HC Deb 30 June 1857 vol 146 cc631-3

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.

Clause 153.


suggested that a clause should be introduced to the effect that where an insolvent Joint-stock Company was to be wound up, if proceedings were first taken in the Court of Chancery, other proceedings which might be taken in the Court of Bankruptcy should cease after the appointment of assignees until the proceedings in the Court of Chancery were Concluded; and, on the other hand, if proceedings were first taken in the Court of Bankruptcy, proceedings in the Court of Chancery should not be taken until those in the Court of Bankruptcy were concluded.


agreed that insolvent companies should be wound up by one tribunal, and he thought the best was the Bankruptcy Court.

Clause agreed to; as were clauses up to Clause 160, inclusive.

Clause 161.


proposed to strike out certain words, and to insert the following:—

"No action, suit, or other proceeding, shall be taken by any creditor of a company without leave first had and obtained." An act of bankruptcy committed by a Joint-stock Company ought to have the same effect as a bankruptcy of partners, and the right of the creditors to sue individual shareholders should be limited. The ruinous consequences of the opposite principle had been painfully exemplified in the case of the Royal British Bank.


said, he preferred striking out the clause altogether, and introducing another clause on the Report restricting the right of a creditor, in a case of bankruptcy, to sue any member of a Joint-stock Company without leave of the Court, but at the same time giving the Court certain powers to prevent a shareholder from either removing his person out of its jurisdiction pending an inquiry in bankruptcy or parting with his property. He hoped, therefore, his hon. Friend would not press his Amendment, but allow the clause to be struck out.


withdrew his Amendment.

Clause struck out.

Clauses 162 to 346 agreed to.


said, he proposed to strike out the "arrangement" clauses, extending from Clause 347 to 357, both inclusive. He much preferred the "arrangement by deed" clauses, which were contained in the English Act. The clauses to which he objected, though always extant in the Irish Bankruptcy Act, had never been brought into operation, owing to the great dislike entertained of them by the mercantile community, and the privacy with which the whole matter would be conducted under them. He had placed on the paper an Amendment to expunge them; but in the present state of the benches—(there were seven hon. Members in the House, of whom three were English and the rest Irish)—he would not press the Amendment.


said, it was perfectly true that the arrangement clauses in the Irish Act had not worked, only six petitions altogether having been presented under them. The reason was that there were so many difficulties and technicalities in the way that it was found impracticable to work them; and the clauses as they stood in the Bill would simplify the proceedings, at the same time that they would preserve the safeguards which prevented fraud.

Amendment withdrawn.

Remaining clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered on Monday next.