HC Deb 22 November 1916 vol 87 cc1455-9

Subject to the provisions of this Act—

  1. (a) Every firm having a place of business in the United Kingdom and carrying on business under a business name which does not consist of the true surnames of all partners who are individuals and the corporate names of all partners who are corporations without any addition other than the true Christian names of individual partners or initials of such Christian names;
  2. 1456
  3. (b) Every individual having a place of business in the United Kingdom and carrying on business under a business name which does nob consist of his true surname without any addition other than his true Christian names or the initials thereof;
shall be registered in the manner directed by this Act:

Provided that—

  1. (i.) where the addition merely indicates that the business is carried on in succession to a former owner of the business, that addition shall not of itself render registration necessary; and
  2. (ii.) where two or more individual partners have the same surname, the addition of an s at the end of that surname shall not of itself render registration necessary; and
  3. (iii.) where the business is carried on by a trustee in bankruptcy or a receiver or manager appointed by any court, registration shall not be necessary:
  4. (iv.) a purchase or acquisition of property by two or more persons as joint tenants or tenants in common is not of itself to be deemed carrying on a business whether or not the owners share any profits arising from the sale thereof.


Some of the Amendments on the Paper seem to cover points already in the Bill, but hon. Members may have some points that escape my observation, and therefore I propose to allow the Amendments to be moved in order to show whether that is so or not.

The following Amendment stood in the name of Mr. BUTCHER: After paragraph (a) to insert the words (b) Every firm carrying on business at any place in the United Kingdom in which any partner has changed or may hereafter change his name.


There is a similar Amendment to this one later on the Paper in my name, to insert after paragraph (b), the words (c) Every individual or firm having a place of business in the United Kingdom, who, or a member of which, has either before or after the passing of this Act changed his name, except in the case of a woman in consequence of marriage. It is quite true that that is embodied in the Bill now by the effect of the definition Clause, but I think my hon. Friend (Mr. Pretyman) will agree that the definition Clause is not happily framed, because it asks us to assume a state of things not in accordance with the facts, and it would be better, I think, if my hon. Friend agrees, that we should put in the change of name in a Sub-section to this Clause, and I should like to move it in this form. It really covers the Amendment which appears in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham (Mr. Denniss) and other hon. Members.


It will not be necessary for me to move my Amendment under those circumstances.


I should like to accept this Amendment if the Committee will agree. I concur in what my hon. Friend has said, that it only carries out what the Bill really effected before, but perhaps by rather a clumsy method. Therefore, I think, this form is preferable, and I should like to accept the Amendment.


I beg to move as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to leave out the word "before"["has either before or after the passing of this Act"], and to insert instead thereof the words "during the period not exceeding ten years preceding the date of this Act."

My object is that there should be some limit to the time during which the change of name has taken place. There might be considerable confusion if they had to put in all names they had assumed during a long business period, and it might be sufficient to cover all cases if it were limited in the way I propose. There was a case, I believe, of a Mr. Trebitch, a Member of this House, who assumed the name of Lincoln. I see that he assumed three or four other names under which he had traded, and in cases like that there might be very considerable difficulty in giving all the various names an individual had taken. I think, therefore, it would be sufficient if any name assumed during ten years were required to be registered.


I prefer very much the form of the Amendment on the Paper. I do not see the necessity for this legislation for ten years. If there are a number of aliases, such as my hon. Friend sug- gests, I think it is just as well that we should know the man and be able to trace his history, and see what—I will not say crime—but what transactions he has been engaged in in the past. Therefore I hope the Government will not accept the Amendment to the Amendment.


I cannot say that I am inclined to accept my hon. Friend's proposal.


Then I do not press it.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Proposed words there inserted.

Further Amendment made: In paragraph (iii.), at the end, to insert the word "and."—[Mr. King.]

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."


I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the hon. Gentleman and the Board of Trade for accepting so many Amendments to this Bill. My right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dublin University expected to be here. I may say that the Amendments incorporated have been very largely the result of a small Committee presided over by my right hon. and learned Friend, and I desire, on behalf of that Committee, to express our deep sense of obligation to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade for having incorporated practically the whole of our Amendments which has made this really a satisfactory Bill.


May I associate myself with what has fallen from my hon. Friend. I think we are very much indebted to the Government for having improved this Bill so substantially, and for having done it in a way which has not caused any loss of time. I hope, in the form in which it now stands, we shall pass it into law.


I wish to thank hon. Members opposite for what they have said. I also wish to express my obligation to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Hallam Division of Sheffield (Mr. Stuart-Wortley) for having suggested a method by which we were able to get the Bill into its present form, so that the Committee can see exactly what is before us. I would, however, remind my hon. Friends that, although we have received very great assistance from the Amendments which they have put forward, and which we have been glad to incorporate, they really only embody suggestions which I made on the Second Reading and on the introduction of the Bill.

Question put, and agreed to.