§ Order for Committee read.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair."1470
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the object of the Bill was to repeal a clause of the Joint Stock Bank Act, by which a certain number of directors went out by rotation. He had reason to believe that that clause had been carefully considered at the time it was passed. It had been found by experience that concert took place between bodies of directors, and that mismanagement had taken place in consequence of the absence of new persons. There was nothing very abstruse in the conduct of a bank, and honesty and discretion were more required than knowledge. He therefore asked the House, on a matter of this importance, involving the interest of shareholders of various companies, who advanced large sums of money, that some protection should be given to their interests. If the House should pass the Bill, and any evil consequences arose, they could not say that they had acted without knowledge in the matter.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, he should move the adjournment of the debate, on the ground that at that advanced hour (past one o'clock in the morning) the House could not properly deliberate upon a measure of such importance.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he must defend the principle of the Bill, considering that the measure was a very simple one, making directors eligible for re-election then and there. He entirely disagreed with his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the shareholders did not look after their business in joint stock banks. It did seem hard on the shareholders that they should be prevented for a whole twelvemonth from re-electing a retiring director who had done his duty well; that was the only principle of the Bill.
§ Debate adjourned till Monday next.
§ The House adjourned at half after One o'clock.