HC Deb 13 February 1879 vol 243 cc1158-9

Order for Second Reading read.


in moving that the Bill be now read a second time, said, its object was to amend and extend an Act passed a few Sessions ago, which had been found to work well as far as it went. By that measure, solicitors were allowed to use copies of bankers' books in certain cases instead of the books themselves. In the present measure, it was proposed to allow bankers to send certified copies instead of the actual books, unless the bank was itself interested, or a Judge considered that the case was one in which the books themselves should be produced. Of course, this would be a convenience to bankers; but bankers only required their books for the convenience of their customers, and if the books were taken away it was really the public who were the sufferers. Again, it saved time and trouble in Court to have a handy account which could be passed easily about, instead of a ponderous folio. He believed, therefore, that the Bill would be found to be for the general convenience. The hon. Baronet concluded by moving the second reading.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now road a second time."—(Sir John Lubbock.)


said, he approved of the principle of this Bill, and as the former Act had not been found to work well he thought the best way was, as proposed, to repeal it, and substitute another. Generally speaking, bankers and bankers' clerks were called to prove the receipt and payment of certain sums of money, and as they could only do so by referring to their books it seemed to him very reasonable that they should be saved the inconvenience of having their books brought into Court. There was an omission in the Bill, however, which required rectification. There was no provision for giving notice to the other side that a party intended to avail himself of the Act, and that was only fair, in order that the other side might, if they chose, call the witness themselves. There was an indication in the 8th clause that some such proposal was intended, and if the hon. Baronet approved the suggestion the alteration could easily be made in Committee.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.