HC Deb 08 April 1895 vol 32 cc1247-8

The House went into Committee on the Distress Bill.

(In the Committee.)

On Clause 1.

SIR R. E. WEBSTER (Isle of Wight)

asked the Attorney General to give the Committee some information as to the scope and intention of the Bill.


said, that very great complaints were made that County Court bailiffs oppressed poor people while levying County Court executions, and what was desired by the Bill was simply to enable the County Court Judge, if he thought fit, to cancel the certificate of such a bailiff of the Court. It was a Bill that was believed to be desirable in the public interest.

Clauses 1, 2, 3, and 4 were agreed to.

MR. E. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S. W.) moved to insert a new clause dealing with unlawful distress. The object of the Act of 1888, he said, was to mitigate the severity of the law of distress for rent. Up to that year the old harsh law remained unaltered, and it was possible for a merciless landlord to strip his tenant of everything he possessed except the clothes in which he stood. The Act of 1888, however, exempted from seizure for rent the tenants' bedding, wearing apparel, and tools up to the value of £5. But in London, at all events, this beneficent Act was constantly disregarded, and the object of his clause was to obviate that hardship.

SIR R. E. WEBSTER (Isle of Wight)

said, that this clause seemed to be entirely new matter, and beyond the scope of the Bill. He should like to know that it had been considered by the Attorney General.

The hon. Member was still speaking at midnight, when the Debate stood adjourned, and the House resumed.