HC Deb 27 April 1855 vol 137 cc1934-5

Order for Consideration, as amended, read.

Bill recommitted.


moved to leave out the last proviso of Clause 39, which was to the following effect— Provided also, that no exemption from stamp duty, other than such as is contained in section 8 of the Act passed in the Session of Parliament holden in the 6th and 7th years of the reign of His Majesty King William IV., chap. 32, shall extend to any Benefit Building Society.


said, it was never intended that the exemption from stamp duties should extend to building societies. It was at first represented that these societies were of great use to the poor, but they were now converted into large speculations for builders and capitalists, and the indirect effect of this exemption was, to defraud the revenue of considerable sums from year to year.


said, he saw no necessity for this proviso, which was an exception foreign to the enactment upon which it was engrafted.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes 37; Noes 26: Majority 11.

Clause agreed to; as were also the remaining clauses.


proposed a new clause, authorising, in consequence of the increased risk of death in the case of militiamen serving abroad, that friendly societies should be authorised to increase the periodical payments from men so serving abroad.


said, he must oppose the clause. He thought that if the militiamen went to the stations abroad they were likely to live longer than if they stayed at home. At all events, the friendly societies should be left to make their own rules.


said, he agreed that friendly societies should be left to make their own rules; but Parliament had prevented that, by compelling them to retain as members men who enrolled in the militia, and who formerly, by that very circumstance, lost their right of membership.


said, he would suggest that the clause should be postponed, in order that it might be further considered.


said, his noble Friend (Viscount Ebrington) wanted to protect the societies, but he thought the militiamen were also entitled to protection. When the militia was raised by voluntary enlistment two years ago, the friendly societies had taken advantage of the words of the Act, by which they were then regulated, to strike off the men who enlisted into the militia; and a clause to prevent them so doing was inserted in a subsequent Act. His noble Friend thought the condition of the militiamen was altered by their volunteering for foreign service, but they only volunteered to do garrison duty in the Mediterranean stations, not to do duty at the seat of war or in the West Indies, and, therefore, they ran no greater risk as to life or health than if they remained at home. He hoped his noble Friend would not press the clause.


said, he would suggest the postponement of the clause. He doubted whether the chances of health were as good in the places named by the noble Lord as at home, and he, therefore, hoped some time would be given for considering the proposal contained in this clause.


said, he was aware of the case of an assurance office, which would not insure the life of a militiaman, who was liable to be called upon to serve in the tropics or at the seat of war, without his paying an additional premium. Why, then, should the same power be refused to a friendly society, which, if properly managed, should be regulated upon the same principles as an assurance office?

Clause postponed.

The House resumed.

The House adjourned at Two o'clock till Monday next.