HC Deb 06 May 1824 vol 11 cc529-30

Sir J. Newport moved the second reading of this bill.

Mr. Huskisson

said, he did not know whether this bill was similar in its enactments to some others, all relating to Ireland, that he had seen. One of them, which he now held in his hand, contained some of the most extraordinary provisions he had ever heard of, and went to produce a very extensive alteration in the law of the country. Amongst all the institutions of this country, all the insurance companies, there were, he believed, but two that were not subject to the bankrupt laws. If these companies wished for a charter, let them petition the king, and then the crown lawyers would be consulted, and the policy or impolicy of the measure fully considered. There were half a dozen companies, some for draining the bogs, others for the purposes of mining, some for granting annuities, another for an equitable-loan company, and what he would propose to say to them all would be—"You may form yourselves into what companies you please; but if you apply for powers, those powers must be limited as in all other cases; you may sue and be sued like all other individuals." In fact, there would otherwise be no fairness. He should, therefore, oppose all bills containing such clauses.

Sir J. Newport

said, that companies had been incorporated in various instances, and he saw no reason why the Mining company should be excepted. All he wished was, that the bill should be read a second time in the ordinary course, in the committee any objectionable clause might be struck out.

Mr. Ellice

fully agreed in the general principles laid down by the right hon. gentleman.

Mr. Dawson

said, he was also disposed to concur in the general principle; but, at the same time, the House could not expect that people would embark their property in speculations, if they were liable for more than the sum they had subscribed.

The motion was withdrawn.