HC Deb 19 March 1878 vol 238 cc1592-3

asked Mr. Attorney General, Whether his attention has been called to a recent decision of a County Court Judge in Northumberland, and since confirmed by Mr. Justice Denman in Her Majesty's Court of Common Pleas, to the effect that a bill of exchange upon which the acceptor has simply written his name is not legally accepted; and, whether, such having been held to be the law, he will take steps to remedy a state of things that must cause serious inconvenience to the large trading interests of this Country, being so entirely at variance with the established practice in dealing with such bills of exchange?


Sir, my attention has quite recently been called to the Judgment in the Court of Appeal from Inferior Courts confirming the decision of the Judge of the County Court of Northumberland, referred to in the Question of the hon. Member. In 1856 the Mercantile Amendment Act was passed to assimilate in some particulars the laws of England and Ireland to the laws of Scotland, and by Section 6 of that Statute it is provided— That no acceptee of a Bill, inland or foreign, made after December 31, 1856, shall charge any person, unless in writing on the bill, and signed by the acceptor or some person duly authorized by him. As by the Statute in question it was clearly intended to introduce the Scotch law into this country and Ireland, I must be permitted to make some inquiries as to what is the law of Scotland and the practice pursued in that country with regard to the mode of accepting bills before I can decide whether any and, if any, what measures shall be adopted.