HC Deb 20 April 1934 vol 288 cc1303-4

12.50 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 5, line 39, at the end, to insert: Provided that nothing herein shall invalidate such a provision when it is part of an agreement to submit to arbitration a dispute which has arisen before the making of such agreement. The object of this Clause is one with which every one will agree. It is directed to certain agreements which are in existence and which contain conditions that submission to arbitration shall be a condition precedent to recovery under a particular document, and then a condition is included which is intended to stifle reference to arbitration, namely, that in any event each party shall pay its own costs. The Clause has the effect of removing stipulations of that kind, but unless some proviso were inserted it would have far too general an effect, because it would tend to prevent people who desired to have a question settled by arbitration agreeing between themselves that the matter shall be referred to an arbitrator and that they share the costs. This Amendment is put forward by the Bar Council and by the Incorporated Law Society for the purpose of bringing about an alleviation of what would be the effect of the Clause if it were left in its present crude state.

12.51 p.m.


When the Bill was before another place I do not think it was quite appreciated by my Noble Friend who had charge of the Bill what was the effect of the Clause as it stood. It seems to me that this is a reasonable Amendment, and I agree to it.

12.52 p.m.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL (Sir Donald Somervell)

We approve of this proviso. I agree with my hon. and learned Friend who moved the Amendment that but for the insertion of this proviso the Clause as drafted might have prevented certain very reasonable agreements and arrangements being put into force. I associate myself with what my hon. and learned Friend has said.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 13 to 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.