HC Deb 28 November 1916 vol 88 cc223-35

(1) Where any firm or person by this Act required to furnish a statement of particulars or of any change in particulars shall have made default in so doing, then the rights of that defaulter under or arising out of any contract made or entered into by or on behalf of such defaulter in relation to the business in respect to the carrying on of which particulars were required to be furnished at any time while he is in default shall not be enforceable by action or other legal proceeding either in the business name or otherwise. Provided always as follows:

  1. (a) The defaulter may apply to the Court for relief against the disability imposed by this Section, and the Court, on being satisfied that the default was accidental, or due to inadvertence, or some other sufficient cause, or that on other grounds it is just and equitable to grant relief, may grant such relief either generally, or as respects any particular contracts, on condition of the costs of the application being paid by the defaulter, unless the Court otherwise orders, and on such other conditions (if any) as the Court may impose, but such relief shall not be granted except on such service and such publication of notice of the application as the Court may order, nor shall relief be given in respect of any contract if any party to the contract proves to the satisfaction of the Court that, if this Act had been complied with, he would not have entered into the contract;
  2. (b) Nothing herein contained shall prejudice the rights of any other parties as against the defaulters in respect of such contract as aforesaid;
  3. (c) If any action or proceeding shall be commenced by any other party against the defaulter to enforce the rights of such party in respect of such contract, nothing herein contained shall preclude the defaulter from enforcing in that action or pro- 224 ceeding, by way of counterclaim set off or otherwise, such rights as he may have against that party in respect of such contract.

(2) In this Section the expression "Court" means the "High Court":

Provided that, without prejudice to the power of the High Court to grant such relief as aforesaid, if any proceeding to enforce any contract is commenced by a defaulter in a County Court, the County Court may, as respects that contract, grant such relief as aforesaid


I beg to move to leave out the Clause.

On this Clause may I draw attention to the fact that limited liability companies are bound to register their list of shareholders every year, hold meetings, and do a great many other things, in default of which the Government may impose a fine upon them? Here we have the same thing with regard to private firms. A private firm is bound to register, and, if it does not, the Government can impose a fine upon it. But if a limited company fails to do what it is bound to do it is fined by the Government, but there is nothing in the Companies Acts which enables any outsider to take advantage of the breach of duty by the company. The fine lies between the Government and the offending company—I am speaking of the Companies Acts as existing now—and the secretary, directors, and so on are all personally liable to pay the fine. But in no case is an outsider entitled to take benefit from that and to plead that as a justification for getting rid of some contract which he does not like. If any favour is to be shown it should be to the private firm and not the limited company, and for this reason: The members of a private firm embark every penny of their fortune in it. They are liable for its debts to the last penny of their wealth. In the case of a limited company this is not so.

In the case of a limited company no right is given to take advantage of any default which may be committed. But under this Clause you put private firms in this position. Suppose that, at the beginning of the year, a clerk or somebody is taken into partnership by a firm, and that through some oversight they fail to register. A customer has at that date a forward contract for delivery running over the next six months at so much a ton. Meantime the market goes down, and he finds that the firm did not register this partner, and uses that fact to get out of his contract. It is true that they can go to that Court and say that here was some oversight, that somebody forgot to do his duty, and then they may get relief. But why should the firm be forced to do this to get relief? If you are going to give an outsider the right to take advantage of default to get rid of a contract which he does not like, the onus ought to be put on him to go to the Court and prove that if he had known this man was a partner of the firm he would never have entered into this contract. Instead of that you put the onus on the firm to go to the Court and get the waiver of the contract by the outsider rectified. That is not fair. The duty lies on the firm to register. The penalty lies with the Government to inflict, if the firm does not register. In the ease of the limited company it is the same thing. I submit with the greatest confidence that it is a mischievous thing to give an outsider the power to repudiate a contract on the ground that some little technical thing has been omitted.

If you are going to bring in the outsider at all you should say to him, "If you wish to get rid of your contract go to the Court and satisfy it that if you had known that this man was one of the partners you would never have entered into the contract." He would have very great difficulty in satisfying any Court that that was really true, because it is a falling market that is the trouble. Therefore, I submit that the Clause ought to be left out altogether. You may say that a firm may not suffer, that it can go into Court. A man may go into Court, and it may cost £30 or £40, and the man who made the contract may say, "If you reduce the price £1 a ton, I shall not repudiate the contract." This is not fair to the private firm. It puts it in a very much worse position than the limited company. The object of all legislation should be to avoid litigation. This Clause bristles with the prospect of litigation. This Bill is intended, I believe, to catch long firms. Some of my hon. Friends who are leading in the German hunt took hold of it and manipulated it in this way that it goes far beyond the original scope, and that in order to catch one German trader you worry about 10,000 respectable firms who are trying to carry on their business in the ordinary way. This Clause cannot do any justice, and may do a great deal of injustice by enabling some people to take a mean advantage of some technical defect.


I beg to second the Amendment.

The hon. Member has made a very strong case against this Clause. As the Bill now stands, it not only imposes a penalty in the ordinary sense for default or for breach of its provisions, and a very heavy pecuniary penalty that is, but under this Clause a further penalty of an indefinite kind may be imposed on a firm at the instance of a private individual who himself will benefit considerably by the imposition of that penalty. That is a very false principle to apply to legislation. I think that for breach of a statutory condition contained in this Bill the penalties imposed in the Bill itself should be quite adequate. But this Clause goes far further than imposing a penalty which can be ascertained under this Bill. It may be a penalty which is quite unascertainable. You may have, for example, a contract very nearly completed in which one of the contracting parties has obtained nearly all the benefit which he could possibly obtain under that contract, and he may then seek, owing to a slight breach of the provisions of this Bill, to get the whole of the benefits of the contract without performing any of his part. It may be said that it is possible for the firm affected to obtain relief from the Court, but a man may not be successful in obtaining the relief, and, even if he is ultimately successful, he will have to face the cost and the worry in connection with the steps which he may take to obtain such relief, in addition to paying the penalty. In all the circumstances the penalties provided in the Bill are sufficient to secure observance of the provisions and to deter people who may seek to evade these provisions, and it is therefore both unfair and unwise to seek, in addition, to impose penalties so difficult to ascertain, and which might be altogether out of proportion to the offence committed.


This Clause came down to this House from another place, where it had been inserted in consequence of evidence given before the Select Committee, and on the advice of the chambers of commerce throughout the country. Of course, that does not dispense us from the necessity of examining it for ourselves, and what we have done in this House is to limit the Clause. The point which my hon. Friend puts is whether the Clause as it is now limited ought to stand. I have never denied, and I think that I said in Committee, that this Clause does impose a heavy penalty upon those who fail to comply with the Act, but, of course, the whole object is to compel people to register. It was the intention to make it the interest of the firm not to make default, so that they shall take every possible care to get on the Register in good time. Of course, the penalty is confined in two ways. It is confined to contracts arising out of the business in respect of which registration is required, and it is confined to contracts entered into while the firm or person is in default. And the principle of the Clause is that if people enter into contracts with a firm which ought to be and is not registered, then the burden lies upon the person in default to show that he did not mislead the other party to the contract. I quite agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen that the effect of it is really to shift the onus; that is, it imposes the burden not upon the person who is seeking to repudiate the contract, but upon the person who is in default, to show that there was some reason in consequence of which default occurred.

My hon. Friend said that if you put the burden on the shoulders of the other person he would never be able to discharge it. It is almost impossible to go into another man's mind, and to prove that if he had known that the law had not been complied with he would have taken a different course. Therefore this course is taken, and the man who has done the wrong has the burden thrown upon him. If the default is willful, surely the person who is responsible for the fault ought to suffer. If it is not willful, if it is accidental, or an inadvertency, or if there is some other fair, reasonable and equitable ground for granting the person relief, then the Courts have power to grant that relief. There are numerous similar provisions, as my hon. friend knows, in which certain kinds of contract, which are not registered, become void and cannot be enforced at all. I agree that the penalty is severe, but I think it ought to be severe, and I believe it was the general view in Committee that there ought to be a severe penalty, and that the effect of it would be that a company, before entering into a contract, would see that they were registered and had complied with the law. I think that a provision of this nature is very desirable.


It would be long before they would get a decision, and in six months the contract may have gone to pieces.


I do not think it would take so long as that; the point would not arise until proceedings were taken to enforce the contract. I am quite frank with the House when I say that I think the penalty is severe, but I think it is a case where it is desired that the law should be observed, and the general view of the House in Committee was that the penalty would tend to effect that object.


I am glad to hear that the right hon. Gentleman is going to adhere to the Clause. The penalty is severe, but, for the purposes of the Bill and for the purposes of this Clause, we ought to assume the worst possible case, and a severe penalty is the only kind of penalty which the German will understand. A German firm, with perhaps the whole organisation of the German Empire behind it, probably seeking to kill a British industry, would not be disturbed by a few days' penalty of £5 a day. In all other eases I have not the smallest doubt that the wide powers of the Court will prove amply sufficient for the purposes of the Bill. This provision is by no means without precedent. There are similar requirements of the law in other cases. In regard to the formalities of registration, or in cases where a man has lost, by efflux of time, his right of action, and it is incumbent upon the defendant to raise the Statute of Limitations, if he thinks fit to do so, the Courts have ample powers; and where there is a gambling consideration, or an immoral consideration, they can deprive the plaintiff of his rights under the contract. I am glad that the Government have put this Clause in the Bill, and I hope they will adhere to it.


The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down spoke of a German firm with the whole of the German Empire behind it, but I would point out that there are various ways in which a company can be formed. A private limited company, which has not to publish a balance sheet, could be established. What is to hinder any private persons forming themselves into a limited liability company? This whole Bill is really unjust, and is almost impossible, from the very fact that you cannot include these limited liability companies, with their hundreds and thousands of shareholders. Although the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade says that they are going to try to bring in a Bill to apply to these companies, I do not think he will be able to achieve that object. I do not think it is possible to frame a Bill that would affect these limited liability companies. I think that this measure is unjust, and that this Clause is especially unjust. The Solicitor-General says the Bill is such a good one that he wants to make the penalty very high. I am not against having a penalty with a view to enforcing obedience to the law, but why bring in a third person? The law ought to be between the State and the man who breaks the law. Why bring in a third person and give the outsider the opportunity of blackmailing a man, and perhaps getting a reward? The hon. Member for Aberdeenshire put forward the point of the man who makes a bad bargain. It may be that a new partner has been taken into the firm, say, on the 1st of January, and the person concerned makes a contract on the 2nd of January. Then he finds that the name of the new partner has not been registered, and, where it is to his advantage to do so, he can use the opportunity of this default to break through his bargain. He makes use of the fact that the name was not registered within two or three days after to get out of his bargain. I think it is absolutely unfair to bring the third party in at all. Why not have the penalty as between the person who breaks the law and the State? I am myself against legislation which brings in a reward for an informer, and that is really what is being done. I agree with the hon. Member for Aberdeen that the boot ought to be on the other foot, because it is a very hard thing for a firm to be put to the trouble to prove that a mistake has been made. I am opposed to this Clause altogether.


The chambers of commerce for a good many years have been calling for a Bill of this character, and one of the chief reasons, as I have always understood, is that it is only fair that nobody should be led to deal with a firm who do not disclose the names or character of the partners, in order that people might judge of the credit and standing of those partners. This is one of the great objects of this Bill, and one of its great advantages to the trading community. There are three ways in which there may be a failure in keeping the Register. One is the failure to keep a Register at all, when the firm commenced or at the beginning of the Act coming into operation; another is a return of false particulars, which is a default; and the third is any failure to register a change in the firm under Clause 6. As regards the latter, if the Board of Trade can be satisfied that the default was through inadvertence and not willful, then this Clause would not operate and there would be no hardship in that case. The worst case, of course, is where false particulars have been given, and there surely it would only be fair that the party who has entered into the contract on the face of the false particulars given in the Register as to the constitution of the firm should not suffer. In that case it seems to me that this Clause is absolutely necessary, and it is only fair. I am glad to hear that the Government are going to stick to it. As regards original registration, which is the only other step, there again surely willful failure is the only thing which would really enable this Clause to come into operation. The cases of innocent failure will be very few, and cases are more likely to arise where there has been failure to register the company or firm at all. Under this Clause the plaintiff, or the pursuer as he is called in Scotland, would apply to the Court for relief, and if he had a proper case for relief he would undoubtedly get it and no harm would be done. It seems to me therefore that in the case of failure to register originally the matter would work itself out, and in any event few cases would be likely to occur. It is one of the main objects of this Bill to give protection in cases where people do not disclose the true character of the firm on the face of the Register, or give a false return, or willfully fail to notify the dropping out of a name, by the death or otherwise of a member of the firm. I do not think it is a case of bringing in a third party; it is a case of protecting the party who would suffer as a result of such a failure; it is a case of dealing with the party who gives false information, and of affording protection to those who are likely to suffer. I am very glad that the Government have put in this Clause, and I hope they will adhere to it.

6.0 P.M.


I was extremely sorry to hear the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill state that he intended to adhere to this Clause and refuse the Amendment. I could not help noting as the right hon. and learned Gentleman was giving his reasons the frequent cropping up of the statement that the penalty was a very severe one. That seemed to harp like a refrain to an uneasy conscience. The penalties are severe, but it is conceivable that the damage done to persons and trade generally might be very severe. Why I object to this Clause and intend to vote against it is that I have the greatest horror of an unlimited penalty. It may fall on a small person. You may say that that small person may get out of it if he can prove that he has acted in good faith though somewhat careless. I know he can, but an unlimited penalty seems to me to be a wholly improper method of proceeding. We ought to make the penalty, even if it were as high as Hannan was hanged, a definite one, and not have it unlimited with the effect possibly of crushing out the small beginner. Whether it applies to little or to large firms the principle is wrong.


This Clause really is for the relief of people who deal with firms which refuse to register under the provisions of the Bill. Take a case, say, where I enter into a contract, say, with the firm of Messrs. Rothschild. It might be that one or two of the leading partners might have died or gone out of the business, and their capital with them, and that I have entered into the contract with the firm which has not got the backing which I assumed it had, and that that firm has not taken the steps which the law obliges it to take to enable me to have that information which I am entitled to have in going into their contract. This merely gives me the option of saying that I have been misled as to the people with whom I had to deal. Surely that is perfectly fair. Their obligation is to disclose fully to me with whom I am dealing.


It is one-sided.


If I am a firm which does not carry out my obligations I am exactly in the same default, and I cannot enforce my contract. As to what the hon. Gentleman has just said about the penalty, everybody knows there is no public prosecutor in this country whose duty it is to prosecute in all these cases. For instance, there are scores of companies which are in default in making their returns year after year, and it is only when things become very bad, or where somebody chooses to call the attention of the Registry Department to the default, that proceedings are taken and a penalty is enforced. We have not as they have in Scotland a Procurator-fiscal to enforce penalties of this kind, and in ninety cases out of a hundred the penalties under the Act will not be enforced. Therefore, the only real protection which honest traders have is that afforded to them by this Clause of being able to say, "We have been willfully misled by the firm with whom we have contracted, they have not told us who the partners are as they have not registered, and we have the right to say that we will not go on with the contract."

Colonel Sir C. SEELY

I think the last speaker and other hon. Members really misunderstand the size and scope of this Bill and the large number of people to-whom it will apply. Large firms like Messrs. Rothschild have their lawyers and their cashiers and their corresponding-clerks, and there is no risk of such firms-not having all their registration properly completed and every provision of the Bill completely complied with. I think the hon. Member for West Aberdeenshire (Mr. Henderson) was perfectly correct in saying that this Bill will apply to an enormous-number of very small people who have very little knowledge of legal matters and who may easily make, quite unintentionally and unwittingly, small mistakes in their registration, or omit to register some points so that they would be deemed to have failed to comply with the provisions of the Bill. Are they, under those circumstances, when a man who has made a contract by which he is perhaps losing and wishes to wriggle out of it, to be put to all the great difficulties, which in such cases would be very great indeed, of proving that their mistake was purely an accidental one? That would seem to me to expose them to-a risk of blackmail and trouble which I do not think the House would wish for a moment to impose upon them. I think I am correct in saying, subject to the opinion of" the learned Solicitor-General, that if any— one willfully misleads any man with whom he is making a contract as to the position -of his firm, or as to particulars of the partners in it, then under the existing law he will be able to obtain relief from the penalties of his contract. I think, therefore, there is no real necessity for this Bill from that; point of view, and that it will impose very great trouble and serious hardship on a number of very small people, and particularly on small firms. For these reasons I trust that the Government will consider the desirability of leaving out this Clause, because the other penalties are, I think, quite sufficient to attain the object they desire, and, otherwise, quite unintentionally and unwittingly they may be causing very considerable hardship in the country.


There is another point of view to be considered in this matter. A commercial traveller may have made a contract to sell certain goods, and the firm may be called upon to deliver the goods to a firm which was not registered and to whom they do not wish to deliver the goods. This matter acts in both ways. I really hope that the Government will stand to this Clause, because it is the soul of the Bill so far as protecting the trader is concerned.


I hope that the Government will adhere to this Clause. It only comes into operation in case a person who is not registered has to take legal proceedings to recover something under a contract. The debtor can then say in Court, "I would not have dealt with you

if I had known that you were not registered, and you cannot recover." That is a very fair position to take up. Then in the same proceedings the unregistered person can say to the Court, "I am extremely sorry I was not registered, but it was due to an accident, to inadvertence or some other cause, and I have got a just and equitable right to relief, and therefore should be allowed to go on with the action." If he prove those things he would go on with the action. All the arguments used in this case against this Clause were used in the moneylender's case. If a moneylender did not register himself he could not recover the money he had lent. A great many people, like the hon. Member, said that that was very hard on the moneylender, that it was a new principle, one-sided, and so on.


I never said that in the moneylender's case.


Is not the case of the fraudulent German, or even the fraudulent Britisher, as bad as that of the moneylender, and some moneylenders act straightforwardly. The moneylender can-not recover under any circumstances if he is not registered, but in this case a man can get relief, so that this Clause is less severe than that which was passed in the case of the moneylender.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out down to the word 'Court' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: Ayes, 206; Noes, 31.

Division No. 65.] AYES. [6.15 p.m.
Acland, Rt. Hon. Francis Dyke Bridgeman, William Clive Fell, Arthur
Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte Bull, Sir William James Ferens, Rt. Hen. Thomas Robinson
Ainsworth, John Stirling Butcher, John George Field, William
Alden, Percy Byles, Sir William Pollard Finlay, Rt. Hon. Sir Robert
Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud) Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H. Finney, Samuel
Archdale, Lieut, E. M. Cator, John Fisher, Rt. Hon. W. Hayes
Baird, John Lawrence Cave, Rt. Hon. Sir George Flannery, Sir J. Fortescue
Banbury, Rt. Hon. Sir F. G. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fletcher, John Samuel
Barnes, Rt. Hon. George N. Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W. France, Gerald Ashburner
Barnett, Captain R. W. Chancellor, Henry George Galbraith, Samuel
Barran, Sir John N. (Hawick Burghs) Clough, William Gardner, Ernest
Barrie, H. T. Clynes, John R. Gelder, Sir W. A.
Bathurst, Col. Hon. A. B. (Gleuc., E.) Coates, Major Sir Edward Feetham Gilbert, J. D.
Bathurst, Capt. C. (Wilts, Wilton) Coats, Sir Stuart A. (Wimbledon) Goddard, Rt. Hon. Sir Daniel Ford
Beale, Sir William Phipson Collins, Sir Stephen (Lambeth) Greenwood, Sir G. G. (Peterborough)
Beauchamp, Sir Edward Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Griffith, Rt. Hon. Ellis Jones
Beck, Arthur Cecil Cory, James Herbert (Cardiff) Haddock, George Bahr
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Cowan, W. H. Hall, D. B. (Isle of Wight)
Benn, Arthur Shirley (Plymouth) Craig, Col. James (Down, E.) Hamilton, C. G. C. (Ches., Altrincham)
Bentham, George Jackson Craik, Sir Henry Hanson, Charles Augustin
Bethell, Sir J. H. Currie, George W. Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)
Bigland, Alfred Davies, David (Montgomery Co.) Harris, Henry Percy (Paddington, S.)
Bird, Alfred Denniss, E. R. B. Harris, Percy A. (Leicester, S.)
Blake, Sir Francis Douglas Dickinson, Rt. Hon. Willoughby H. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Bliss, Joseph Dougherty, Rt. Hon. Sir J. B. Helme, Sir Nerval Watson
Bowerman, Rt. Hon. C. W. Duke, Rt. Hon. Henry Edward Henderson, Rt. Hen. Arthur (Durham)
Brace, William Edge, Captain William Henry, Sir Charles
Hibbert, Sir Henry F. Neville, Reginald J. N. Spear, Sir John Ward
Higham, John Sharp Newdegate, F. A. Spicer, Rt. Hon. Sir Albert
Hill, James (Bradford, C.) Newman, John R. P. Stanton, Charles Butt
Hinds, John Nicholson, Sir Charles N. (Doncaster) Starkey, John Ralph
Hobhouse, Rt. Hon. Charles E. H. Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield) Steel-Maitland. A. D.
Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy Nuttall, Harry Stewart, Gershom
Holmes, Daniel Turner O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Strauss, Arthur (Paddington, North)
Hope, Harry (Bute) Orde-Powlett, Hon. W. G. A. Strauss, Edward A. (Southwark, West)
Hops, John Deans (Haddington) Parkes, Ebenezer Sutton, John E.
Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Pearce, Sir Robert (Staffs, Leek) Sykes, Col. Alan John (Ches., Knutsf'd).
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Pease, Rt. Hon. Joseph (Rotherham) Sykes, Sir Mark (Hull, Central)
Hudson, Walter Pennefather, De Fonblanque Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hughes, Spencer Leigh Perkins, Walter Frank Terrell, George (Wilts, N.W.)
Hume-Williams, W. E. Peto, Basil Edward Terrell, Henry (Gloucester)
Hunter, Sir Charles Rodk. Philipps, Maj.-Gen. Ivor (Southampton) Thomas-Stanford, Charles
Jacobsen, Thomas Owen Phillips, Sir Owen (Chester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton)
John, Edward Thomas Pretyman, Ernest George Thynne, Lord Alexander
Jones, H. Haydn (Merioneth) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Tickler, T. G.
Jones, Leif (Notts, Rushcilfle) Priestley, Sir W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Tootill, Robert
Joynson-Hicks, William Pryce-Jones, Colonel E. Toulmin, Sir George
Kenyan, Barnet Radford, Sir George Heynes Turton, Edmund Russborough
King, Joseph Raffan, Peter Wilson Walker, Colonel William Hall
Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement Rea, Walter Russell (Scarborough) Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)
Larmor, Sir J. Rees, G. C. (Carnarvonshire, Arfon) Wardle, George J.
Layland-Barrett, Sir F. Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, E.) Watson, Hon. W.
Lloyd, George Butler (Shrewsbury) Rendall, Athelstan Wedgwood, Commander Josiah C.
Lowe, Sir F. W. (Birm., Edgbaston) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)
MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Roberts, George H. (Norwich) Wiles, Thomas
Macmaster, Donald Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs) Williams, Aneurin (Durham, N.W.)
M'Neill, Ronald (Kent, St. Augustine's) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Williams, Thomas J. (Swansea)
Magnus, Sir Philip Robertson, Rt. Hon. John M. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen)
Mallalieu, Frederick William Robinson, Sidney Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Manfield, Harry Rowlands, James Wing, Thomas Edward
Marks, Sir George Croydon Rowntree, Arnold Wolmer, Viscount
Marshall, Arthur Harold Rutherford, Sir John (Lanes., Darwen) Wood, Rt. Hon. T. McKinnon (Glasgow)
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir Harry (Norwood) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Meux, Hon. Sir Hedworth Samuel, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Cleveland) Yate, Col. C. E.
Middlemore, John Throgmorton Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees) Yeo, Alfred William
Millar, James Duncan Samuel, Samuel (Wandsworth) Younger, Sir George
Morgan, George Hay Scott, Leslie (Liverpool, Exchange)
Morrell, Philip Sherwell, Arthur James TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Lord
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir F. E. (Walton) Edmund Talbot and Mr. Gulland.
Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert Smith, Sir Swire (Keighley, Yorks)
Ashley, Wilfrid W. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-shire) O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)
Boland, John Pius Haslam, Lewis Partington, O.
Burn, Colonel C. R. Houston, Robert Paterson Reddy, Michael
Byrne, Alfred Keating, Matthew Richardson, Thomas (Whitehaven)
Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich) Lundon, Thomas Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Crumley, Patrick Lynch, Arthur Alfred Seely, Lt.-Col. Sir C. H. (Mansfield)
Doris, William MacVeagh, Jeremiah Watt, Henry Anderson
Du Pre, W. Baring Meehan, Patrick J. (Queen's Co., Leix) Whitty, Patrick Joseph
Essex, Sir Richard Walter Nolan, Joseph
Fitzpatrick, John Laior O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr,
Gretton, John O'Malley, William J. M. Henderson and Mr. Pringle.
Hackett, John

Bill read a second time: and committed to a Committee of the Whole House for To-morrow.—[Mr. Jams Hope.]

Amendments made: In Sub-section (2), after the word "Court" ["High Court"], insert the words "or a judge thereof."

After the word "Court" ["power of the High Court"], insert the words "or a judge thereof."—[Mr. Pretyman.]