HC Deb 10 July 1844 vol 76 cc558-9

House in Committee on the Joint Stock Companies Regulation Bill.

On the second Clause,

Mr. Gladstone

said, with reference to the desire expressed by some hon. Members, that the provisions of this Bill should be extended to Scotland and Ireland, that on bringing up the Report it was his intention to propose a Clause extending the provisions of the Bill to Ireland. His right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate would explain why, in its present state, the Bill could not be applied to Scotland.

The Lord Advocate

said, that in the present state of the law on this subject in Scotland, it would cause great confusion to extend the provisions of this Bill to that country. He thought it would be much better to have a separate Bill for that part of the United Kingdom.

On the question that the Clause as amended stand part of the Bill.

Mr. R. Hodgson

proposed to add the words "Railway Companies" after "Banking Companies."

Mr. Gladstone

said, that he would now state to the Committee the course which he proposed to adopt with regard to railways. He would associate railways with those public works, which, by the Rules of the House, were called public works of the second class; that was generally companies for the construction of public works. He would propose that all such companies should have at first a provisional, and, after a fixed time, a complete registration. One object of the Bill was to prevent fraudulent jobbing in shares, and he proposed that no transfer of shares should take place before complete registration; but in certain cases, he would not object to the transfer of certificates before application to Parliament. He would propose that all Companies formed for the construction of public works should enter into a complete registration. He proposed that in all cases the deed of incorporation of all companies of this kind should be completed antecedent to complete registration. He next proposed that no portion of public works should be allowed to be executed until they had first executed a complete registration of the company in accordance with the provisions which he now proposed to adopt. He proposed to class Railway Companies with Companies for the construction of canals and other public works of that nature, and which were generally classed as public works of "construction." Upon the whole, he did not anticipate any opposition on the part of those interested in Railway Companies to those propositions, which would be found, he thought, to operate to their benefit.

Mr. Hodgson

said, that he would withdraw his Amendment for the present, and wait until he saw how the Bill would come from the Committee.

Clause agreed to.

Remaining Clauses, with amendments, agreed to. House resumed. Report received.

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