HC Deb 30 June 1905 vol 148 cc657-99

As amended (by the Standing Committee) considered.

MR. HARMOOD-BANNER (Liverpool, Everton)

said the words he now proposed were in the Bill originally and they were struck out by the Grand Committee. If it was for the good of the community it might be advisable to take some restrictive steps, but he did not think that there was such a large amount of fraudulent trust to necessitate such a stringent measure as this. What was the effect first as regarded bankers and the general community. The effect of the Act would be to take away money which now stood in the trading and other banks and transfer it to the Bank of England [Cries of "No, no."] So far as he saw that would be the effect. According to Clause 11— The Lord Chancellor, with the approval of the Treasury, may make rules for regulating the office of public trustee and carrying into effect this Act. He was not aware that hitherto any money coming into the Court of Chancery could go to any bank other than the Bank of England, and he thought they might safely rely that money under the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery in future would naturally flow into that bank. He thought he might refer to the manner in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer received the Bill when it was brought forward. The right hon. Gentleman actually anticipated that the money coming into official hands would come under control in the same way as other funds—that on being transferred to the Court of Chancery and more or less to the Bank of England it would be invested in Consols and other securities which were all very well in their way.


. I beg the hon. Member's pardon. I said nothing at all to support his contention.


said he thought when the Bill was brought in the Chancellor of the Exchequer was rather pleased to have the assurance that there would be additional funds coming in in that way.




said that at any rate it would be so. He thought the community generally were sufficiently aware of the difficulties now in the way of banking. Municipal authorities came into competition with the banks with their short loans and the high terms they were able to offer. With this large amount of trust money going out of the hands of the banks there would be a considerable diminution of their resources. As showing how serious that would be they had only to look back to the time of the South African War and remember to what an extent our balances indicated that we were indebted to foreign communities. A testator could provide in his will for the appointment of an accountant or solicitor to manage the affairs of the trust, and a definite direction could be given that there should be a regular audit of the transactions. This Bill would entirely override that, take away the direction of the testator, nullify the wishes of the testator, and place the whole control of the trust in the hands of the public trustee. He had watched with pleasure how officialism had been removed out of the transactions of trusts. They all knew pretty well how in the management of trusts one relative did not agree with another, and how, when an estate went into the Court of Chancery, the litigation was expensive. His experience and that of many other lawyers was that it was a very long time before the money came out of the Court of Chancery. It frequently happened that a testator thought he had left his children a comfortable income on which to live, but the children found when the estate came out of the Court of Chancery it was immensely diminished. He was glad to say that for some time, thanks to the ability of the Lord Chancellor and the legal profession, trusts had been administered in an easier way. There was now no necessity to put the whole of the estate in Court. Any small question could be brought up and dealt with at small expense. It was now proposed to take a retrograde step. They were now setting brother against brother, and enabling them to say that they would go to the public trustee. In that way they were going back to the process which for many years they had got out of. They ought to endeavour as far as possible to keep the management of trusts and settlements where they had it now. The Judicial Trustees Act of 1896 was a most valuable measure. It gave everyone the right to have a judicial trustee.


The hon. Member is really dealing with the whole question. He ought to confine himself to the particular clause.


said he accepted that direction. He did not think this measure would be for the benefit of the community. They should carry out that form of administering estates which had been so well developed during the past few years. He hoped the House would accept the clause he now submitted. He was quite. certain that it would render the Bill much more easy to work and much more palatable to the beneficiaries of trust estates. He begged to move.

A clause (Employment of solicitors and banks and accountants). In page 4 after Clause 10, to insert the following clauses:—'Where a testator, settler, or other creator of any trust directs or authorises the employment of any particular solicitor or firm of solicitors or bank, or accountant or firm of accountants, or where either the co-trustee of the public trustee, or the persons appearing to the public trustee [to be for the time being en titled to the income of the trust, or if they are infants, their guardians, require the employment of any particular solicitor, or firm of solicitors, or bank or accountant, or firm of accountants, that solicitor, or firm of solicitors, or bank, or accountant or firm of accountants, shall be employed as the solicitor or bank, or accountant to the trust, unless removed for good cause by the Court upon the application of the public trustee, or of any person appearing to the Court to be interested in the trust. 'Where it appears to the public trustee that any solicitor, or firm of solicitors, or bank, or accountant or firm of accountants, has been ordinarily employed in matters connected with any trust he may, on the application or with assent of any of such persons as appear to him to be principally interested in the income of the trust, for the time being employ such solicitor, or firm of solicitors, bank, or accountant or firm of accountants, as the solicitor or bank or accountant to the trust. Where a solicitor or firm of solicitors or bank, or accountant or firm of accountants, is employed in pursuance of this clause the Consolidated Fund shall not be liable to meet any liability arising from any default of such persons or bank, and the public trustee shall not be deemed to have notice of any matter merely by reason of such persons or bank having had notice thereof.'"—(Mr. Harmood-Banner.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

Will the discussion of this new clause prevent the discussion of the clause of which the hon. Member for York has given notice?


I think it refers to the same matter, and if the House decides to reject this clause that would cover the clause standing in the name of the hon. Member for York.

SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)

said he thought the House had a right to know what this clause meant, because, with all respect to the hon. Gentleman, he did not think anyone knew at the present moment. This Bill was brought in for the purpose of enabling everybody, whether rich or poor, to have some public trustee, for whom Government funds should be answerable, to administer his property on his death, or to administer the trust. The necessity had arisen because of the lamentable frequency of robberies especially of poor people and small estates which had taken place and which had become a public scandal. Under these circumstances the House of Commons passed the Second Reading of the Bill without a word of criticism. Not only was the Bill on the preliminary stages, including the Motion to go into Committee for money purposes which was moved by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, passed without comment, but when it went to the Grand Committee there were very few Amendments and they were rapidly disposed of. There was one of this kind in the Grand Committee. Now when the Bill came back to the House there were twenty-one Amendments. The Government were entitled to credit, and he hoped they would have it, for the attitude they had taken up in respect to this Bill which was one for the purpose of promoting honesty and not of promoting officialism, of preventing dishonesty and not for any purpose at all such as had been suggested on the other side of the House. Anybody who knew what the Bill was would think it very necessary. The public trustee might be employed, but nobody was compelled to employ him. Poor people, or families who might have few friends who would undertake the onerous duties of trustees, and especially poor people who had no educated friends, would have a safe person whom they could appoint as their trustee to carry out the trust safe from the system of robbery which had been going on.

What did the Amendment propose? It did in substance, as the lion. Gentleman truly said, represent what was in the Bill as originally introduced. He believed that was most erroneously accepted in order to try and placate the opposition of the Incorporated Law Society so far as the solicitors in this House were concerned, and also to placate the bankers. In the first place, as to the solicitors, what did this new clause propose? That when the creator of a trust directed or authorised the employment of any particular solicitor . or firm of solicitors, then the public trustee must be compelled to employ them. Was there ever such a thing proposed in the House of Commons? That they should be and must be employed. And. under what penalty? That any Joss of money arising from the employment of that solicitor was actually not to be made good out of the Consolidated Fund Thereby was destroyed the effectiveness of the proposal made in the Bill as to the appointment of a public trustee. If a man was induced to say in his will that the firm A or B might be employed as solicitors, then off went the security of the public funds. Was it credible that a proposal of that kind could be accepted by the House of Commons He was not at all suggesting that the hon. Member opposite who moved the Amendment intended that; but he was sure the hon. Member would not dispute the proposition that he had made. The wonder was that anyone should have proposed or should support such an Amendment. The second part of the proposed clause said that the public trustee might employ any solicitor or firm of solicitors who had been ordinarily employed in matters connected with the trust, on the application or with the assent of such persons as appeared to him to be principally interested in the income of the trust. Then came the case of the bankers. But he stopped to add that there was to be a statutory right on the part of the solicitor or firm of solicitors to be employed, unless he or they were removed on good cause shown by the Court. The Court had to inquire and to be satisfied that there was some good cause for not employing that solicitor or firm of solicitors. They knew, unfortunately, that solicitors of the highest reputation had been sentenced to terms of imprisonment and struck off the roll of solicitors for malversation of trust funds; but he was very sorry to say that when that happened poor people who wished to put their affairs in trust did not know it. This proposed new clause to allow a solicitor or firm of solicitors to have a statutory claim to be employed in certain trust busines was a thing unheard of in English law.

Now, as regarded bankers, he remembered perfectly well that in the 'Registration of Titles Bill—another excellent Bill pissed by the present Government—the bankers were unfortunately induced to come forward to raise objections to certain clauses in that Bill. As a matter of fact they did succeed in satisfying the legitimate wishes of the promoters of that Bill, and their wishes were met In regard to the proposal in this new clause the bankers stood in a different position from the solicitors. And for this reason, that they had nothing to say in the making of the trust, or in the permissive clauses of the will which were afterwards to acquire,' a compulsory character. In regard to cases of administration in bankrupts' of trust estates, he did not think that anyone wished that there should be any such restriction as that these funds should be deposited in the Bank of England. He had no responsibility, except that of a private Member, and he did not know whether or not some proposal might not be made to the effect that, in practice, the public trustee should continue to employ the local banker. But everyone was liable to failures. What he wished to point out was that bankers were on a different footing from solicitors. At the same time it seemed to him that anything of the kind proposed in this new clause was out of the question. They might just as well say that a doctor should have a statutory right to be called in the case of the illness of one's children; or that a chemist should have a statutory right to claim the right of making up prescriptions, or that a groom or coachman or footman should have a statutory right to continued engagement. There was no ground whatever for this claim, and he felt no doubt that the Government would resist the acceptance of the Amendment.

MR. EDMUND FABER (Hampshire, Andover)

said that he had no desire to seek new privileges for bankers but only to protect rights they at present enjoyed, To take a case for example: a man who had banked for years with a country bank died and left two executors. In the ordinary course they would continue the account in the bank where it had been carried on not only for that man's life but for two or three generations. If the public trustee was appointed solely, or with others, what would happen? The public trustee had to carry on business according to rules laid down by the Lord Chancellor and the Treasury, and past experience convinced him that the Treasury would formulate rules making it necessary for the public official to take the account from the country bank and place it in the Bank of England. If might be said that the trustee was not bound to do this, but according to all experience he would do it, although there would be no interest on the account in the Bank of England while in the country bank interest would be accruing all the time. The effect of this transfer would be serious. In the last few years the big joint stock banks had been annexing the country banks and joining them to their London establishments, and it was found that these banks collected the money of depositors in the country and loaned it out not in the country but in London. The-effect of the Bill would be exactly the same. It would collect money from the country banks and transfer it to London, and thus trade in the country would be crippled. Money was much wanted in the country, and country banks would not be doing their duty to themselves or their clients if they did not resist the transfer of money from the country to London. It had been said that the public trustee would run un due risk in continuing an account at a country bank, but was that so? As he understood the law, an executor or trustee keeping an account at a country bank would not be liable in the event of any accident to the bank, provided he had exercised due care. In any case the risk to the Consolidated Fund could not be a large one. He preferred a clause which he himself had put down, but, as he understood that was shut out he would support the Amendment.

MR. HARWOOD (Bolton)

said he-hoped that some via media would be arrived at in this matter. No one could consider the Bill without realising that there was danger of official concentration and of depriving trusteeship of all kind of personal character. He believed that the personal element was very important. It was not necessary to utter suspicion about corruption. If the matter were left as it stood, the House might be quite sure that the money would be banked in the Bank of England, and that the public trustee would naturally employ some solicitor or accountant to whom he was accustomed. There was, in his opinion, danger in that. There was the deprival of personal interest; and there might, possibly, be delay, corruption, and inconvenience, such as they did away with in the old Bankruptcy Court. It might be said the matter was optional; but a person with a small interest in an estate might hand it over to the public trustee. That might occur as a threat. The House should not, in the circumstances, provide a concentration of officialism in London. There was a great deal in personality in such matters; and, if that view were not taken, many hon. Members would be obliged to oppose the Bill. He would be prepared to wreck the Bill rather than that the danger he had mentioned should exist.

SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

said, as the promoter of the Bill, he desired to emphasise the fact that it passed its Second Reading unanimously. The Bill was carefully considered by the Grand Committee, and the clause now proposed was struck out because the House of Commons guaranteed the integrity of the trust funds. There was no desire to interfere with legitimate professional interests at all. He had no fault to find with his hon. friend, who had laid before the House valuable information as regarded banking; but the promoters of the Bill had no desire to interfere with provincial banking. The Solicitor-General had put an Amendment in this respect on the Paper which hon. Gentlemen would be well advised to accept. It met the whole case. As regarded solicitors the matter was on a different footing. He was as anxious as any hon. Gentleman to be as considerate as possible; and he had made certain propositions to the Committee which considered the matter which were rejected. The Paper was now crowded with Amendments which, if discussed, would render it impossible to pass the Bill. He was not an enemy of solicitors or of any other branch of the legal profession, but he represented the public who had suffered through a long series of years by misappropriations on the part of trustees. The Attorney-General recently stated that there had been sixty cases in recent years, involving a sum of £152,000; but there were many cases which did not come before the public at all. It was not the owners of large estates, but poor beneficaries who were the greatest losers in these matters," especially widows and orphans. It was incumbent on the House of Commons to find a remedy for such a disastrous state-of affairs. To put a series of Amendments forward now was unfair to the House of Commons. If a via media were adopted, it should be one that would enable the Bill to be placed on the Statute-book.


said that he had had the honour of being Solicitor-General for some five years, and he could only say that he knew of no Bill brought before the House in recent years that was more required than the present measure, and it would be a great loss if for any reason the opportunity of passing it was now missed. There was no greater loss caused to poor people than by the want of someone whom they could absolutely trust in the settlement of their affairs. There was no greater necessity. The number of letters he received addressed not to the Solicitor-General, but to the General Solicitor, bringing before him cases of a most harrowing character, where money had been altogether wasted either in costs or by misappropriation, often struckhim as pathetic. This Bill was a remedy for that. Let the House keep that before their minds and not be led astray by the selfishness of any class. It was stated that under the Bill the various trust accounts would find their way into the Bank of England. No such idea ever entered the minds of those who had taken an interest in the Bill. It was never for a moment the idea that the official trustee should in any way act differently from an ordinary trustee, save that as a public official he was fully conscious of his obligations. When that objection came to his notice he put down an Amendment to the effect that it was not the intention of the Lord Chancellor to make any rule that all this money should be lodged in London banks. He put down an Amendment providing that the Lord Chancellor was to make rules— As to the employment by the public trustee of any particular bankers who have been ordinarily employed by the persons creating the trust or otherwise in relation to the trust property. If the House accepted that Amendment they might eliminate from the discussion any idea of creating a great official department concentrated in London. He would now pass from the case of the bankers; but he thought that hon. Gentlemen would see that the only proper way they could take in this matter was by rule, because they must have proper rules. They could not enact that a public trustee must employ a particular bank under all conditions.

Let them look for a moment at the question of the employment of a solicitor. He did not believe that any precedent could be found for putting into an Act of Parliament a compulsory power in relation to private profit that any particular individual should be employed either as a solicitor or in any other position. Why stop at a solicitor? Why not put in manager or agent of an estate, or, in the case of minors or infants who had been made wards in Chancery, why not put in doctor. What was the peculiar right of a solicitor in this matter? So far from having any peculiar rights in the interests of the public, he was, above all, the person who should not be specially mentioned in this matter. He would tell them why. A man went to the office of a solicitor for the purpose of making his will and the solicitor asked whether he might put his name in the will as solicitor to the trust. What was the result of that under this Amendment? It was a regular trap. Having appointed this man as solicitor to the trust and nominated the public trustee as executor of the will he lost all the benefit of the Act as regarded the Consolidated Fund being liable to make good the defaults or misappropriations of the trust. He would rather see the Bill wrecked than that a trap of this character should be held out to people. That was the first point. With regard to the second part of the Amendment, by the very act of the public trustee in appointing a person originally engaged in connection with the trust they took away all the benefits of the Act. If the public trustee did such a thing as that he would be doing what was in fact an act of misfeasance on his part. It would be the duty of the public trustee never to employ either a solicitor or banker connected with the trust, because by so doing he would be taking away the only security he could give against misappropriation.


said that if the word "shall" was substituted for "may" in Clause 11, line 2, he would carry the opposition no further, taking into consideration the words which the Solicitor-General had put down for consideration at a later stage enabling a public trustee to continue to employ the bankers already employed in a trust.


assented and said he only desired to say one more word, which was this: that this was by no means a compulsory Bill and they would have difficulty enough when the Bill passed. Nobody need employ the public trustee, and he was afraid that a great many solicitors would prevent his being employed, but at all events this left to the people that opportunity, because what happened in thousands of cases was that when a man went to-make his will the solicitor said, "Who-is to be the trustee?" and the man making the will said, "I do not know;" "and the solicitor said," Shall I be? "'and his name was put in. He knew of nothing that had been more disastrous to the public than the system prevailing in many offices of the solicitor's name being put into every will' and settlement that came into the office as trustee of the fund, with a clause that he should be entitled to charge legal profits. He remembered one case where an ex-president of the Incorporated-Law Society and chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of that society had been for twenty-five years insolvent although he held the highest position in his profession. In every will and settlement that came into his office he put in himself as trustee, and for twenty-five years he lived in luxury on the misappropriation of trust moneys. There was, in his opinion, an absolute necessity for this Bill, and he hoped that the House would not persist in an Amendment which might cause its withdrawal.

Message to attend the Lords Commissioners.

The House went and being returned—


reported the Royal Assent to a number of Bills. (See page 625.)

Question again proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."

Question put, and negatived.

MR. SLACK (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

said that in proposing the Amendment standing in his name he was actuated by a genuine desire to improve the Bill. The proposed new clause followed the lines laid down in the Charitable Trusts Act, 1853, and simply provided that in all cases where a public trustee was a joint trustee with any other person the whole of the trust funds should be invested exclusively in the name of the public trustee, so that any fear of loss of capital in connection with the trust would be absolutely avoided; that the public trustee should permit his co-trustee to have the management of the lands included in the trust; that power should be given for an order to be made to transfer to the public trustee the trust funds as well as placing in his hands the lands belonging to the trust; that the public trustee should allow the dividends' of the trust to be received by his trustee; and that no sale of any portion of the trust property should be made without the consent of the public trustee. A similar arrangement had worked admirably in connection with charities, and he felt certain it would work equally well in connection with this Bill. He did not think the promoters of the Bill had any desire to remove from the administration and management of trust estates those who were joined with the public trustee as trustees or executors. The acceptance of the proposed new clause would greatly strengthen the measure, and tend to its being more largely adopted than would otherwise be the case, because it would give to the public an assurance that the trust funds were perfectly safe, and to private trustees, if they were willing and able to act, some control over the management and administration of the trust estates. He begged to move—

A clause (Vesting of lands in public trustee)— In page 2, after Clause 3, to insert the following clause:—In any case where (a) The public trustee is appointed (whether by the Court or otherwise and whether as an original or new trustee) to be trustee of any will, settlement, or other instrument or to perform any trust or duty belonging to a class which he is authorised by any general order under this Act to accept; or (b) Probate of a will or letters of administration are granted to the public trustee; or (c) The estate of a deceased person has been transferred to the public trustee for administration jointly with any other person or corporation aggregate or sole, then and in such case the several provisions following shall apply; and have effect (that is to say):—(1) If sufficient cause is shown, a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court, on an application by or on behalf of a private trustee or a bene- ficiary, may, in his discretion, order that any lands or any term, estate, or interest in lands subject to the trusts of such will, settlement, or instrument, or to which such trust or duty relates, or forming part of the estate of the testator or intestate or of the estate so transferred to the public trustee for administration jointly with such person or corporation as aforesaid shall be vested in the public trustee alone, and thereupon the same shall vest in the public trustee and his successors for all the estate and interest jointly holden by the public trustee and such other person or corporation without any conveyance or assurance thereof; and no such vesting order shall take effect in respect of any copyhold land without the consent of the lord of the manor, and such Judge may direct such periodical or other payment as such Judge may think fit to be made to the lord of the manor in compensation for fines or other profits which would have become due upon death or admittance of tenants; (2) Unless a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court shall on the application of a private trustee or a beneficiary by order at any time otherwise direct, and subject to any such order the public trustee shall, whether any such vesting order as aforesaid shall have been made or not, be deemed a bare trustee, and shall permit such other person or corporation as aforesaid to have the possession, management, and control of such lands, or term, estate, or interest in lands as aforesaid and the application of the income thereof as if the same had been vested in them; (3) If sufficient cause is shown a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court on an application by or on behalf of a private trustee or a beneficiary may in his direction other that any securities or other personal property or effects subject to the trusts of such will or settlement, or to which such trust or duty relates, or forming part of the estate of the testator or intestate or of the estate transferred to the public trustee for administration jointly with such person or corporation as aforesaid, shall be transferred to or deposited with the public trustee alone; (4) Unless a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court shall on the application of a private trustee or a beneficiary by order at any time otherwise direct, and subject to any such order the public trustee shall allow the dividends, interest, or income of such securities, personal estate, or effects until the same shall have been transferred or deposited with him alone to be received by such other person or corporation as aforesaid, and if and when the same shall have been transferred to or deposited with him alone shall, without any fee or charge pay or cause to be paid such dividends, interest, or income to such other person or corporation as aforesaid, or as they shall in writing direct; (5) Whether such lands, or term estate, or interest in land as aforesaid shall have been vested in, or such securities, personal estate, or effects as aforesaid, shall have been transferred to or deposited with, the public trustee alone or not, no sale of such lands, term estate, or interest in lands, or such securities, or personal estate, or effects as aforesaid shall be made except with the consent of the public trustee under his seal, and no document required for the purpose of effecting any such sale (and not being an instrument of transfer of any stock, shares, or securities entered in the books of any company or other body) shall be valid or effectual unless executed by the public trustee under his seal. Provided always that if the public trustee, when requested by such other person or corporation as aforesaid to give such consent in writing or to execute such document as aforesaid, shall unreasonably refuse or neglect to give such consent or to execute such document, any private trustee or any beneficiary may apply to a Judge of the Chancery Division of the High Court for an order directing the public trustee to give such consent or execute such document, and the Judge may make such order upon the application as he may think fit, including, if the Judge think fit, an order for the payment of the costs of the application by the public trustee. The public trustee shall forthwith act in accordance with any order made under this section directing him to give such consent or execute such document as aforesaid. Save as in the foregoing portion of this subsection is enacted the consent or concurrence of the public trustee shall not be required to or in the execution or exercise by such other person or corporation as aforesaid of any trusts or powers relating to or affecting any such lands, term estate, or interest in lands, securities, personal estate, and effects as aforesaid, and requiring the exercise of any discretion."—(Mr. Slack.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."


understood the object of the hon. Member to be that where there was a co-trustee with a public trustee the former should have all The management of the estate, and the latter be a bare trustee not interfering in the administration of the trust. If that were so it would altogether frustrate the object of the Bill, because the public trustee would have to leave everything to the co-trustee. As long as public funds were liable for making good breaches of trust it was necessary that the public trustee should be allowed to have actual control.

Question put, and negatived.


thought his next Amendment, providing for the retirement of private trustees, was essential to the proper working of the Bill. By the appointment of a public trustee the position of private trustees would obviously be so seriously altered that it was only reasonable that they should be afforded soma means of retiring if they desired to do so. The Amendment proposed to enable private trustees to retire simply by their executing a deed declaring their desire to retire, that deed to be an effective discharge of the private trustees from the trust without the consent or concurrence of any other person. The other portions of the clause related to the exact method of carrying the operation into effect. He submitted that in any properly-drawn Bill of this kind provision ought to be included for enabling private trustees to retire. It had already been decided that a judicial trustee could not be appointed to act with a private trustee under the Judicial Trustees Act, 1896, and he thought this new clause would improve the Bill by affording a simple and inexpensive method by which private trustees could retire from their trust when a public trustee, either by their invitation or by an order of the Court, had been appointed.

A clause (Retirement of private trustees)— In Page 4, after Clause 9, to insert the following clause:—(1) Whore the public trustee is appointed to be a trustee of any trust jointly with any private trustee, and such private trustee shall by deed declare that lie is desirous on the ground of the appointment of the public trustee of being discharged from the trust, then the private trustee desirous of being so discharged shall be deemed to have retired from the trust and shall by the deed discharged there from under this Act without the consent of any other person being necessary thereto and without any new trustee being appointed in his place and notwithstanding that after such discharge the public trustee will be sole continuing trustee of the trust. (2) Any assurance or thing requisite for vesting the trust property in the continuing trustees or trustee alone shall be executed or done. (3) When a deed by which a retiring trustee is discharged under this Act contains a declaration by the trustee so discharged to the effect that any estate or interest in any land subject to the trust or in any chattel so subject or the to recover or receive any debt or other thing in action so subject shall vest in the continuing trustee or trustees alone that declaration shall without any conveyance or assignment operate to vest in the continuing trustee or trustees alone if more than one as joint tenants and for the purposes of the trust the estate interest or right to which the declaration relates. This sub-section does not relate to any legal estate or interest in copyhold or customaryhold land or to land conveyed by way of mortgage for securing money subject to the trust, or to any such share stock annuity or property as is only transferable in books kept by a company or other body or in manner directed by or under Act of Parliament. For the purpose of registration of the deed in any registry the trustee so discharged shall be deemed the conveying party, and the conveyance shall be deemed to be made by him under a power conferred by this Act. (4) This section applies to trusts created either before or after the commencement of this Act."—(Mr. Slack.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."


said the Government could not accept this clause. He wished to point out that the first section of the Bill specially enacted that the public trustee might act either alone or jointly with any other person. As regarded the retirement of a private trustee, there was ample provision under the law as it stood at present to enable him to do so; and, moreover, he had himself put on the Paper an Amendment to Clause 2 to provide that, where the public trustee was appointed, a co-trustee might retire from the trust under the Trustees Act, 1893, notwithstanding that there were not more than two trustees. He thought that the general law and that Amendment would be amply sufficient for the hon. Member's purposes.

SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhamp-ton, E.)

pointed oat that the object of his hon. friend's clause was to simplify the retirement of a private trustee and to reduce the expense attaching to it. The Solicitor-General had urged no substantial reason against that. Certainly if a gentleman did not want to continue on a trust on account of the expense to which he might be put, he thought they ought to make some provision for his retirement.


said the right hon. Gentleman had suggested that the object of the hon. Member for St. Albans was to simplify the Bill. He had read the hon. Member's Amendments, and they seemed to con- sist of nothing but "therefore," "nevertheless," and "notwithstanding," and he could not make head or tail of them. He thought that when a gentleman had, after consideration, undertaken the serious and responsible duties of a trustee he ought not to be allowed to retire easily. The duties of a trustee were much more responsible now than ever they were before, because very severe condition had been imposed by the Finance Act, and trustees might be called upon to make good enormous sums for which they really had had no responsibility at all.


agreed that it was desirable to simplify and cheapen the process by which a trustee could retire from his trust, but he did not think this clause would effect that. They were discussing the conditions of the appointment of a public trustee and he hoped the House would not encumber the Bill with collateral matters, which would only result in the Bill not becoming law.

MR. H. D. GREENE (Shrewsbury)

said the real object of the alteration suggested by the Solicitor-General was that at the present time, if there were not more than two trustees and one wished to retire, he could not do so because it was a rule of law that there should be at all events two trustees. The Amendment would enable a public trustee to remain as a sole trustee.

MR. SEYMOUR ORMSBY-GORE (Lincolnshire, Gainsborough)

pointed out that where a private trustee remained with a public trustee the latter would draw a certain fee. Consequently an injustice would arise in regard to a private trustee, who would feel that he was as much entitled to draw a fee as a public trustee. At any rate he thought it ought to be possible for the private trustee to withdraw.


hoped the Solicitor-General would accept this Amendment because some of them, at any rate, were agreed that it would reduce the expense.

Question put

Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Helder, Augustus Remnant, James Farquharson
Atherley-Jones, L Higham, John Sharp Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Banner, John S. Harmood- Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Barlow, John Emmott Kitson, Sir James Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Beach, Rt. Hn. SirMichaelHicks Lambert, George Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)
Black, Alexander William Leng, Sir John Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Butcher, John George Lowe, Francis William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Maclver, David (Liverpool) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Duncan, J. Hastings Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Evans, SirFrancisH. (Maidstone Pemberton, John S. G. Woodhouse, SirJT. (Huddersfd
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Plummer, Sir Walter R. Yoxall, James Henry
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Price, Robert John
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr Slack and Mr. Soares.
Harwood, George Reid, James (Greenock)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Layland-Barratt, Francis
Acland-Hood, Capt. SirAlex. F Donelan, Captain A. Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Doogan, P. C. Leveson-Gower, FrederickN. S.
Allen, Charles P. Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E. Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Allsopp, Hon. George Duke, Henry Edward Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Ambrose, Robert Elibank, Master of Lundon, W.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Emmott, Alfred Lyell, Charles Henry
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Bain, Colonel James Robert Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W. Macdona, John Cumming
Balcarres, Lord Faber, George Denison (York) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Farrell, James Patrick MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Fergusson. Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r M'Kean, John
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Finlay, SirR. B. (Inv'rn'ssB'ghs) Malcolm, Ian
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Flavin, Michael Joseph Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Flower, Sir Ernest Milvain, Thomas
Benn, John Williams Forster, Henry William Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Furness, Sir Christopher Morgan, DavidJ. (Walthamstow
Boland, John Garfit, William Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn Gladstone, Rt. Hn. HerbertJohn Murphy, John
Brigg, John Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Myers, William Henry
Brotherton, Edward Allen Grant, Corrie Nannetti, Joseph P.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)
Brymer, William Ernest Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South).
Burke, E. Haviland Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Burns, John Hammond, John Nussey, Thomas Willans
Caldwell, James Hardie, J Keir(Merthyr Tydvil O'Brien, Kendal(TipperaryMid.
Cameron, Robert Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Heath, SirJames(Staffords. NW O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hornby, Sir William Henry O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.).
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Howard, J. (Midd. Tottenham) O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Hudson, George Bickersteth O'Dowd, John
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Chamberlain, RtHn. J. A. (Worc. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens.
Coates, Edward Feetham Jacoby, James Alfred O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Cogan, Denis J. Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury).
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Partington, Oswald
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Joicey, Sir James Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Crean, Eugene Jordan, Jeremiah Philipps, John Wynford
Crombie, John William Joyce, Michael Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath, N.) Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cullinan, J Kennedy, Vincent P. (Cavan, W. Power, Patrick Joseph
Davenport, William Bromley Lamont, Norman Purvis, Robert
Devlin, CharlesRamsay(Galway Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Pym, C. Guy
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.) Rea, Russell
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Reckitt, Horold James
Dickson, Charles Scott Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Redmond, John-E. (Waterford

The House divided:—Aye3,39; Noes'194. (Division List No. 222)

Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Smith, RtHn. J. Parker(Lanarks Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Smith, Samuel (Flint) Wallace, Robert
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Spear, John Ward Walrond, Rt. Hn. SirWilliamH.
Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Stanley, EdwardJas. (Somerset) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds. S.
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Stone, Sir Benjamin Weir, James Galloway
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Sullivan, Donal Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Round, Rt. Hon. James Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wills, Sir Frederick (Bristol, N-
Runciman, Walter Tennant, Harold John Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)
Russell, T. W. Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.) Wilsoa, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Samuel, SirHarryS. (Limehouse Thorburn, Sir Walter Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Sharpe, William Edward T. Tollemache, Henry James Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Shaw-Stewart, Sir H. (Renfrew) Tomlinson, Sir William Edw. M Young, Samuel
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Toulmin, George Younger, William
Sheehy, David Tuff, Charles
Shipman, Dr. John G. Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Howard Vincent and Mr Crooks.
Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Ure, Alexander
Sloan, Thomas Henry Valentia, Viscount

MR. SLACK moved to insert after Clause 10 a new clause providing that where the public trustee was sole trustee of funds exceeding pound; 10,000 in value he should give security. It seemed to him quite reasonable that they should limit the liability of the Consolidated Fund to pound; 10,000 and provide that the public trustee should give security for the value of the estate beyond £10,000 when it exceeded that sum.

MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)


A clause (Public trustee to give security)— In page 4, after Clause 10, to insert the following clauses:—'The public trustee shall, within one month after his appointment as sole trustee of any trust exceeding the value of £10,000. or after the grant, to him alone of probate or letters of administration in respect of an estate exceeding that value, give security to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade for the due application of the trust property to such an amount as shall be the estimated amount of the trust property which, under or by virtue of such trust or grant, will come to his hands or be under his control.'"—(Mr. Slack.)

Brought up and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."


said he had given notice of an Amendment which would include among the rules to be made under the Bill rules relating to the security (if any) to be given by the public trustee and his officers.


said he would accept those words, and begged leave to with-draw his Amendment.

Motion and clause, by leave, with-drawn.


then moved a further new clause dealing with the audit of accounts of the public trustee. He-thought the clause spoke for itself and did not need any explanation.



A clause (Audit of accounts of public-trustee). Once in every year the accounts of every trust of which the public trustee is sole trustee that lie audited and a report thereon made by the auditor appointed by the Board of Trade, and any beneficiary under such trust shall be entitled to attend such audit, and to take at his own expense or make copies of and extracts from any books or documents of account."—(Mr. Slack.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the clause be read a second time."


said he thought it preferable to arrange also for the audit by rule, because property of all kinds, the accounts of which might have to be audited oftener than once a year, would be dealt with by the public trustee. Hon. 'Members would see that under Clause 11 the Lord Chancellor could make rules for the accounts to be kept and the audit thereof, and it was much better to frame rules than to tie matters down in the way suggested by the hon. Member's proposal.


said this did not satisfy him. Before long the public trustee would be the nominal owner of half the property of the country, and the sole control under which he would be placed according to the theory of the Solicitor-General was that of (he Lord Chancellor, who was to make such rules as he liked. Did he mean that the Lord Chancellor was to consider rales for special cases, or that he was to make rules applying to all cases, whether the value of the estate was a million or a hundred pounds? Did the Solicitor Generalmean that the Lord Chancellor was to be left to make rules to apply to all eases? If that was so they would have a hard-and-fast rule made by the Lord Chancellor. If they rejected this Amendment, the very objection which the Solicitor-General had to it would still exist, because the Lord Chancellor's rule would leave it in the same way, for it was not to be supposed that rules would be made for every case. The experience of this country, and especially the experience of the Public Accounts Committee in regard to the South African War, had shown the absolute necessity for frequent and independent audit, and the House, not the Lord Chancellor, should decide this. They would have here accounts extending to half the property of the country, perhaps more, and it was absolutely necessary that there should be a settled system of audit. It was far better that it should be settled by the House than by a Lord Chancellor who, perhaps, might be taken from the opposite benches, and who might have entirely different views from hon. Members on this side as to meum and tuum.


suggested the omission of the words "once in every year" and the addition of the words after "Board of Trade," "subject to rules made under this Act."


hoped the rules would indicate a period for audit, and he thought the period should be once a year. There should be something to indicate the intention of Parliament that it should not be delayed for a longer one than a year.


said that was intended.


agreed to the Amendment.

Clause, as Amended, added to the Bill.


said it was obvious that if there was to be an audit of the accounts once a year the beneficiaries ought to have an opportunity of meeting and considering the accounts. He begged to move an Amendment for the purpose of so providing.

SIR A. HELDER (Whitehaven)

seconded the Motion. He thought the House should have an opportunity of discussing the rules to be made under the Bill. His own opinion was that this was a bad Bill. It was going to deal with an immense amount of property and interfere with the duties and obligations of private trustees. There was not a single will made which did not involve the carrying out of family arrangements, and if these arrangements were to be looked after in premises in London he did not think it would be for the advantage of the family concerned. It was very desirable that power should be given to the public trustee to deal with all questions which arose in Courts set up in the different districts.


The hon. Member is not addressing himself to the clause now before the House. He is dealing with the Bill as a whole.


said it was desirable when the accounts were audited that the persons interested should have an opportunity of seeing that everything was properly looked after.

A clause (Meeting of beneficiaries). Within one month after the completion of the said audit the public trustee shall convene a meeting of the beneficiaries under the trust and the guardians of such beneficiaries as are minors, and shall report to them the position of the affairs of the trust and lay before them the accounts of the trust for the last year, as audited by the said auditor, together with the report of the said auditor thereon."—(Mr. Slack.)

Brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause be read a second time."

MR. MALCOLM (Suffolk, Stow market)

expressed the hope that the promoters of the Bill would not accept the Amendment. It seemed to him that it would throw a great deal more work on the shoulders of the public trustee than any man could be expected to accept. The Solicitor-General had stated that an audit might take place twice a year. This Amendment proposed that a meeting of the beneficiaries should be convened by the public trustee after the audit, and that would involve an amount of work which no man who could be appointed could undertake to do thoroughly. He hoped that hon. Members would do something rather different from what they were doing at the present time, and that was that they would facilitate the passing of the measure, and not do everything in their power to present it passing. Many who were not lawyers were strongly of opinion that this Bill was absolutely necessary, and that it ought to be passed without any delay. It could only be passed by the general consensus of the opinion of the House, and the voluntary dropping of a number of the Amendments wh. ch were cumbering the Paper.


said his hon. friend the Member for St. Albans had accepted in almost every case the decision of the Solicitor-General with reference to the Amendments he had proposed. He thought the last remark of the hon. Member for Stow market was not justified in relation to the Amendments of his hon. friend.


said he was not referring to the hon. Member, but to the thirty-two pages of Amendments, a large number of which had been rejected in Committee,


said many of these were duplicates, and a decision upon one disposed of several. There had been during the discussion objectionable reflections upon the profession to which he had the honour to belong, and they were absolutely unfounded. The fact that in fifteen years there had been out of between 20,000 and 30,000 solicitors an annual average of about four convictions for dishonest practices was an ample justification of the honour and character of the profession. They ought not to impose upon the public trustee the duty of convening meetings of the beneficiaries. What was wanted was that properly audited accounts should be sent to the beneficiaries. The bulk of the fraud that had taken place had arisen because the beneficiaries had been kept in ignorance-of what was being done.


said the Amendment was impracticable. It would be impossible for the public trustee to convene in London meetings of beneficiaries who resided abroad or in remote parts of this country. He would consider whether any rule could be framed under which copies of audited accounts could be sent to beneficiaries.


asked leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Motion and clause, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. SLACK moved an Amendment to provide that there should be established the office of public trustee for every district created for the purpose of this Act. He said that under this Bill all the trusts in the country would be placed in the hands of one public trustee. It seemed to him that if the Bill was to work properly it was essential that the country should be divided into districts, not fewer than the County Court districts, and that a public trustee should be appointed for each district. He pointed out that the passing of the Judicial Trustees Act was preceded by an inquiry by a Select Committee of this House on the subject of the administration of trusts, and that their Report contained a recommendation on the lines indicated in his Amendment. That Committee expressed the opinion that the individual who had the management of a trust should not be one who was separated either by official red tape from those with whose interests he had to deal, nor a person to be approached by formal proceedings either of an official or of a legal character, and that if all that could be offered to the public was an elaborate hierarchy of hardly accessible officials it would be as well to leave things as they were. It was such a scheme as was offered by the present Bill. The Amendment he proposed would comply with the findings of the Committee of 1895.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 5, after the word' trustee, 'to insert the words' for every-district created for the purposes of this Act.'"—(Mr. Slack.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."


said he did not think it was possible to accept the Amendment. The Bill provided that the public trustee should have branch offices. It would be better to have one public trustee with branch offices than to have public trustees in the various counties. Moreover, the Committee which had been set up had authorised the House to give an indemnity to one public trustee only. If they were to appoint a number of public trustees they might find themselves in a great difficulty.

Question put, and negatived.

SIR EDWARD CARSON moved to omit the word "High" in Sub-section 3. He said a definition of the word "Court" would be inserted in the Bill to show that it meant the High Court in some cases and the County Court in other cases. The object was to provide that small trusts should be administered without going to the High Court.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 15, to leave out the word 'High.'"—(Mr. Solicitor-General.)

Amendment agreed to.

SIR EDWARD CARSON moved to add to Clause 1 the following new sub-section, which he had promised in Grand Committe:—"(4) The entry of the public trustee by that name in the books of a company shall not constitute notice of a trust, and a company shall not be entitled to object to enter the name of the public trustee on its books by reason only that the public trustee is a corporation."

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 15, at end to insert the words, '(4) The entry 6f the public trustee by that name in the books of a company shall not constitute notice of a trust, and a company shall not be entitled to object to enter the name of the public trustee on its books by reason only that the public trustee is a corporation.'"—(Mr. Solicitor-General.)

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 16, at beginning to insert the words, 'Subject to the provisions of this Act.'"—(Mr. Slack.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


What is the object of the Amendment?


I thought it would make the clause clearer. It is a question of drafting.


said he hoped the hon. Gentleman would not press it. He would consider the matter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 17, after the word 'settlement,' to insert the words, 'or other instrument creating a trust.'"—(Mr. Slack).

Amendment agreed to.


said it would be observed that the Bill was drawn in a rather peculiar way, and he thought the Amendment he was now suggesting would bring all the rules which might be made under the separate clauses of the Act under the Publication of Rules Act, 1893.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, lines 18 and 19, to leave out the words, 'a general order under this section,' and insert the words, 'the rules to be made under this Act.'"—(Mr. H. D. Greene.)

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In page 1, line 26, at end, to insert the . words, '(2) Where the public trustee has been appointed a trustee of any trust, a co-trustee may retire from the trust under and in accordance with Section 11 of the Trustee Act, 1893, notwithstanding that there are not more that two trustees.'"—(Sir Edward Carson.)

Question proposed, "That those words he there inserted."


said he thought that this Amendment was satisfactory, subject to one point. If the Solicitor-General's Amendment were carried in its present form, a trustee would be unable to retire except with the consent of some other trustee. He did not think this consent should be required if what had been a private trust was converted into a public trust by the calling in of the public trustee. He therefore moved to add to the Amendment the words, "but the consent of the parties mentioned in such section shall not be required."

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— At the end, to add the words, 'hut the consent of the parties mentioned in such section shall not he required.'"—(Mr. Butcher.)

Question proposed, "That those words hi there added to tre proposed Amendment."


said that perhaps the hon. Gentleman would allow him to consider the point. He undertook to go into the question carefully.


said he would point out that the appointment of a public trustee was quite a new experience. He, however, accepted the Solicitor-General's suggestion, and would withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


said that the Amendment which he now moved was necessary if this was to be a purely voluntary Act which they had been told it was to be.


on a point of order, said that the House had already passed words that a public trustee might be appointed in the case of a will or settlement made before or after the passing of the Act.


said that the objection was good as against Sub-section A of the Amendment.


said he would agree to omit Sub-section A. He thought that where the beneficiaries were entitled to not less than one-half of the value of the estate, and objected to the appointment of a public trustee, their wishes should be given effect to. He did not see why the promoters of the Bill should object to that.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— In Clause 2, page 1, line 26, at the end to insert the words '(2) The public trustee shall not be so appointed either as a new or additional trustee. Where the will, settlement, or other instrument creating the trust or duty contains a direction to the contrary. (Mr. Slack.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."


said he thought that this Amendment was an impossible one. He hoped the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton would not think he was making any charge against his profession, to which he was sure he was as much indebted as any one—for, after all, it was the discrimination of solicitors which helped them along. But he would point out that this Amendment would leave it open to any solicitor—and there were some solicitors of whom he could say things—to put a provision as to payment into any will or settlement which he was asked to draw. That was most objectionable. It might be said what, were they to do if some man not very well off, but still having a little money to leave, went to a solicitor and said, "I have no friend who will act as trustee, will you do it?" That was just the thing it was desired to avoid. But take the case also of a large estate where the trustee died, and others could not be got to take up the trust. Was it not to be allowed that that trust should be administered by the public trustee? Must it go into the Court of Chancery and the estate be administered there at an enormous cost.


said he had perhaps more experience than the right hon. and learned Gentleman in matters cf this description, and he ventured to say that he had never seen a will or settlement in his life in which there was a stipulation that only a certain solicitor or firm of solicitors should be employed.


said he had seen, and he thought other members of his profession had seen, this provision; that the solicitor appointed an executor by the will, and who drew the will, notwithstanding the fact that he was trustee, should be paid.


said that more than eight-tenths of the large estates in this kingdom were in the hands of solicitor trustees. Did the right hon. and learned Gentleman mean to contend that solicitors were to be incapacitated from acting


said there ought to be an option.


said he knew it was very uphill work fighting against the general prejudice which there seemed to be against the profession of solicitors. But why was Parliament to step in and prevent a testator from having his property managed as he desired? It was to treat testators as if they were lunatics. He most strongly objected to this attempt to give the proposed power to compulsorily deprive a man of the right to say who should be his trustee.


said that the Solicitor-General had put the point that where a poor man had no friends a solicitor might act as trustee, and in the end the poor man might be defrauded. The number of such cases which took place was very small, though they had attained unfortunate prominence. If a solicitor was asked to be a trustee—he did not believe that solicitors would desire any such office—it was because the solicitor was a friend of the testator, and then a clause in the settlement enabling him to obtain reasonable costs was a natural corollary. To argue from one small particular case to the general was neither just, wise, nor expedient. To take an instance of how little demand there was for officialism in this direction he asked how many persons had been appointed under the Judicial Trustees Act. It was so small as to indicate that that Act was a failure. The objections raised were not by any means purely professional, for the London Chamber of Commerce had, in the strongest terms, pronounced against what it regarded as the uncalled-for officialism of this Bill. Take the case of a man with a large commercial estate which had been built up at great cost and enterprise by one who knew all the intricacies and secrets of other firms. His solicitor had advised him during his whole life, and at times of crisis when a wrong step might have meant ruin to his business; and yet this Bill would not allow such a testator to say that he preferred his solicitor to be his trustee, and that he would not have the intervention of an official trustee. There was a want of elasticity in the Bill, and he protested against the system of officialism which it sought to set up.


said that the Judicial Trustees Act passed some time ago was considered by a Committee of which he was chairman, which had tried to make it effective. It met with very much the same resistance as the j Bill now under discussion, and that was the reason why it had been a comparative failure. He hoped that this Bill, when it became an Act, would not, however, be a comparative failure. In regard to this particular Amendment he was sorry the anyone should think that it was the desire of himself or of anyone else to make general accusations against the honourable profession of his right hon. friend. They had no wish to hurt people's feelings but, it was their duty to provide safeguards against fraud. He submitted that the proposal in the Amendment was not reasonable.


said he thought the Amendment was a good one. A man of sound mind ought to be allowed to say how his property should be administered, He thought that the Solicitor-General was unduly afraid of solicitors. He himself preferred to consider that a man who had strong views of his own, and, rightly or wrongly, exercised his rights and said he objected to having his affairs administered by a public trustee, should have his wishes respected. They would be over-riding the wishes of the testator, and treating him, in fact, as if he were a lunatic. That would be an unreasonable interference with the rights of property.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

said he knew that there were many Gentlemen who would not give their support to the Bill unless they were satisfied that this was a purely optional business. The Amendment had been spoken of as if it prevented a man from appointing a solicitor as trustee if he so desired. But there would be nothing in the Bill to prevent that if a sufficient number of trustees were appointed. The Amendment declared that, whatever the circumstances might be, if a testator at one time in his life had an objection to the public trustee, the beneficiaries should be debarred from the benefit of his offices, even though all of them might join in desiring to make use of them. The effect would be that for all time during the operation of the will or settlement the public trustee could not be appointed. He hoped the House would generally approve of the action of the Government and the promoters of the Bill.


said it was a most extraordinary thing to propose that when a man directed a certain thing to be done, which was not contrary to public policy, that direction should not be carried out. It was the common practice in Scotland to appoint a solicitor trustee; and he dissented from the difficulties suggested by the Solicitor-General.

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chesterle-Street)

said he was in favou rof the Bill, but if compulsion were to be applied he could not vote for it. He recognised the necessity there was in certain cases for a public trustee, but he had the greatest dread of all estates coming under the control of such an official. He could not see why one trustee should have the power to appoint the official trustee, who would take the narrowest view of his duties and harass the other-trustees. Unless the Amendment were accepted the Bill ought to be opposed at every stage.


said that unless the Amendment were accepted the effect of the Bill would be to abolish all private friendship and services and place the larger part of the property in this country under the feeble, antiquated, and stupid administration of a salaried official. That would abolish the essential principle of private property, and would deprive every testator of attaching the conditions which he desired to be carried out. The interest of the cestuis que trustent was often diametrically opposed to that of the estate. One of the greatest troubles a trustee had was their rapacious avidity, while the primary duty of the trustee was to preserve the property of which he was trustee. If they gave to persons who came after the settler or testator the power to vary or alter the terms of the deed or will, they might just as well abolish the power of settling altogether. The law was bound to respect the wishes of a testator. The ideal trustee was the man selected on account of his friendship and personal integrity. Practically they were fighting a tendency to abolish the private trustee altogether, to abolish arrangements by which men were called upon to render the greatest service one man could render to another, to abolish a large amount of human gratitude and put in its place a wretched makeshift which had failed in every department of life from the telephone upwards, which must fail because it was wooden and bound by rules and regulations, and which had absent from it all those human considerations which were desirable and necessary in the mind of a trustee, and which the testator had presumed to be necessary in naming the particular trustees whom he appointed. Great as might be the necessity for appointing a public trustee, if he was to be appointed without some such restriction as this Amendment proposed to make, his appointment would be a most unmitigated curse to the country.


said it had been his lot for many years to see numerous cases of great enterprises carried out by men who knew that if they ever passed into the control of a public official they would be destroyed. Public officials were wanting in business instincts and capacity for carrying on successfully great industrial enterprises, and he could imagine no more certain method of paralysing such enterprises than to allow the men who were building them up to know that it was open to a few discontented beneficiaries under their wills to fling the whole of their business affairs into the care of some young barrister or accountant nominated by the Lord Chancellor.


said he hoped the House would come to a decision in the matter.


said he would suggest that the House might accept the proposal if the words "unless the Court otherwise order" were added.

SIR F. DIXON-HARTLAND (Middlesex, Uxbridge)

said it was stated that a dead man had nothing to do with his business; but he was the man who by his industry and talent had amassed the fortune which was to be administered. In many cases he had brought the property to a stage in which he knew unless it were administered in a certain way the result would be disastrous. How could a public trustee know all the various duties that would have to be carried out? It was impossible that one man could have all the necessary information. It would be disastrous to business if a testator were to feel that after his death his affairs could not be carried on in the way he had arranged. He had no hesitation in saving that he would prefer to see the Bill destroyed altogether if it was not to be a permissive Bill. Otherwise, it would not be for the advantage of the country. It would be a piece of officialism; and he certainly would vote for the Amendment.


said he could not see the objection to a solicitor to an estate being continued in association with its management as one of the trustees. In many cases it was absolutely necessary that one of the trustees should be a solicitor in order that the wishes of the testator might be carried out. Therefore, why should not a testator appoint a solicitor as a trustee at proper remuneration. He was astonished at the suggestion that, even if a trustee worked from morning to [night, he should have no remuneration. A testator ought to have a perfect right to give any directions he thought proper; and he would therefore support the Amendment.


said he was quite willing to accept the suggestion of the Solicitor-General.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— At the end, to add the words 'unless the Court otherwise order.'"—(Mr. Solicitor-General.)

COLONEL PILKINGTON (Lancashire, Newton)

said this Amendment was simply directed to securing the liberty of the

public to choose in respect to their own affairs men, whom he believed, as a class were of the highest character. He thought that to interfere with the management of men's private affairs more than was absolutely necessary would be a mistake; private enterprise, private exertion and initiation, which were the life of this country, would be destroyed. Let them by all means introduce a Government official, but do not let them go beyond that. He thought the Bill would be much improved by the insertion of this Amendment.

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The House divided:—Ayes, 213; Noes, 55. (Division List No. 223.)

Kitson, Sir James O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord(Lancs.)
Knowles, Sir Lees O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Stewart, SirMarkJ. M'Taggart
Lamont, Norman Partington, Oswald Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Paulton, James Mellor Sullivan, Donal
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Pemberton, John S. G. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Leng, Sir John Philipps, John Wynford Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Levy, Maurice Plummer, Sir Walter R. Toulmin, George
Lucas, ReginaldJ. (Portsmouth) Power, Patrick Joseph Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Lundon, W. Purvis, Robert Tritton, Charles Ernest
Lyell, Charles Henry Rea, Russell Tuff, Charles
MacVeagh, Jeremiah Reddy, M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Ure, Alexander
M'Calmont, Colonel James Reid, James (Greenock) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
M'Kean, John Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Wallace, Robert
Malcolm, Ian Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Walton John Lawson(Leeds, S.)
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Ridley, S. Forde Warde, Colonel C. E.
Milvain, Thomas Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan)
Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh. N.) Roche, Augustine (Cork) Wason, JohnCathcart(Orkney)
Mooney, John J. Roche, John (Galway, East) Weir, James Galloway
Morrell, George Herbert Runciman, Walter White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Russell, T. W. Whiteley, George (York, W. It.)
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Murphy, John Sharpe, William Edward T. Wills, Arthur Walters (N. Dorset
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Shaw-Stewart, SirH. (Renfrew) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Nolan. Col. John P. (Galway, N.) Sheehy, David Wilson-Todd, SirW. H. (Yorks.)
Nolan. Joseph (Louth, South) Shipman, Dr. John G. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Woodhouse, SirJT. (Huddersf'd
O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid Skewes-Cox, Thomas Young, Samuel
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Slack, John Bamford
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Sloan, Thomas Henry TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Howard Vincent and Mr. Crooks.
O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.) Smith, Samuel (Flint)
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Soames, Arthur Wellesley
O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Soares, Ernest J.
O'Dowd, John Stanhope, Hon. Philip James
Allsopp, Hon. George Evans, SirFrancisH. (Maidstone Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Arkwright, John Stanhope Faber, George Denison (York) Price, Robert John
Atherley-Jones, L. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Rickett, J. Compton
Bain, Colonel James Robert FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Banner, John S. Harmood- Gardner, Ernest Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion
Bigwood, James Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn) Robinson, Brooke
Black, Alexander William Gore, Hon S. F. Ormsby Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Bowles, T. Gibson(King'sLynn Hay, Hon. Claude George Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Brassey, Albert Helder, Augustus Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Brotherton, Edward Allen Henderson, SirA. (Stafford, W.) Spear, John Ward
Bull, William James Houston, Robert Paterson Stanley, EdwardJas. (Somerset)
Cameron, Robert Leveson-Gower. FrederickN. S. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Cautley, Henry Strother Lonsdale, John Brownlee Welby. Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lowe, Francis William Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart
Coddington, Sir William Macdona, John Cumming Yoxall, James Henry
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Maclver, David (Liverpool)
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Edmund Faber and Mr. Allhusen
Dixon-Hartland, SirFredDixon Myers, William Henry
Duncan, J. Hastings Pease, HerbortPike (Darlington
Ellice, CaptEC(S. Andrw'sBghs Perks, Robert William

Words, as amended, inserted in the Bill.

Amendment proposed to the Bill— At the end of the last Amendment to insert the words, '(b) Where the appointment is objected to by any persons beneficially entitled whether for life or in remainder or otherwise and whether absolutely or contingently to not less than one-half in value of the trust property, or if they are infants by their guardians, unless 'the Court otherwise order.'"—(Mr. Slack.)


suggested it should be moved in the same manner as the previous Amendment, with the addition of the words at the end "unless the Court otherwise order."


accepted the suggestion.


expressed the opinion that the beneficiaries should not

Abraham, William (Cork. N. E.) Cullinan, J. Kennedy, P. J. (Westmeath. N.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Kennedy, VincentP. (Cavan, W.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Delany, William Kilbride, Denis
Allen, Charles P. Devlin, CharlesRamsay(Galway Kitson, Sir James
Allsopp, Hon. George Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. SirJoseph C. Knowles, Sir Lees
Ambrose, Robert Donelan, Captain A. Lamont, Norman
Anson, Sir William Reynell Doogan, P. C. Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Atherley-Jones, L. Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lawrence, SirJoseph(Monm'th)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Duke, Henry Edward Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Duncan, J. Hastings Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Elibank, Master of Layland-Barratt, Francis
Barlow, John Emmott Ellice, CaptEC(S. Andrw'sBghs Leveson-Gower. Frederick NS.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Levy, Maurice
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Emmott, Alfred Lundon, W.
Beach, Rt. Hn. SirMichaelHicks Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Lyell, Charles Henry
Benn, John Williams Farrell, James Patrick Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fergusson, RtHn. SirJ. (Manc'r. MacVeagh, Jeremiah
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Ffrench, Peter M'Calmont, Colonel James
Bignold, Sir Arthur FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose M'Kean, John
Bigwood, James Flavin, Michael Joseph Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Flynn, James Christopher Milvain, Thomas
Boland, John Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W. Mitchell, Edw. (Fermanagh, N.)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Montagu, Hon. J. Scott(Hants.)
Bull, William James Furness, Sir Christopher Mooney, John J.
Burke, E. Haviland Grant, Corrie Morrell, George Herbert
Burns, John Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Butcher, John George Greene, HenryD. (Shrewsbury) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Buxton, N. E. (York, NRWhitby Grenfell, William Henry Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Caldwell, James Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Murphy, John
Cameron, Robert Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nderry Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hammond, John Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil) Nussey, Thomas Willans
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hare, Thomas Leigh O'Brien, Kendal(TippcraryMid
Chamberlain, RtHn. J. A. (Wore. Harmsworth, R. Leicester O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Channing, Francis Allston Harwood, George O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Cheetham, John Frederick Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Coddington, Sir William Higham, John Sharp O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Cogan, Denis J. Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham O'Dowd, John
Coghill, Douglas Harry Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hozier, Hon. James HenryCecil O'Malley, William
Colomb, Rt. Hon. Sir John, C. R. Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Issacs, Rufus Daniel Partington, Oswald
Condon, Thomas Joseph Jacoby, James Alfred Paulton, James Mellor
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Joicey, Sir James Pease, Herb. Pike (Darlington)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Jones, DavidBrynmor(Swansea Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pemberton, John S. G.
Crean, Eugene Jordan, Jeremiah Perks, Robert William
Cremer, William Randal Joyce, Michael Plummer, Sir Walter R.
Crombie, John William Kearley, Hudson E. Power, Patrick Joseph
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Kennaway. Rt. Hon. SirJohnH. Purvis, Robert

have so great a power given to them, as their interests were directly opposed to that of the trustee.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

The House divided:—Ayes, 213; Noes, 36. (Division List No 224.)

Rea, Russell Thomas Henry Weir, James Galloway
Reddy, M. Soames, Arthur Wellesley Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Soares, Ernest J. Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Reid, James (Greenock) Stanhope, Hon. Philip James Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Reid, SirR. Threshie (Dumfries Stanley. EdwardJas. (Somerset) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Wills, ArthurWalters(N. Dorset
Ridley, S. Forde Sullivan, Donal Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E, R,)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tennant, Harold John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Roche, Augustine (Cork) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.) Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Roche, John (Galway, East) Thorburn, Sir Walter Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Wilson-Todd. SirW. H. (Yorks.)
Runciman, Walter Toulmin, George Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Russell, T. W. Tuff, Charles Woodhouse, SirJ. T. (Huddersf'd
Samuel, SirHarryS. (Limehouse Ure, Alexander Young, Samuel
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wallace, Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Howard Vincent and Mr. Crooks.
ShawStewart, Sir H (Renfrew) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Shipman, Br. John G. Warde, Colonel C. E
Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Slack, John Bamford Wason, John Cathcart(Orkney)
Allhusen. AugustusHenryEden Helder, Augustus Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford, W). Robinson, Brooke
Black, Alexander William Houston, Robert Paterson Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Bowles, T. Gibson (King'sLynn King, Sir Henry Seymour Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Brassey, Albert Lonsdale, John Brownlee Spear, John Ward
Cautley, Henry Strother Lowe, Francs William Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lucas, ReginaldJ. (Portsmouth) Tritton, Charles Ernest
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Macdona, John cumming White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Dixon-Hartland. SirFredDixon Maclver, David (Liverpool)
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe TELLERS FOR THE NOES.— Mr. Seymour Ormsby-Gore and Mr. Harmood-Banner
Faber, George Denison (York) Myers, William Henry
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Hay, Hon. Claude George Rickett, J. Compton

And, it being after half-past Five of the clock, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended, to be further considered upon Friday next.