HL Deb 14 May 1860 vol 158 cc1199-200

House in Committee (according to Order.)

LORD CHELMSFORD moved to leave out certain words in the clause empowering the Bankrupt Court in Scotland to recall sequestration under certain circumstances. The noble and learned Lord said he had no desire to shelter the fraudulent individuals against whom the Bill was directed, but in dealing with a subject like this they ought to be very cautious not to violate general principles of the law of the land. His noble and learned Friend (the Lord Chancellor) proposed to give the Bankrupt Court a discretionary power of recalling sequestration in cases where, after due inquiry, it appeared that the great bulk of the insolvent's liabilities were to traders in England and Ireland. The object of that provision was to oblige the debtor to come and render an account in the country where the majority of his creditors resided. The power was discretionary: but the bare fact of its being given in the Act would be taken as a direction to the Judge. Under those circumstances, it was desirable that the clause should not have a retrospective effect. He did not object to its prospective operation; but he was anxious that it should not apply to persons who—fraudulent though they might be—were only availing themselves of what was the existing law. He should move the omission of the words "has been or" which preceded the word shall; and this change would effect what he desired without in any way interfering with the prospective operation of the measure.

Amendment moved in page 1, line 9, to leave out ("has been or.")


opposed the Amendment. He did not think that as it stood, it could cause any violation of those principles which he was as anxious to maintain as his noble and learned Friend or any other noble and learned Lord could be.

On Question, That the said Words stand Part of the Bill?

Their Lordships divided:—Contents 7; Not-Contents 6: Majority 1.

Amendment negatived.

Campbell, L. (L. Chancellor.) Granville, E.
Saint Germans, E.
Newcastle, D.
Belper, L. [Teller.]
Camperdown, E. Wodehouse, L. [Teller.]
Exeter, M. [Teller.] Dungannon, V.
Westmeath, M. Chelmsford, L. [Teller.]
Clancarty, V. (E. Clancarty.) Redesdale, L.

Report of the Amendment to be received To-morrow.