HC Deb 04 February 1856 vol 140 cc214-5

MR. PELLATT moved for leave to bring in a Bill relating to drafts on bankers. He stated that recent legal proceedings bad rendered the legality of crossing cheques extremely doubtful, and the object of the Bill he proposed to introduce was to render it imperative upon the banker not to pay a cheque when it was crossed, notwithstanding it was payable to bearer. Without some system of that sort a vast amount of inconvenience would result both to bankers and merchants, and a Bill of this kind settling the question would be felt as a great boon by all classes.


said, he should not oppose the introduction of the Bill, but wished it to be quite understood that the Government were in no way committed to the principle which the hon. Member laid down. A banker's cheque was a document which, by a special Act of Parliament, was exempted from the stamp duty on special grounds—these grounds being, that it should be payable to order, and should he drawn within a certain distance of the place where it was payable. Now, any other document ordering the payment of money must necessarily be a stamped instrument. The object of the hon. Member appeared to be, to attempt, by some contrivance, to convert a cheque on a banker payable to bearer, and, therefore, exempt from a stamp, into a document payable to order, and thus to have the security of the endorsement. These things were inconsistent with each other, He should, however, be very glad to see the Bill of the hon. Gentleman. He quite admitted the importance of the subject, and if any plan could be suggested for giving security to bankers, without infringing upon the law, the Government would be very glad to adopt it.

Leave given.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. PELLATT, Mr. WILKINSON, and Mr. HADFIELD.

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