§ Commons' Amendments and Reasons for disagreeing to Lords' Amendments considered (according to Order).
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that, although there were certain Amendments to which he could not advise their Lordships to agree, he proposed to assent to the main point in dispute, with respect to this Bill, between their Lordships' House and the House of Commons. The question had reference to the Tipperary Bank. The object of the Bill was to enable a certain portion of the creditors of joint-stock companies to effect compromises between the creditors and shareholders, so as to bind the whole. Unquestionably, such a Bill was, in one sense, not just, inasmuch as it interfered with the rights which parties had as the law now stood; for, at present, every creditor of such a company might bring an action against any or every shareholder in it. In the case of the Tip- 1712 perary Bank a dividend of 2s. in the pound had been paid, and it was provided by the Bill, as it passed their Lordships' House, that the judgment creditors should be left to enforce their judgments if they chose, but that if they did so, they should be bound to give up the 2s. in the pound they had received as dividends, and should not receive any future dividend until all creditors had been paid pari passu. In the House of Commons, however, it was proposed that those creditors who had received 2s. in the pound should keep that amount, and should still be enabled to enforce their judgments, but it was provided that they should not receive any further dividend, or issue any process except by leave of the Court. He thought it might be reasonable to allow the dividend of 2s. in the pound to be retained by those creditors who had received it, but he moved that their Lordships should insist upon their proposal that such creditors should not be entitled to receive any further dividend or to have recourse to any other remedy than could be obtained in respect of the judgments against the lands. The noble and learned Lord then moved to agree to the Commons' Amendments, with Amendments having the effect stated.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
quite disagreed with the course his noble and learned Friend proposed to adopt. He quite assented to the Amendments of the Commons, which were just what they ought to have made, and tallied completely with the views which he had endeavoured to impress upon their Lordships when this Bill was before them. The official manager of the estate had come here to support the shareholders at the expense of the creditors, whose interest they were bound to protect. The Commons wished to confine the judgment creditors to the dividend they had already received and the property over which they had made a claim, but not to have any further dividend till the other creditors were paid the same amount. Many of the shareholders had now mortgaged their estates for nominal sums, and had left the country. As the Bill had gone down to the House of Commons, the judgment creditors would receive no redress whatever. The Commons had precluded the judgment creditors from receiving further dividends, or issuing further writs, except by leave of the Court. There was, therefore, a perfect check upon them, and it was most unjust to take from them what they had already received. The difficulty had arisen 1713 from the belief that banking companies were not under the operation of the bankruptcy law. This, he thought, was a mistake, and he should introduce an Amendment into the Irish Joint-Stock Companies Act for the purpose of settling the question. He trusted his noble and learned Friend would not persevere in his objections to these Amendments. The noble and learned Lord then moved, "to disagree to the said Amendments."
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that under the Winding-tip Order, a portion of the estate had been collected, which would have been divided amongst the creditors if there had been no reference claims. But certain creditors had obtained judgments, and became, by the law of Ireland, mortgages over the property of those shareholders against whom they had proceeded. If all the creditors had done the same thing, there would have been a frightful amount of expense, all the property would have gone to the lawyers, and it was to stop these proceedings that this Bill was introduced. It appeared to their Lordships that those creditors should enforce their judgment upon the lands on which they had mortgages, refunding the 2s. in the pound which they had already realized. Now, he agreed, from what he had heard since, that these creditors should retain what they had already recovered, since that did not amount to 2s. in the pound; but he could not agree to let them have a claim upon the other assets of the estate.
§ LORD STANLEY OF ALDERLEY
said, that, as he understood the judgment creditors had the option of enforcing their judgment or coming in with the other creditors. But the Amendment of the Commons would permit the judgment creditors to proceed against other properly than that upon which they had mortgages. The Amendment was introduced into the Commons at two o'clock in the morning, when there were but thirteen Members present, and some of those objected.
§ LORD ST. LEONARDS
said, that the creditors were shut out from any claim on any further dividend, except by leave of the Court.
§ On Question, whether to agree to Commons' Amendments to the said Bill with the said Amendments, their Lordships divided:—
§ Contents 11; Not-Contents 9: Majority 2.
§ Commons' Amendments agreed to, with Amendments; and Bill returned to the Commons.1714
|Cambridge, D.||Congleton, L.|
|Foley, L. [Teller.]|
|Cranworth, L. (L. Chancellor.)||Glenelg, L.|
|Granville, E.||Stanley of Alderley, L. [Teller.]|
|Sundridge, L. (D. Argyll.)|
|Beauchamp, E.||Denman, L.|
|Harrington, E.||Redesdale, L.|
|Romney, E.||Saint Leonards, L.|
|Verulam, E. [Teller.]||Wynford, L.|
|Colville of Culross, L. [Teller.]|