HC Deb 11 March 1886 vol 303 cc464-5
MR. BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been drawn to an application, made on the 19th February, before Mr. Justice Cave, by the trustee of the estate of Dr. Forbes Winslow, bankrupt, for an order directing the landlord of the bankrupt to deliver up to him certain cheque books, letters, counterfoils, and documents essential in order to enable the trustee properly to investigate the debtor's affairs, which were held by the said landlord under an agreement reserving to him "the ordinary rights of the landlord;" whether the application was made under Rule 259 of the Bankruptcy Rules 1883, which provides that no person shall, as against the trustee, be entitled to withhold possession of the books of accounts belonging to the debtor, or to set up any lien upon them; whether Mr. Justice Cave decided that cheque books, counterfoils, letters, and similar documents were not within the Rule, although they might furnish materials for making up an account, and that the Rule must be construed strictly; and, whether he is prepared so to amend the Law relating to distraint as to make it impossible to take away not only a non-trader's account papers, but the tools and instruments of a man's trade or profession, and the necessary furniture of his home?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. MUNDELLA) (Sheffield, Brightside)

It is not within the functions of the Board of Trade to deal generally with the Law of Distraint; but in any future amendment of the Bankruptcy Act I shall be prepared to consider whether, for the purpose of bankruptcy, any such amendment as that suggested is desirable.