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boards of admiral y, which had existed since he had first mentioned this subject, to think with him. And certainly there had been amongst these boards, some with which the liononrable officer had some influence. I! was to the executive or to the board of admiral'y that any application should be made, and not by address from this lousco The right honourable gentleman then entered into 'a detailed statement, to shew that it was the interest of the navy itself, that he king's proctor should be employed on their behalf. Numberless complaints have within the last four years been made against privateers, and the reason was, that the owner of the privateer was his own dominus bitis, and at liberty to conduct his business, so that many vexations proceedings were the consequence. It was de. sirable that the king's proctor should be independant of the navy agents. As to the statement of the number of causes, that could not be a ground for the motion, unless the honourable officer had shewn that these causes had been neglected. The king's proctor would have as much assistance as he wanted, and it more proctors were to be appointed, the reasons of the case would apply wih more force to the king's advocate, who was obliged to discharge all his duties personally. The fact was, however, that the business was regularly and diligently at: tended to, and as no case had been made out, he was con. fident the house would not agree with the motion of the honourable officer. The king's proctor, when appointed, had given up all private practice, and, if his present emoluments were to be divided amongst others, how was he to be indemnified ? His former clients would not come back to him, and he did not think the honourable officer would be of opinion that the king's proctor should be al. lowed to act for parties as well as for the captors. After shewing by reference to the original prize act, and to sea veral subsequent public documents, that the employment of the king's proctor for the ca, tors was consonant to ancient practice, he concluded by declaring, that he' should give his negative to the motion, as injurious to the interests of the navy, and interfering with the prerogative of the crown.
Mr. H. Marlin supported the motion. Neither the prerogative of the crown, nor the interests of the nation, would be at all injured by the appointment of more than one proctor, for all the proceedings would be as much under the eye of government as before. The proctor con
sidered himself as totally independant of the aptors. It would be much better for the navy that they should be enabled to choose a proctor who would be responsible to themsclves. He stated various inconveniences that re. sulted to the captors from the present mode of proceeding, and said, that the navy felt the utmost anxiety for the suco cess of this motion. If it were adopted, the proceedings woull be much inore rapid, the captors would be much benefited, and no disadvantage whatever would result to the crown or to the public.
Mr. Stephen observed, that the business could not be better managed than it was by the king's proctor and his assistants. He had heard no reason for an alteration in the system.' Every reason on the contrary was against it. He affirmed that the officers of the navy would be yery much injored by having the choice of their own proctors, as appeared from what actually took place from their having the appointment of their own agents. They had at present all the advantage that resulted from the connection between the king's proctor and the king's advocate. A vast expence was often saved to the captors, which they would be put to in prosecuting bad causes, if they chose their own proctors.
Mr. Bastard contended, that it was the duty of that house to watch and be jealous of every office. He hopeil, as the right honourable gentleman had said, if the bonourable baronet should carry his motion, that he would extend his motion to the office of that right honourable gentleman. There were certainly in the commons many persons who were as well qualified as the king's proctor to conduct the business. It had been stid, 'hat the interests of the navy itself were better provided for by the present practice ; but the contrary was the impression uni-, versally felt in the navy, though most unwarrantable mea. sures were employed by the admiralty to stifle their complaints. He knew the fact, because a petition had been put into his hands, complaining of gross abuses, and sign. ed by many of the most respectable persons in the navy, some of whom withdrew their names, in consequence of their having been menaced with the vengeance of the ad. miralty, and he had refused to present the petition afterwarus ; lest he should thereby draw down that vengeance
pon the parties. "Upon these grounds he slıquld support the resolutions.
Mr. Farquhar stated, that if a cause extended beyond the period of two years, it must be from the fault of the parties. He then bore testimony to the respectability and integrity of the present king's proctor, and expressed his surprise that this proposition should have come from any person connected with the navy.
Mr. Johnstone observed, that all the advantages which at present resulted from the king's advocate baving the management of the prize causes, :would exist, though there should be two or more king's proctors; and that all the arguments about the injurious effect of an unrestricted liberty of choice were altogether inapplicable. Proceed: ings, he said, bad often been retarded, owing to the ma. nagement being in one person, and justice to the neutrals, as well as to the captors, required that some alteration sliould take place; and he could not see why the ince veniences might not be remedied' without sacțificing any of the advantages.
- The Solicitor General dissented from the motion of the honourable admiral, because, if any inconveniences were felt from the present mode of conducting business in the admiralty courts, it would not tend to reinedy them. He opposed it in the second place, because it was perfectly novel in its nature. Thirdly, because it was directly contrary to a former decision of the bouse, by which it had been rejected when it was formerly proposed. Fourthly, because it proceeded upon a principle directly the reverse of tặat on which all causes are instituted in the court of appeals, namely, that these suits are conducted, not for the benefit of the captor, but for the benefit of the crown. He contended, that the navy were not interested in the fate of the motion, and also that no inconvenience had been shewn to result from the business being confined to a single proctor.
Mr.'11 hitbread remarked, that the corps of legal gen. tlemen had mustered very strong to-night; he did not know whether they had spirit or not. Of this the house would judge from the speeches that had been delivered. He asserted, that so far from the question being indifferent to the navy, there was a general outcry, be might say, the navy respecting it. "He was 'willing to concur in all the praises which bad been bestowed upon the person at present holding the office of king's proctor. But abuses had taken place before he filled the office, and such abusos might occur again. The honourable and learned gentleman might as well argue, that it would be proper and fit for him to conduct every cause in the court of king's benchi, as that one proctor should engross the whole business of the court of appeals. Formerly two clerks did the business of he house of commons, and continued to do se till the time of the union, when the incsease of business made it necessary to have three. But the ho. pourable and learned gentleman, upon his principles, would argue that because two had been sufficient at one tinc, they would be sufficient still.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer opposed the motion, because it had not been slicwn that the delays which took place in the decision of causes in the courts of prize jurisdiction arose from a want of proctars. On the con Trary, it would be easy to shew, that the interests of the captors were materially benefited by a vast number of causes passing through the hands of a single person.
Sir Samuel Romilly thought that the best time to reform the constitution of a court of justice was when the causes in the court were respectably and exceptionably filled ; because, at such a time, all personal and party motivés must necessarily be excluded. He did not pre. tend to be intimately acquainted with the mode of proceeding in the admiralty courts; but he conceived it to be a very extraordinary principle, and one contrary to that which was recognized in all other courts, that one person, however able, and however distinguished either by his talents or integrity, should engross the whole prac. tice of the court.
Mr. Robert Ward said, that if it bad occurred in times past, that the king's proctor had been employed on both sides of a cause, such regulations were now adopted, as to preclude the possibility of its happening in future,
Mr. Windhain argued, that if the king was dominus litis when there was only one proctor, he would be equal. ly dominus litis were there three proctors, and that there. fore there was no objection to the motion of his gallant friend, from its tending to alter the principle upon which causes were conducted in the prize courts. And if it had no injurious tendency in this way, he thought it desirable to adopt a measure which would be highly satisfactory to such a numerous and meritorious class of persons as the officers of the royal navy.
Sir Charles Pole made a short reply, in which he stat, ed, that some causes had been pending in the admiralty courts more than ten years, ard that a majority had been pending more than seven years; and he should think that lie was wanting in his duty if he did not take the sense of the house upon the motion which he had the honour to propose. : The house divided upon sir Charles Pole's motion : A yes
19 The Advocate General moved for leave to bring in a bill 10. extend the provisions of an act of the 47th of the king, as far as that act relates to a participation of the prize money due to the British troops from captures inade in conjunction with foreign troops. Leave was given, and the bill was brought up and read a first time.
CURATES' Bill. The house having gone into a committee on the curates' bill,
Lord Porchester proposed a clause for preventing per sons holding more than one curacy, from enjoying the benefit of any increase to such curacy. The clause was negatived.
On the clanse authorising the bishop to decide on the value of the living, a long conversation ensuell, in which, while mot gentlemen seemed to approve of the on ission of the oath proposed to be admi istered to the incum, bent, they objected to that omission, if in the case of the metropolitans of Canterbury and York therc was lo be no appeal.
The Speaker said, he approved of the omission of the oath, but at the same time, he thought a distinction onght to be made between the powers of the archbishops in their diocesan and metropolitan capacity: It was, therefore, his intention in the proper clause, to move an amendment to this effect.
. Mr. Windham said it was simply the impossibility of judging what might be the decision of the bouse on his clause, when it should come to be considered, which had produced any misunderstanding ou the clause now under consideration.