§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
§ THE EARL OF HARROWBY moved that the Bill be now read 2a.
§ THE EARL OF DERBY
expressed his astonishment that the second clause of the Bill should have been so framed as to give the Secretary of State power to interfere with trusts not only where they were insolvent, but where they were perfectly ready to meet the whole of their engagements, He trusted that the noble Earl (the Earl of Harrowby) would think it necessary to afford some explanation why the Government had proposed such a departure from the present law.
§ THE EARL OF HARROWBY
said, the clause was intended to give facilities to arrange the debt and interest of trusts which were not insolvent, but in which trustees and creditors were agreed upon the desirability of such a proceeding. Some such cases had been brought under the notice of the Secretary of State where the parties were anxious to make some arrangements, but had no power to do so.
§ LORD REDESDALE
said, the clause was precisely the same as one-which was struck out of a Bill sent from the House of Commons at a late period of the last Session. If the creditors of a turnpike trust were ready to take less interest, there was no law to prevent them; but this Bill would enable two-thirds of the creditors to obtain the provisional order 1448 of the Secretary of State, and to bind the other third, although the trust was perfectly solvent, and capable of paying that to which the creditors were fairly entitled. He disliked the practice of introducing into Bills, the titles of which suggested mere matters of form, such powers as these, and he hoped the noble Earl would consent to the clause being struck out.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
observed, that the Bill contained a clause which went to the root of all the rights of persons connected with turnpike trusts, whether those trusts were solvent or not. He hoped the noble Earl would postpone the second reading, and consider whether the objectionable clause should not be struck out.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
was surprised that his noble and learned Friend should say, that, because one clause was objectionable, therefore the Bill should not be read a second time. The noble and learned Lord must know that no alteration could be effected until they went into Committee, and a mere postponement of the second reading would attain no good result.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
did not object to the second reading if the noble Earl would undertake to strike out the second clause in Committee.
§ THE EARL, OF HARROWBY
hoped the noble and learned Lord would postpone his objection until the Committee upon the Bill, and in the meantime he (the Earl of Harrowby) would consider whether the second clause should be retained.
§ EARL GRANVILLE
thought their Lordships were adopting rather an irregular course. The House was willing to assent to the main portion of the Bill and to allow it to be read a second time. It would be better, he submitted, to defer any discussion upon particular clauses until the next stage.
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly; and committed to a Committee of the whole House on Tuesday next.