HC Deb 15 June 1882 vol 270 cc1239-40

asked Mr. Attorney General for Ireland, Whether it is the case that the proceedings in the bankruptcy of Joseph Magill, late of Belfast, an extensive trader, have been in court since July 1875; that the printworks and property where his business was carried on were sold for £28,000, in June 1880, and possession taken by the purchasers in November 1880; that, during the last seven years, largo sums have been paid into court, now amounting to £20,000, but nothing paid out, except costs to solicitors; whether it is the case that a local solicitor, instructed by creditors, cannot appear in the Bankruptcy Court, where Dublin solicitors have exclusive audience, with such results as stated above; and, whether the Government intend to proceed with a Local Bankruptcy Act this Session?


Sir, this is a most complicated case. The firm, consisting of throe partners, petitioned for an arrangement as to the joint estate of the firm, and Mr. Magill, one of the partners, also petitioned for a like arrangement as to his separate estate, consisting principally of the Whitewell Print Works. Considerable litigation ensued as to the rights of the creditors of the joint and separate estates, and the trading was continued by a trustee under creditors' resolution until the sale of the Whitewell Works in 1880, which was, I understand, the earliest period at which, owing to the depression of trade, a sale could be advantageously had. The purchase money was £28,000, and of this £24,000 was covered by mortgages. Under the conditions of sale the purchasers were let into possession on part payment of the purchase money, and further sums on account have been since paid into Court. Some costs have been paid, but no dividend yet declared. If any creditor has been or is dissatisfied he can bring his complaint at any time before the Court for redress. It is not the case that a local solicitor cannot appear in the Bankruptcy Court in Ire- land. Every solicitor in Ireland has equal right to appear and have audience there. Last Session I did my best to get on the Local Bankruptcy Bill; but this Session the House knows that the state of Business is such that I have little hope of doing anything effectually in this direction.