HC Deb 15 May 1823 vol 9 cc256-7
Mr. J. Smith

moved for a committee, "to inquire into the state of the Law relating to Goods, Waves, and Merchandize, intrusted to Merchants, Agents, or Factors, and the effect of the Law upon the Interests of Commerce, and to report the result of that inquiry with their opinion thereon, to the House."

Mr. Serjeant Onslow

said, he could not allow the motion to pass without returning his thanks to the hon. member who had brought it forward.

Mr. Marryat

doubted the expediency of altering the law on this subject. A great deal had been said about the situation of merchants and factors, but the truth was, that neither merchants nor factors were materially interested in the question. Those who stirred in this matter were the brokers, who were in the habit of advancing large sums of money on goods, without inquiring of those from whom they obtained them, whether they were their own property or not. By such practices they sometimes made great gains, but being exposed to occasional losses, they came to parliament to ask that they might be screened from the effects of their own imprudence by an alteration in the law of the land. He contended, that the evils under the law might be easily obviated.

Mr. Sykes

thought that some alteration in the present law was absolutely necessary, as he had known instances in which the grossest frauds had been committed with impunity.

Mr. Robertson

was opposed to the measure, and deprecated the intention of giving the consignee the power of making immediate money of the goods of the consignor under certain circumstances.

Mr. J. Smith

said, that all he wished for was an inquiry into the present state of the law, as he was confident that under it the greatest frauds and evils occurred. The motion was agreed to.

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