HC Deb 12 December 1837 vol 39 cc988-9

Mr. Lynch moved for leave to bring in a Bill to enable married women, with the consent of their husbands, to pass their interests in chattels personal. The hon. Member said, that the object of the Bill was to remove an anomaly in the law which was attended with great inconvenience, litigation, uncertainty, and expense, and he hoped, therefore, that no objection would be made to its introduction.

Sir E. Sugden

said, that he did not think this was a fit subject for legislation. He thought the Bill would work great hardship and injustice if it were allowed to pass, as it would have the effect of depriving married women of what might be their only means of subsistence.

Mr. O'Connell

hoped, that leave would be given to bring in the Bill, as the House would then have a better opportunity of judging of the plan of the hon. and learned Member.

Sir R. Peel

did not rise to offer any objection to the introduction of the present Bill, but merely to express a hope that her Majesty's Government would consider the bearing which these individual acts of legislation would have upon the general statute law of the country. They had appointed Commissioners with a view to consolidate the law, and if individual Members, although with the best intentions, brought in Bills without a full consideration of the bearing of their individual propositions upon the general statute law, he was afraid that the statute law would become more complex and confused than it was at present, and their desire to consolidate it would be defeated by the introduction of these individual measures. The hon. and learned Member had no less than five distinct notices on the books. Now, if other hon. Gentlemen followed his example, he (Sir R. Peel) was afraid that the result would be a still further complication of the law than that which at present existed.

The Solicitor-General

concurred in the general observations of the right hon. Baronet; but with regard to the present Bill he thought the law was open to much amendment, and that at least the hon. and learned Gentleman ought to be al- lowed to have an opportunity of laying his plan before the House.

Leave given.