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doubt that when a child so circumstanced was brought back to the place of confinement the original punishment to which he was liable would revert, and consequently there was no reason to introduce that clause. There were various degrees of offence and penalty, and he thought it would be more uniform if the original punishment should revert in the case of such parties than that they should all be subject to one particular punishment for having escaped, and that this punishment should be fixed without reference to their various grades and degrees of guilt.

The Earl of Chichester looked upon the bill which was now before their Lordships as a most important, wise, and salutary measure; and he had always considered it to be the fulfilment of a promise made two Sessions ago by the noble Marquess who had just sat down, in reply to some questions put to him by the noble Duke (Wellington) with reference to some children tried and convicted at quarter sessions. He had fully considered the subject of the noble and learned Lord's amendments; and it was his conviction that these prisons could not be subjected to that constant and vigilant superintendence which was so necessary to their well being, if they were left merely to the inspectors of prisons. He had recommended to the committee which sat upon the subject of prison discipline to appoint a board expressly for the purpose of inspecting and superintending these prisons, with inspectors acting under their authority, and representing to them correctly the state of the different prisons. At the same time he would not interfere with the authority of the visiting justices, whose advantageous local influence he should be most sorry to dispense with. It was, at the same time, however, most important, that the prisons should be visited by regular official inspectors; he certainly did not think that this was a matter to be left to the Secretary of State, who had so many other important matters to attend to. He would suggest, that a certain number of persons should be appointed at Quarter Sessions to the duties of this inspection of which they should report the result to the Secretary of State, sending also a copy of the repoit to be laid before the next Court of Quarter Sessions. He could not help thinking, that the publicity given to these reports would be productive


of the utmost advantage. He would move, that the existing prisons for juvenile offenders, and any others which might be hereafter erected for the same purpose, should be referred to this board, of which he had spoken. He was most anxious that this experiment should succeed, and he hoped, that it would be extended, in that case, to other classes of criminals. From all that he had seen, he was more and more convinced of the unsatisfactory character of the secondary punishments now inflicted. He earnestly hoped that some system of penitentiary discipline might be adopted; and he hoped that his noble Friend the noble Marquess might before long propose to their Lordships some measure of this kind. The noble Earl concluded by proposing an amendment to the first clause, to the effect that two or more visiting justices be appointed, who should personally visit and inspect the prisons at least three times in each quarter of a-year, and should make a report once in each quarter of a-year to the Secretary of State; and that a copy of such report should be sent to the clerk of the peace; provided always, that such visiting justices should be empowered, at all reasonable hours, to visit and inspect the prisons, and to make a report upon any abuse to the Secretary of State whenever they deemed it necessary.

Lord Lyndhurst said, that if the noble Marquess would assent to this amendment, he was willing to withdraw his own, in order that the noble Earl might propose his. He only wanted some proper and independent persons to inspect the prisons, and report thereon to the Secretary of State.

The Marquess of Lansdmvne would not object to the appointment of persons by the Privy Council for that purpose; nor did he object to any species of observation emanating from the public generally, and not from the particular county.

Lord Portman wanted independent persons to be appointed. At the same time he thought that any justice ought to have the power of inspecting these prisons, and he should therefore submit to his noble Friend's consideration an amendment to the effect that any justice of the peace, acting for any county in England, should be allowed to enter into and examine such prisons as often as he thought fit, and if hediscovered any abuses therein, he should be required to report them to the Secretary of State. He thought that this 2C

would secure that additional inspection which the noble and learned Lord and his noble Friend the noble Earl seemed to have agreed upon, and he thought it expedieut that every justice should have the right of inspection. He hoped, that their Lordships would study the third report of the inspectors of prisons, than which no more valuable document had been laid on the table of that House for many years. He hoped the noble Marquess would turn his attention to the establishment of some general prison, where persons incarcerated for a long term of imprisonment might be removed, and where some corrective system might be applied. He would put his amendment in the hands of his noble Friend the noble Marquess, and would beg him to consider it.

Lord Brougham objected to the practice of making material amendments in a measure after the third reading of the bill. He thought it would be better to postpone the debate on this subject to a future day.

Debate adjourned till Thursday.

Recovery Of Tenements.] Lord Hatherton, in moving the second reading of the Recovery of Tenements Bill, said that it was extremely probable that most of their Lordships were not aware of the difficulty of obtaining the recovery of small tenements, though such Members of that House as were acquainted with the manufacturing districts might be apprised of it. He was himself a trustee of property on which there were more than 3,000 cottages, and in that capacity not a month passed but he had experience of the extreme inconvenience of the present state of the law. He believed, that the poor themselves were the greatest sufferers by this state of things. The object of the bill was, not to give the owner any additional remedy for the recovery of rent, but more certainty in recovering the possession of the premises. The mode proposed of operating a change in the law, was by enabling the owners of tenements, after due notice to the party, holding over, to apply for a magistrate's warrant to take possession, notice of not less than seven days having been given to the tenant holding over; and if the magistrates in petty sessions should be satisfied as to the ownership of the property by the applicant, they might issue their warrant at once to take possession, but at least twenty-one days' notice was to be given to the opposite

party. Then, the bill provided, that if th party obtaining this warrant had not th right of possession, such warrant was to h a trespass, and the party holding ove having given his own bond and that of tw sureties to prosecute the action, if he ofa tained a verdict, was to be entitled to s least double costs. He thought, therefore that under this bill the rich man would no be likely to avail himself of any unfai advantage. If, however, the defendan obtained a verdict, he would recover hi costs from the party holding over, o from the sureties joined with him. Hi trusted this bill would not meet with an; opposition. He believed, that under th< presentlaw persons were frequently obliget to spend more than the value of the property in an attempt to recover it from a tenant. The bill had been three years ir the House of Commons, and had nevei been opposed by a larger minority thai seven, and so far was that House from thinking the measure unpopular, that they raised the value of the tenements to which the bill applied from 10/. to 20/. He therefore moved, that the bill be now read a second time.

Lord Brougham remarked, that there might be a termor and a title, and if so, this plan amounted to trying an ejectment in a summary manner.

Lord Hatherton said, that the question of title would be tried at the Assizes. When the party holding over entered into a bond to prosecute the action, he would retain possession of the property till the question was decided at the Assizes.

Lord Brougham said, that this removed much of his objection to the bill.

Bill read a second time.

Custody or Infants.] Lord Lyndhurston more than one occasion had had the good fortune to submit to their Lordships' consideration questions connected with the great principles of humanity and justice, and many alterations of the law founded upon those principles—alterations which had met with the entire approbation of their Lordships; but he had never yet submitted to the House a question which he felt more deeply, or which he considered of more importance than that which was embodied in the bill thesecond reading of which hewai about to move— the Custody of Infants Bill. The measure had been introduced into the other House of Parliament by an lion, and learned Friend of his (Lord Lyndhurst's), a Gentleman of great eloquence and high attainments; it had been most actively and most vigorously opposed by another hon. and learned Friend, who was distinguished for his great legal knowledge, and for the extraordinary acumen of his mind; and notwithstanding that active and legal opposition in every stage of the bill in the other House of Parliament, still the promoters of the measure succeeded in carrying it by very large majorities. It was under the sanction of the other House of Parliament, that he submitted the second reading of the bill to their Lordships' consideration., He had always felt it to be incumbent upon a Member of their Lordships' House, when he proposed any alteration in the existing law of the land, to state most distinctly what the existing law was, what were the evils arising from that state of the law, and what was the remedy he proposed ; and feeling that duty to be incumbent on him as a legislator, and as a Member of their Lordships' House, he should, as shortly and distinctly as was possible, state the law as it at present stood, the evils arising from it, and the remedy which by this bill be proposed. He was satisfied the House would go with him in thinking, that the evils were great, and he believed the only point on which a difference of opinion would arise would be as to the adequacy of the remedy. As the law now stood, the father of a chilld born in lawful wedlock was entitled to the entire and absolute control and custody of that child, and to exclude from any share in that control and custody the mother of that child. The mother might be the most virtuous woman that ever lived, amiable in her manners, fond and attached to her children ; the father, on the other hand, might be profligate in character, brutal in manner, living in adultery, and yet would have the right under the existing law to the custody of the children of his marriage, to the exclusion of even access to them of his wife, their mother. Further than this, if the father availed himself of the law as it now stood, he might apply it to personal pecuniary objects, to the extortion of unjust concessions from the mother, and still have the right to bar her from all access to her children. Such was the state of the law as far as it related to legitimate children; the law in reference to illegitimate children was however wholly different, Now, in order that he might

not be supposed to misstate the law in these respects, he conceived it to be his duty to call the attention of the House to some of the cases which had been quoted in the other House of Parliament by the hon. and learned Gentleman to whom he had already referred ; these cases involved no point of a technical character, and being most interesting in their facts, he trusted they would be listened to with indulgence and patience. The first case to which - he would refer was that of Mrs. Emanuel. That lady had married a French emigrant. She was before her marriage in possession of about 700/. a year, which on the marriage was settled to her own use, with certain contingencies. The husband received 2,000/., but not being satisfied with this settlement of the property, he persecuted his wife to make her will in his favour. She had the firmness to refuse. He then threatened to take her out of the kingdom, but this was barred by a covenant of the settlement. He next threatened to take her child, an infant scarcely five or six months old, out of the kingdom, and he succeeded in tearing the child away from its mother, and placing it in the custody and care of a hireling nurse. Application was made to the court on behalf of the wife for access to the child, and though the Court admitted that nothing could be mere infamous or base than the motives by which the father had been actuated, still, as the mother had no right to interfere, as the father had hired a nurse as a substitute for the mother, and as the child was not suffering in health, the court could not interfere and afford the redress sought. The next case was that of Mrs. Skinner. In that case the husband and wife were separated in consequence of the barbarous usage of the husband, who was then living in adultery with a woman of the name of Delavaf. The child, only six years of age, bad previously been left, and properly left, with the mother; the husband, however, got possession of the child, and on the question being agitated in court (the child having in the mean time been delivered to the mistress of its father, who was then confined in Horsemon* ger-lane Gaol, where the child wag carried to him day by day) the court said, that it had no power to interfere, and thus the child was wholly separated from its mother. That mother was of irreproachable character; her

conduct had received no stigma of any kind ; she was fondly attached to her child, and he (Lord Lyndhurst) left it to the House to conceive what must have been her sufferings, and to say whether, in contrasting her characterand conduct with that of the husband, the law in that case was not harsh, cruel, unjust, and severe. But there was a third case—that of Mrs. M'Lellan. These parties were also separated. The cause of their separation did not appear. The child had been left with the mother, but possession was taken of it by the father, who sent it to school. The child was attacked with a scrofulous complaint, a disease of which two other children had died, and by persuasion of the governess the mother obtained possession of the child, in order to take care of and watch over it as only a mother could. On the application of the father to the court for the child, the court said they had no power to interfere, as the father had a full right to debar the mother from all access to the child. He, however, wished to refer to the language used by the learned judge (Mr. Justice Patteson) on that occasion. He said, "It did not appear that the child had been ill treated." What was the answerof the learned judge? He remarked that "there was a wide difference between the absence of all intentional cruelty and the devoted watchfulness and care of a mother, especially in a case like this, where, from the circumstance of her former children having suffered from the same complaint, the mother may be supposed to have earned the experience of what was best to be done." Such was the feeling of that wise, humane, and charitable judge, and still he was bound by law to restore the child to the person whom the father had named to receive it. Then came the case of " Ball v. Ball," which was a still more recent decision. In that case the father was living in adultery with another woman; the child, however, though left with the mother, was in the habit of visiting its father, and on one of those visits he took possession of it, and sent it to school without any notice to the mother what he had done with it. After a length of time the mother discovered where the child was placed, and made application to the court for its restoration, urging, that the terms of the separation had been, that she should have the custody of the child. That application was unsuccessful, and a second

was made to the court in the alternative, that if the law did not permit the restoration of the child, the mother might, at least, have access to it. In answer to that application, what had been the language of the court? The Vice-Chancellor said, "I do not know that I have any authority to interfere. I do not know of any case similar to this, which would authorize my making the order sought in either alternative. If any can be found, I would most gladly adopt it; for, in a moral point of view, 1 know of no act more harsh or cruel than depriving a mother of proper intercourse with her child." It was clear that the learned judge in that case regretted that he could not accede to one of the two alternatives. Another and more recent case was that of Mrs. Greenhill, and that case was of this description:— She had three daughters, the eldest about six, and the youngest about two years of age. She was living with her children at Weymouth for the benefit of her health, when she received information that her husband was, and had been living in adultery with a female of the name of Graham for upwards of a year; she was astonished at the intelligence, and on consultation with her mother, and her friends, she was advised by them to apply to the Ecclesiastical Court for a divorce. What had then been the conduct of the husband? He sent his attorney to her and threatened that if she went on with the ecclesiastical suit, he would take the children from her. Mrs. Greenhill erroneously supposed that she had a right to retain possession of her children, and went on with her suit for a divorce. Subsequently, proceedings had taken place in the courts of Chancery and King's Bench, and it was there ultimately decided that the wife must not only deliver up the children, but that the husband had a right to debar the wife of all access to them. The judgment of the court was in these terms:—The ViceChancellor said, "That however bad and immoral Mr. Greenhill'sconduct might be, unless that conduct was brought so under the notice of the children as to render it probable that their minds would be contaminated, the Court of Chancery had no authority to interfere with the common law right of the father, and that he had not the power to order that Mrs. Greenhill should even see her children as a matter of right." Here again was there a complete exclusion of the mother from all access to

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