HC Deb 10 March 1856 vol 140 cc2200-1

Order for Committee read.


, in rising to move that the order for the committal of this Bill be discharged, said he would beg to explain that the reason why he did so was that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) had given notice, of his intention to move that the Bill be rejected, on the ground that there had been an abuse of the forms of the House by the substitution of a new Bill for that which he (Mr. Lowe), in the first instance, introduced. The object for which the Bill had been brought in was simply to reverse the decision in the case of Waugh v. Carver. It appeared, however, on further examination, that the measure, as originally worded, would not effect that object, and that, leaving out the question of participation in profits, it merely provided for the case of a person who advanced his capital. That being the case, he inserted another clause to accomplish the purpose which the Bill was especially designed to effect; but here he was met by an objection from the right hon. Gentleman, who complained that that proceeding rendered the Bill, to all intents and purposes, a new measure. From that view of the question he (Mr. Lowe) entirely dissented, and he could prove that it was unsound; but as he wished to avoid even the appearance of unfairness, and did not wish to involve the House in a technical discussion, he would yield to the objection and withdraw the Bill. He begged the House to believe that, so far from desiring to take an unfair advantage, or to steal a march on them, his motive had been the very reverse. He desired, on the contrary, to give the fullest opportunity for the consideration of the change which he had felt himself compelled to make in the Bill. Whether technically right or wrong, he loped the House would do him the justice to believe that that was his sole object. Under all the circumstances of the case, he thought it better to withdraw the Bill, reserving to himself the right of effecting the same purpose, either by the insertion if a clause in the Joint-stock Companies Bill, with, of course, a corresponding alteration in the title, or by the introduction of an entirely new Bill. He would avail himself of the leisure afforded by the approaching vacation to consider whether, in he latter case, it might not be possible to put the Bill in a shape which might render it more acceptable to certain Members of the House than in its present somewhat abstract form it was likely to prove. Having made that explanation, he begged to move that the order be now discharged, with the view of bringing the Bill in again in another shape.


said, he very much commended the determination at which the right hon. Gentleman had arrived, and could assure him that he never had the least intention of imputing to him a desire to take the House by surprise, or to act otherwise than in an honourable spirit in this matter. He (Mr. Henley) certainly felt that the new clauses had essentially altered the character of the measure; and, as much inconvenience would result from discussing the principles of a Bill in committee, he had felt it his duty to give notice of the Amendment which stood in his name. The necessity for that Amendment had, however, been now superseded, and he was satisfied that the right hon. Gentleman had taken the course which was not only the most discreet, but which would prove in the end the most expeditious.

Order for Committee discharged.

Bill withdrawn.

The House adjourned at half after Two o'clock.