HL Deb 29 July 1845 vol 82 cc1181-2
The Marquess of Lansdowne

rose to propose the adoption of a Standing Order of which he had given notice. His attention had been called to the subject, in consequence of a court of justice, after full consideration, having determined that a special case should be made, for the purpose of trial by full court, of the simple and legal question, whether a person whose name was inserted in the Act of Parliament, although there was no proof of his having consented to its being inserted, was sufficient evidence of his being a director of the company to which the Act alluded? Whatever might be the result of that proceeding, he thought it was necessary for the protection of their Lordships and the public, that they should adopt the Standing Order he was about to propose. It was well known that it was the common practice to insert names of persons as directors of a company who had no knowledge whatever of its existence, for the purpose of inducing the ignorant multitude to embark their property in the undertaking. For the protection of the public, therefore, as well as of individuals, it was necessary that some such Standing Order as that which he had to propose should be adopted by their Lordships. The noble Marquess then laid on the Table a Resolution, that when in any Bill to be hereafter introduced for the purpose of establishing a Company for carrying on any work or undertaking, the names of any person or persons should be introduced as manager, director, proprietor, or otherwise concerned in carrying such a Bill into effect, proof shall be required before the Standing Orders' Committee, that the said person or persons had subscribed their names to the petition for the said Bill, or to a printed copy of the Bill, as brought up or introduced into the House.

Motion to be taken into further consideration on Friday next.