HC Deb 20 February 1810 vol 15 cc495-6
Mr. Manning

rose to revive his motion of a former night, for a committee to inquire into the present state of Marine Insurance, and to enquire in what manner the public might be better accommodated. He said, he rose in consequence of the fate of his proposition on a former night, from the state of the House, to renew his motion for the appointment of a select committee, to consider of the act of Geo. I. for incorporating the London and Royal Exchange Assurance Companies, and also of the state of the means of effecting marine insurances in London. The hon. gent. repeated the arguments and statements with which he prefaced his motion on the former night, and concluded with moving, that a select committee be appointed.

Mr. Grenfell

opposed it on the ground that the establishment proposed would be an invasion of the chartered rights of the existing companies. He should not object, however, to going into a committee, if it were to be an open one.

Mr. Marryatt

went over the same ground of argument as on the former occasion. He contended that the supporters of the petition wanted to exempt themselves from that responsibility on the whole of their property, which attached to individual underwriters. The consequence would be, that as the new company would be responsible only to the amount of its capital, if that company should at any time become insolvent, the individual members would still remain in affluence, and drive in their coaches by the persons who had been ruined by such insolvency. The underwriters at Lloyd's often, to avoid litigation, paid for losses which they could not be compelled to make good. They were often, from such motives, induced to pay for vessels loaded with brick-bats and stones instead of goods, and even sometimes for vessels which were never in existence at all. A company, on the contrary, would look more narrowly into every case, and consequently litigation would be increased rather than diminished. In short, the supporters of the intended measure wished to engross to themselves all the profits of the brokers and underwriters.

The committee was then appointed.