HL Deb 05 July 1858 vol 151 cc915-6

said, that he proposed to postpone the Second Reading of this Bill, which stood on the Order for this day. The object of the Bill being to apply the Act of the 52nd Geo. III. touching bankrupt Members to all persons, whether traders or non-traders, and, therefore, to the Members of both Houses of Parliament, necessarily the Bill would apply more to the Members of the other House than to this; but he denied altogether that their Lordships were precluded on that account from dealing with the question, as he held it to be the undoubted right of their Lordships' House to initiate measures not withstanding that they might affect the other House alone. As an instance of what had been done by their Lordships in former times respecting Bills which directly affected the House of Commons he would mention that the two most important clauses in the Bribery Act—that which raised the penalty from £50 to £500, and that which made the last Resolution of the Election Committee conclusive and without appeal—were both inserted in their Lordships' House. He would have been glad to proceed with his Bill, especially as there was another measure in the other House of Parliament, which went much further than his; inasmuch as it proposed to abrogate all privilege of Parliament in respect to debt. But beside this measure a noble Friend and connection of his (Lord John Russell) had introduced into the other House a Bankruptcy Amendment Bill, which consisted of about 500 clauses, and therefore could not be passed this Session; but that measure would make an important change in the law of Bankruptcy; and he thought therefore it would be well to see how those alterations affected the present question, and to wait until that Bill—or, indeed, both Bills—should be submitted to their Lordships' House. He saw no prospect of either measure being passed in this Session, and he therefore proposed to with draw his Bill.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read and discharged.