HC Deb 10 June 1863 vol 171 cc673-5

Order for Committee read.


said, he had objected to the Bill on the second reading, because he believed that it was not calculated to cure the evil that was complained of. The House did not take the same view, and the Bill was read a second time. Since then, however, the defects which he had pointed out in the Bill had been recognised by the promoters of the measure, and they had placed numerous Amendments on the paper for Committee, which entirely altered its character, and made it a new Bill in fact. He should therefore offer no further opposition to the Bill.


said, he had seconded the Motion for rejecting the Bill on the second reading; but as his objections had been in the main removed by the Amendments which were to be made in Committee, he should not offer any further opposition to the Bill.

Bill considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

Clause 1 (Responsibility of Innkeepers).


said, he wished to move an Amendment to the clause, by leaving out from the word "shall," in line 14 to the end of the clause, for the purpose of providing that— No innkeeper after the passing of this Act shall be liable to make good to any guest of such innkeeper, any loss of, or injury to goods or property brought to his inn, not being a horse or other live animal, or any gear appertaining thereto, or any carriage, to a greater amount than the sum of £30, except in the following cases; that is to say, where such goods or property shall have been stolen, lost, or injured through the wilful default or neglect of such innkeeper, or any servant in his employ; where such goods or property shall have been deposited expressly for safe custody with such innkeeper, or his servant authorized by him for that purpose: Provided always, that in the case of such deposit it shall be lawful for such innkeeper, if he think fit, to require, as a condition of his liability, that such goods or property shall be deposited in a box or other receptacle, and that the person depositing be same shall affix his seal to the fastening thereof.


remarked that he Amendment was so complete an alteration as to amount to a new clause, and it had better be brought up as such.

Clause negatived.

Remaining Clauses agreed to.


said, he would then propose his new Clause.


moved the addition of a proviso, to the effect that it shall be incumbent on the guest to prove that the property was in his possession in the inn. He node that suggestion with a view to disappoint the swindlers who were going about the Loudon hotels making claims on landlords for the loss of property which they had never possessed.


said, that as an instance of the arbitrary state of the existing law, he might mention a case where a person went to an inn and deposited a portmantean in the stable. That portmanteau was rifled of its contents, and a claim made for £130, although the owner could not tell what the portmanteau contained.


said, he could not understand the meaning of the guest having possession. He could understand the inn-keeper having possession.


said, he thought the proviso would be unnecessary, because, before a person could recover, he must prove possession.

Proviso, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.


moved the addition of the two following clauses;—

  1. 1. "If any innkeeper shall refuse to receive for safe custody; as before mentioned, any goods or property of his guest, or if any such guest shall, through any default of such innkeeper, be unable to deposit such goods or property, as aforesaid, he shall not be entitled to the benefit of this Act, in respect of such goods or property."
  2. 2. "Every innkeeper shall cause to be printed in plain type the first section of this Act, and shall cause at least one copy thereof to be exhibited in a conspicuous part of the hall or entrance to his inn, and he shall be entitled to the benefit of this Act in respect of such goods or property only as shall be brought to his inn while such copy shall be so exhibited; and he shall also append to such Copy a notice in writing, signed by himself, containing the name of the servant (if any) authorized by him to receive goods and property for safe custody."

Clauses agreed to.

House resumed.

Bill reported; as amended, to be considered on Friday, and to be printed. [Bill 157.]