HC Deb 27 March 1823 vol 8 c749
The Lord Mayor

presented a petition from 1,600 merchants, bankers, and traders of the city of London, praying for some alterations in the Insolvent Debtors' act. He said, he presented this petition with pleasure, not merely as chief magistrate, and chairman of the meeting at the Mansion-house, but also as a member of parliament, being perfectly convinced that this act, originating in benevolent and pure motives, had given rise to more fraud and robbery than it was possible for him to describe. This feeling was, he said, now universal, and all parts of the country were as desirous as the metropolis to procure some change in its provisions. It was unnecessary for him to go at length into a subject so much discussed, but he would beg to suggest these alterations in particular; that the first step in taking the benefit of this act should be an act of bankruptcy, thus leaving the creditor the option of availing himself of that mode of proceeding; that the consent of a part, at least, of the creditors should be necessary to the discharge of the debtor; and that the detaining creditor should no longer be at liberty, at his own pleasure, to relieve the insolvent. As this act was only a measure of experiment, which had been found to fail, he sincerely hoped that it would be speedily and effectually amended.

Mr. Alderman Thompson

testified to the great respectability of the petitioners, and declared his cordial concurrence in the prayer of the petition.

Mr. Alderman Wood

expressed similar opinions. All that the petitioners required was, not severity, but justice.

Mr. T. Wilson

also supported the prayer of the petition.

Ordered to lie on the table.