§ (Mr. Staveley Hill, Mr. Raikes, Mr. Goldney.)
§ [BILL 24.] SECOND READING.
§ Order for Second Reading read.
MR. STAVELEY HILL,
in moving that the Bill be now read the second 329 time, explained that its purpose was to remedy a defect in the Act of 1870 by which an ante-nuptial debt could not be recovered either from the husband or the wife, if the latter had no property settled to her separate use. A woman keeping a roadside inn, and indebted in the sum of £30 or £40 to her maltster, having married, both she and her husband refused. to pay, and an eminent pleader, Mr. Dodgson, had been obliged to inform the maltster that the debt was barred by the Act. Six or eight similar cases had occurred within his own knowledge. The Bill would enable the husband and wife to be sued for an ante-nuptial debt; but would enable the former to plead that he received no assets with his wife, or not assets to the extent of the debt, in which case he would not be liable, or liable only to the extent of the assets received.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."—(Mr. Staveley Hill.)
§ MR. HINDE PALMER
said, he had himself introduced a Bill which would remedy both this and other defects of the Act, which were attributable to the alterations made in the measure by the House of Lords. He had arranged with Ills hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Staveley Hill) that after this Bill was read a second time the Committee should be postponed to enable him (Mr. Hinde Palmer) to bring on the second reading of his own Bill. He had done that for the purpose of saving the House from the trouble of having a discussion twice over on the same question.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
said, that in assenting to the second reading he did not wish it to be understood that he pledged himself only to this proposed alteration of the law. There was no doubt that the particular point upon which it was now proposed to legislate was a blot on the statute; but there were other matters connected with the existing law which also demanded legislation. It appeared to him that his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. Staveley Hill) would find his Bill unnecessary when the measure of his hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln was submitted to the House.
§ MR. GREGORY
hoped that a copy of the Bill would be placed in the hands 330 of Members some time before it was again brought before the House.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ Bill read a second time, and committed for Friday 21st February.