HC Deb 26 February 1856 vol 140 cc1425-6

Order for Third Reading read.

Bill read 3°.


said, he must complain of the manner in which the Bill was drawn up. He considered that there was a great necessity for amending Clause 2, which swept away some of those safeguards which the Statute of Geo. II. provided against the exercise of undue influence in the execution of deeds of conveyance in mortmain. The necessity of the attestation of two witnesses, and of the proper enrolment of such deeds, he thought ought to be enforced. He would therefore move the insertion of certain words into the clause, with the view of rendering the measure more effective.


said, he objected to the Amendment, on the ground that it would, if carried, render the measure a failure in its application to a great number of deeds and instruments already executed. He was of opinion that the Bill provided ample safeguards, one of which was, that the period of twelve months should have elapsed between the execution of the deed and the death of the donor.


said, it was most inconvenient to have a Statute in full force, and to be asking continually for Acts to remedy the imperfections contained therein. All the precautionary measures hitherto gathered around those transactions were by the present Bill thrown away. A person might have been influenced to put his name to an instrument which he knew at the time was valueless. Such instrument might be kept back for a considerable time, until a Bill such as this was made law, which would at once cure all the defects in the deed. He thought it would be much better to consider the whole working of the law on the subject, rather than adopt the present Bill. He was in favour of the Amendment.


said, he should support the clause. Many mistakes had been committed in the Mortmain Act simply on account of carelessness, and he hoped that in the present Bill such a reproach would be avoided.


said, he must remind hon. Members that the Bill had been introduced into the House last Session, that it had been fully discussed, and that its principle was then very fully admitted. The Mortmain Act prescribed certain solemnities, some of which were of an important character, while others were merely formal. The present measure only interfered with the latter. He considered that it was a matter of great public utility that the clause as it stood should be retained.


said, he concurred in the opinion that it was quite desirable to remove certain restrictions; but he regretted that the hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Atherton) did not make his clause prospective.

Amendment withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

Bill passed.