr. Henry to investigate the matter, and I will stand or Smith, the solicitor of the East India Company, fall by the truth of the statement I am now from the moment he came into Parliament, he making. disconnected himself from all parliamentary I repeat, that what I have done is done daily business. The same thing occurred with re- by other Members of this House, who are in spect to the late Sir James Graham ; in the the profession. I have entered upon the books case of Mr. Evan Folks, solicitor of the Audit of my house the same record as that recorded Office, and of Mr. Jones, the solicitor of the in the case of Mr. Smith. That record is still Board of Woods and Forests. Without mul- on the books of the house, it was entered tiplying these instances, I will ask, has any in. with the full knowledge of all the clients, convenience arisen from the resolution not whose business has any reference to parliamen. heing more stringent than it is? Have any tary affairs. I ask the house what other complaints been made of individuals having method remained of conforming to the resoluapparently withdrawn from parliainen tary bu- tion of this House than those I have resorted siness, yet interfering, nevertheless, with that to? If from this moment, I should retire from business. I hope the House will permit me to the profession of the law, there would still restate what has been my own conduct in this main the same intimate connection between respect. From the moment I entered parlia- the gentlemen who conduct the parliamentary ment and had disconnected myself from any business of my office and myself; there would parliainentary profit, I abstained from the most still remain that indirect, though close interest, indirect inquiry in relation to any parliamen- which must always exist between parties who tary business in my own office. I assert, in are so closely connected as a son, a son in law, the most solemn manner-if my own word be and a brother. The House will be kind enough not sufficient,-that no client has had the 'to bear in mind that the resolution which has slightest advantage. from my being a member been read has a different reference to parliaof parliament: that no client is ever allowed mentary agencies and avowed partnership. It to hold any conversation or intercourse with is impossible that any gentleman can read me on the subject of any parliamentary busi- that resolution without seeing that it is inness in which my son is professionally contended to prevent Members of this House nected ; and, although I may have presented from deriving advantages from parliamenpetitions from gentlemen who have stopped tary business? Again and again l assert, me in the lobby, who were perfect strangers to that I derive no such advantages. I never me, yet I have never given to a client the ad-suffered the interests or wishes of the clients of vantage I have rendered to a stranger. I have, my house to interfere in the slightest degree in no instance, presented a petition, or moved with my parliamentary conduct; and I never those bills, through any one of their stages, will. In fact, to whatever extent parliamenin which my sons had the least interest. Itary business is carried on in my office, I have always kept myself distinct from any suffer rather a proportionate injury than de. sort of interference; and it has, in conse- rive a proportionate advantage. If any diffequence, frequently occurred that the pro-rent construction were to be put on this resogress of their business has been delayed ; but lution, what would be the situation of an honoI have done so because my character as a rable Member of this House, who happened Member of Parliament should not be in the to be in partnership with a solicitor in carrying most distant degree compromised. I claim, on the business of bankers, the member being most respectfully, but with the utmost confi. merely a partner in the banking business, but dence, that the House will give full and im- the solicitor also carrying on his professional plicit reliance to the statement I am now business, and being concerned in soliciting making. I claim iti on this distinct ground- bills in parliament? Would it be said that a not arrogating to inyself a higher degree of sin- | Member of the House, under such circun

Parliamentary Debates relating to the Law.


stances would be affected by this resolution of his high character, in contravening the I may ask the House to express itself—if I spirit, and as I am persuaded, the very letter of may be permitted to make the request-in the resolution, may have the effect of encourag. a clear, unequivocal, and intelligible form on ing less scrupulous individuals to profit by the this question. If it appears to the House that latitude thus given in the construction of it. I am so circumstanced that I cannot indepen- Should the House, however, not agree with dently discharge my duty, and that I cannot me in my view of the resolution, I shall conassociate with the Members of the House clude by proposing the addition of some words, without some degree of discredit to the Mem- which shall preclude the possibility of its liers theinselves, that I cannot discharge my being perverted to the purposes of undue in. public duties without having motives imputed fluence in the conduct of the private business to me of an unworthy nature, --if the House so of the House. On my first return to Parlia

expresses itself, it may depend that I will never ment, I was placed in the same situation as the • stand in the way of any one honorable Member honorable Member for Penryn; and, although

of this House. I call upon the House to de- various suggestions were offered to me of a cide whether or not I can hold my present separation of profits, and even of offices, it apsituation with honor to myself; and to the de-peared to me that the common sense of the cision of the house, wbatever it may be, I will resolution claimed an entire abstinence, direct willingly bow.

and indirect, from all interference with the Mr. Freshfield having left the House, private business of the House. I lost no time,

The Attorney General said ;--I feel bound therefore, in dissolving a lucrative partnership to offer my opinion on this subject to the in which I was engaged, holding it inconsistent House at once; and it certainly appears to me with my sense of parliamentary, no less than that the honorable Member has taken unneces-professional duty, to accede to any such expesary pains to vindicate himself. Because, as dients for evading the, to me, plain meaning soon as the honorable Member declared that of the prohibition. Indeed, I cannot consider he had no concern, directly or indirectly with but the simple fact of a Member of Parliament the business, it seems to me quite clear that he having partners actively employed about this cannot be in the remotest degree implicated House, may be productive of incalculable misin the resolution that has been read. We are chief; and I much fear that if the doctrines bound to give credit to the statement of any laid down by the honorable Attorney General, honorable Member, much more to the hono- and the honorable and learned Member for rable Member who has just left the House, Huntingdon were to prevail, some ingenious who, I must say, during the long period I have professional men, not influenced by the motives known him, has maintained this character- professed by the honorable Member for Penryn, that there is no honorable Member whose might turn those doctrines to very profitable word can be more implicitly relied on, or who account. By way of illustration I may add, has a stricter or more delicate sense of honor. that during the last Summer, I received inti

Sir F. Pollock.--I entirely concur in what mations from agents and others engaged in has fallen from my honorable and learned railways, similar to that of which I have here a friend opposite. No Member of this House, Gazette notice issued by the two junior Messrs. either by himself or his partner, ought to parti. Freshfield's, apprising me that they should cipate in the profits of a parliamentary agency. bring their plans forward with much disadvanI am sure there never sat in this House an tage in competition with gentlemen whose honorable Member inore entitled to a higher father and general partner was in parliament. share of confidence than the honorable Member And now with regard to the allegations of a for Penryn; and if the House is sarisfied that particular partnership and separate accounts, what that honorable Member has stated is I conceive it to be next to impossible to draw correct, it is clear that this case does not come the line of demarcation so fine, as to prevent within the spirit or the letter of the résolution. much of intermixture of profit as well as of Agreeing, therefore, with the opinion of my outlay-and this would appear more especially honorable and learned friend opposite, and in the case of a business conducted as between there being no motion before the House, I father and sons, under the same roof, with the hope the House will now proceed to the other | same clerks, and with the necessarily common orders of the day.

use of stationery and other materials of busiMr. Tooke. It is not my intention to ocness ; independent of which, it could not cupy the time of the House at any length on escape observation that the shares of the sons this occasion; but considering the subject as in the general business might be reduced, in one of much importance, and fully concurring consideration of their taking the profits of the in the propriety of the resolution in question, parliamentary business, and thus virtually an I cannot refrain from making a few observa-advantage would be derived from the latter. tions upon it. I would premise then, how. For these reasons therefore, and with no reever, by stating that no one more readily ac- trospective view whatever, and equally clisquiesces than I do, in the satisfactory nature claimning all personal or party motives as reof the explanation given by the honourable gards the honourable Member for Penryn, for Member for Penryn, so far as regards his own whom I entertain as much respect as any persuasion of his not coming within the scope member in this House, but having a paramount of the resolution ; but I at the same time duty to perform towards a profession, to im. greatly fear that the example thus set by one prove the standard of which in public estima 140

Parliamentary Returns relating to the Law.


tion has been my most strenuous endeavour, 1 tively, for offences that were capital on during a period of nearly forty years, I am sa- the 1st of January 1830. tisfied I cannot more effectually promote that

NUMBER OF EXECUTJons. desirable object than by removing one great element of temptation, by rendering the resolution in the three years ending 31st December of the 26th February 1830, as clearly applicable 1830 . in its terms, as it most certainly is in its spirit, Ditto . . 31st December 1833 12 to the proceeding in question; and I shall | Ditto. , 31st December 1836 nil therefore propose an amendment to that reso

NUMBER OF COMMITIMENTS. lution, to the effect that its disabling conse- | For offences that were capital on the 1st Jan. quences should equally attach to a member,

1830; whether he or any other person in any relation in three years ending 31st Decem. 1830 960 of partnership with him, shall derive pecu

Ditto 31st Decem, 1833 896 niary reward from parliamentary business. I

Ditto 31st Decem. 1836 823 After some observations by other honorable Whitehall, Members the motion was postponed, and sub-22 March 1837.

S. M. Phillipps. sequently negatived.




England and Wales.--Criminal Tables for the RETURN to an order of the Honourable

Year 1836. the House of Commons, dated 15 Feb. The decrease of crime, which commenced in ruary 1837 ;-for.

1833, and continued through the two following A RETURN of the Number of Cases which years, amounting in the aggregate to 13 per

have been heard before the Master of the cent., appears, by the tables for 1836, to have Rolls and the Vice Chancelor upon Ex- suffered a slight check in that year. The total ceptions taken to the Master's Report be- number of persons charged with indictable oftween the 31st December 1831 and the fences being, 31st December 1836; distinguishing the

per cent. Number of Cases in which such Exceptions In 1834–22,451, decrease on preceding year ! have been wholly over-ruled, and the 1835--20,731 number of cases in which such Exceptions 1836—20,984 increase , have been allowed wholly or in part, or in which it has been referred back to the This increase is still less by half per cent. Master to review his report.

than the computed annual increase in the popNumber of cases

ulation ; but, though small in amount, has been Between the 31st December 1831 and the 31st general, extending over twenty-six English December 1836.

counties, the city of Bristol, and to both

North and South Wales. In thirteen English Master of the Rolls.

counties there was a decrease ; in one the Exceptions wholly over-ruled . . : 36 numbers remain the same. Exceptions allowed .

Of the twenty-three English counties having Exceptions allowed in part

the largest proprotional agricultural population, Referred back to the Master to review his Re

an increase of offenders is shewn in twenty. In port.

. . . . . . 16 Herefordshire it amounted to 36 per cent. ; Vice Chancellor.

in Cambridgeshire to 32 per cent. ; in HampExceptions wholly over-ruled . . . 64 shire to 24 per cent. ; in Northamptonshire to Exceptions allowed . .

| 23 per cent., though in the preceding year there Exceptions allowed in part . .

was a decrease of 50 per cent. in this county ; Referred back to the Master to review his re in Suffolk to 17 per cent. ; in Somersetshire to port . .

16 per cent.; and in Herefordshire and Norfolk j. c. Fry, Registrar.

to above 10 per cent. The three agricultural counties which form the exception are Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, and Buckinghamshire

-the decrease in these counties being respecEXECUTIONS.

tively 7, 11, and 15 per cent. Of the counties RETURN to an address of the Honourable having a mixed population, Cumberland shows the House of Commons, dated 21 March

an increase of 43 per cent. ; Northumberland 1837 ;- for

of 34 per cent. ; Worcestershire of 18 per cent.; ARETURN of the number of Executions which | Leicestershire of 12 per cent.; Derbyshire of

took place for London and Middlesex, in 9 per cent.; and Cheshire of 2 per cent. three years ending 31st December 1830 ; ! But in the great manufacturing and commerin three years ending 31st December 1833; | cial counties there has been a considerable deand in three years ending 31st December | crease. In Lancashire of 17 per cent. ; in Not1836: together with the number of Com-| tinghamshire of 15 per cent. ; in Staffordshire mitnients in each of those periods respec- of 12 per cent.; in Warwickshire of 4 per cent. ;

. 43

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Forgery · · · · · ·


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in Middlesex of 3 per cent. ; and in Surrey of 2

Average 1836 per cent. In Yorkshire (including the three Ridings) there was an increase of 24 per cent. Larceny in dwelling houses . In comparing the numbers charged with the Sheep stealing . ..

262 298 various descriptions of crime, the increase will Horse stealing . . .

180 1,48 be found to have taken place chiefly in the mi Cattle stealing · ·


· · · nor offences ; and that in those of a graver House breaking · · ·

407 stamp there has been a decrease. In the first class-Offences against the per

Coining · · · ·


· son-the decrease amounts to three per cent., Sacrilege . . · · ·


13 25 and includes all the most atrocious crimes of Letter stealing · · · · · the class, except the unnatural offences; in these there is an increase, though the numbers

Total 1,400 1,174 are still much below those in 1834. In the second class—Violent offences against

Comparing these totals, a decrease of 20 per property—there is a decrease of above 3 percent. is shewn; but in the offence of house cent,, the only exception being in the crimes I breaking the alterations which have taken place of house-breaking and sacrilege.

in the law, render the direct comparison with It is the third class—the offences against

former years incomplete. The same remark. property commited without violence—that the

applies to forgery, the laws relating to it havincrease of the past year has arisen. It amounts ing been much enlarged by the Forgery Act. to nearly 44 per cent., and falls chiefly under

of 1830, and offences subsequently indicted as the head of simple larceny; though in two

forgeries, which could only have been charged other prominent offences there has been a con

as frauds under the previous law. These cases siderable increase, viz.

cannot be estimated at less than one-fourth1834 1835 1836 the total number of forgeries, which they will:

have increased in that ratio. Sheep stealing . . . . 229 22 298 The sentences passed in each of the three Larceny by Servants . . 813 871 987

last years are given; they corroborate the

statement that the slight increase in 1836 has In the malicious offences against property

been in the more trivial offences; the increase there has been a very trifling increase, which in the numbers sentenced being chiefly 11, has principally occurred in the least atrocious

those punished by the shortest periods of imoffences.

prisonment, viz.

1834 1835 1836 In forgery and offences against the curreney there has been a decrease of 24 per cent. Of

Death . . . . . 480 the forgeries, seperately, the nnmbers were

523 494 in 1834, 59; in 1835, 64 ; and in 1836, 55.

Transportation for life . . 864 746 770

14 years 688 554 In the remaining class--the miscellaneous

585 class—the decrease has reached 32 per cent.,

7 years 2.508 2,329 2,256 having fallen principally under the heads of imprisonment

the heads of Imprisonment for terms

above one year. · · · 314 301 riot and breach of the peace, and offences

280 against the Game Laws.

Imprisonment for one year The crimes of infanticide and concealing

and above six months 1,582 1,543 1,455 the births of infants, have been latterly the

Imprisonment for six months subject of inquiry in reference to the operation and under . ..8,825 8,071 8,384

· · 734 662 of the New Poor Laws. In the former offence Whipped, fined, &c.

511 the numbers have been ascertained for the year 1836 ; but no comparison can be made. The most marked change which has taken the offence having theretofore been placed place in the administration of the Criminal Law: under the general" head of murder. In that has been with regard to capital punishments : year, 1836, there were ten charges of infan. 1-In the three Years ending with 1820, 312 ticide, including, with principals and accesso

persons were executed; in the three years enries, eleven females and four males : but a ding with 1830, 178 persons were executed ; conviction took place in one case only. The in the three years ending with 1836, 85 persons numbers charged with murder were in 1834 were executed; but in the last year, taken 86; in 1835, 78; and in 1836, 73. Thé, separately, the numbers were 17 only. numbers charged with concealing the births of In the ages of Criminals there has not been infants in the same years were 49. 37. and 45. / much fluctuation, but the slight change which respectively.

has taken place shows an increase of juvenile Since the year 1827 capital punishment has

offenders during the past year. The numbers been abolished in the following offences. In / at each period of life, and the proportions per order to shew what may have been the influence

cent. which they bore to the total, were as folof this alteration in the law, a comparison has

lows :

1834 1835 been made of the average of the numbers

1836 charged with each offence, in the three years / Aged

400 346 386 preceding the abolition, and the numbers in / 12 years and under

Proportion per cent. 1.78 1.67 the past year : they were


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16 years and above 12, 2,204 2,010 2,037 | rior to the mere attainment of reading and wri. Proportion per cent. 9.82 9.70 9.71 ting well. 21 years and above 16, 6,473 6,147 6,092 State of crime in England and Wales, as comProportion per cent. 28 83 29:65 29:03 pared with France.-A comparison of the re30 years and above 21, 7,069 6,617 6,592 sults contained in the French report and sumProportion per cent. 31:49 31.92 31:42 mary, with the results of the English tables, Above 30 years 6,305 5,611 5.877 so far as the same can be made out, particularly Proportion per cent. 28:08 27.06 28:00 with regard to education.

The degree of instruction has been better | The definitions of crime, and the mode of defined during the past year, and the number procedure, differ so greatly in the two countries, of offenders ascertained under the following

that it would be very difficult, and in many more precise divisions :

respects impracticable, to attain, with any cer. Centesimal tainty, to inore than a very general approximaProportion.

tion of some ot' the principal results. Unable to read and Write 7,033 33.52

In England and Wales, in 1836, the number Able to read and write imper

of persons charged with indictable offences, fectly

10,983 52:33

was in the proportion of 1 in 662, to the poAble to read and write well 2,215 10:56

pulation. Instruction superior to reading and writing


In France, in 1834, comparing the number 0.91

of offences tried before the Cours Assizes, Instruction could not be as.

and such of the offences brought before the certained

562, 2:68

Tribunaux Correctionels as appear to corresThus while above two-thirds of the criminals

pond with the offences in the English tables, have received some instruction, little more

The proportion of criminals to the population is

about 1 in 550. than one in ten were able to read and write well, and not one in a hundred could be des

The following is a comparison of the sen

tences passed in the same two years :cribed as having received an education supe


FRANCE. 1834.

ENGLAND AND WALES. 1836. Death. .

25 494 : Death. Hard Labour and Imprisonment for Pe. riods exceeding 15 years.

770 . Transportation for Life.

from 15 to 10. years . . . . . 240 585.

14 Years, from 9 to 5 years 1,460 2,256 .

7 Years. To Imprisonment simply..

Imprisoned. 4 years and above 5 years . .. 517 1. Above 2 Years. 2 years and above 1 year . . .

| 285 . 2 Years and above 1 Year. 1 year . . . . . . 5,515 | 1,455 . 1 Year and above 6 Months. 6 Months and under

. 24,681 8,384 . 6 Months and under. Fine

. . . . . 16,638 541 . Whipped, Fined. &c. Police surveillance .

. : 500 Infants under 16, imprisoned for pe

riods less than 4 years . . '.

The proportion convicted was, in England atrocious crimes in this country is proved by the and Wales, 71 per cent. : jn France, by juries, tables ; the most violent offences, particularly in the Caurs d'Assizes, 59:9; by the Judges of those against the person, being committed in a the Tribunaux Correctionels, without the inter- far greater proportion in France than in En. vention of a Jury, 71.5

gland Considering the foregoing estimate of the A further exemplification of the severity of relative amount of crime in the two countries,' the English Laws will be found in a compariand that the difference of population is as 42 son of the punishments inflicted on the Vols to 100, the greater severity of the English Laws Simples of the French Tables and the simple is strongly exhibited. That this result cannot larcenies of the English. be attributed to the greater proportion of

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