HL Deb 29 March 1847 vol 91 cc545-6

presented a petition from wholesale merchants and traders of the city of London, representing that the present state of the law of bankruptcy and insolvency created great injury, inasmuch as there was now no preventive to fraud, and praying for the consolidation and amendment of the same. The noble Lord added, that, after the holidays, he should introduce a Bill on this subject, and move for a Select Committee, to whom the statements of the petitioners might be referred.


thought that a petition proceeding from so respectable and influential a body demanded from their Lordships the most serious attention; and he rejoiced that his noble Friend would so soon furnish them with an opportunity of discussing the very important question to which the petition adverted. He (Lord Brougham) had been charged in a newspaper with having changed his opinion on the laws of bankruptcy and insolvency. It had been insinuated, that he was desirous of revising the Act, abolishing, in ordinary circumstances, imprisonment for debt. He begged to give the most direct contradiction to that statement. He was of precisely the same opinion now as before. He considered that they had done well in 1838, when they abolished the arrest on mesne process, and that they had legislated with equal wisdom when, in 1844, they abolished arrest in execution and imprisonment for debt, except in cases where there had been fraud or the grossest extravagance.