HC Deb 26 April 1853 vol 126 cc617-21

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third Time."


said, he hoped the right hon. Gentleman (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would not press his Motion at that late hour. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Suffolk (Sir F. Kelly) had a notice on the paper in reference to this Bill which he would not be able to bring forward if the third reading were taken that night. He begged to move that the House do now adjourn.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."


said, that the hon. and learned Member for Suffolk had been in the House at the commencement of the evening, and had said that he would be prepared to move his Amendment that night.


said, that when there was a notice of an Amendment on the paper, it might have been fairly concluded by hon. Members that so important a measure would not be pressed to a third reading at so late an hour.


said, he thought that, after the distinct declaration of the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Suffolk, they had no right to presume that he would not have attended in his place to bring forward his Motion.

Question put. The House divided:—Ayes 20; Noes 57: Majority 37.

Main Question again proposed.


moved the adjournment of the House.


said, that this was a question with respect to which every day's delay was matter of most serious inconvenience. Here were parties the whole foundation of whose property was to be changed to the amount of 10,000,000l.; and they could not know the terms under which it was to be changed until the Bill had become an Act of Parliament, when it would be the duty of the Treasury to state the terms under which the Exchequer bonds would be issued. Under these circumstances, he certainly felt great difficulty in consenting to the further postponement of the third reading. The absence of the hon. and learned Member for Suffolk was as much a matter of regret to him as it was to hon. Gentlemen opposite.


said, he thought there was good reason for not proceeding with the Bill that night. There was a very important point connected with the measure still undecided, and that was the situation in which trustees were placed by it. Trustees for reversionary interests, as the case stood at present, had the power of altering and disposing of this stock without the consent of the person who had that interest. The right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that he did not wish to change the law, and that it must be left exactly as it had been before. In every other proposition of a similar kind which had been made to Parliament, trustees had been obliged to act according to the provisions of the new law; but under this measure they might take any one of three courses. A clause, he thought, should be introduced, preventing them from acting without the consent of the person who had the reversionary interest.


said, it was clear that if the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not give way, the House would be involved in a debate upon the third reading of this Bill; and as he thought this would be most un-advisable, he would move that the debate should be adjourned.


said, that in consequence of communications which had taken place with the hon. and learned Member for Suffolk, a clause had been prepared to accomplish the object desired by the hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), namely, to restrain trustees for parties having a limited interest from accepting the one particular portion of stock that would have the effect of diminishing the capital without the consent and approbation of a Judge of the Court of Chancery. There was a clear understanding that the Bill should pass through its final stages that night; and he was sure that the greatest possible desire had been shown to meet the wishes expressed by hon. Members on the other side of the House.


said, that it was perfectly vain to proceed with a Bill of this kind in the face of such a determination as was manifested by hon. Members opposite. He would not, therefore, waste the time of the House by pressing it; but he could not withdraw the Motion for the third reading without entering his protest against this proceeding. The hon. and learned Member for Suffolk {Sir F. Kelly) having made an express declaration on this subject, disappeared from the House. It was alleged that he bad done this because it was half-past one o'clock; but the hon. and learned Member was not in the division which had taken place; and then hon. Gentlemen came forward with their presumptuous suppositions and interpretations, flatly in contradiction of the intentions which the hon. and learned Member had stated. He should propose now to read the Bill a third time, inserting the clauses, and making the amendments he had to propose; and then to let the final stage of the Bill stand over, in order to give the hon. and learned Member an opportunity to move the additional clause of which he had given notice.


said, he must disclaim any intention to offer an unfair opposition to the progress of this Bill; his conviction was, that there was some misunderstanding on the part of the hon. and learned Member for Suffolk. If the final stage of the Bill were fixed for the following day, no delay could be occasioned, as the Bill could be taken up to the House of Lords on Thursday, and that branch of the Legislature did not sit on Wednesday.


said, he would withdraw his Motion for the adjournment of the debate.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read 3°; Clauses added; further Proceeding adjourned till To-morrow.

The House adjourned at a quarter before Two o'clock.