§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
§ LORD CHELMSFORD
, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, its object was to amend the law 840 which gave a landlord power to seize, under a distress for rent, all the goods and chattels of under tenants found on the premises of his immediate tenant. In the case of such a seizure the Bill gave the aggrieved parties a remedy by making a declaration before a magistrate that the goods seized were not the property of the tenant who owed the rent for the recovery of which the distress was made, but theirs, and that they were not indebted to him for rent. They would be further required to furnish an inventory of all the goods and chattels so seized. If the superior landlord persevered in retaining these goods, he would be liable to an action for an illegal distress. The Bill provided not only that protection which the under tenant or lodger ought to have, but guarded also the interests of the other parties concerned, because it would enable a person on whom a distress was levied to have the rent due to him available in part satisfaction of the rent due to the superior landlord, and the superior landlord to have that advantage with respect to the goods of the tenant to which he was justly entitled.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord Chelmsford.)
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, he should not oppose the Bill, while he at the same time must observe that it proposed to effect a very considerable alteration in the law. He was prepared to admit that he did not regard it as just that a landlord should be enabled to pay himself out of the goods of another person.
THE MARQUESS OF BATH
said, he was not sure that, while the Bill would remedy one hardship, it might not create another which was greater. If so great an alteration was introduced into the existing law it ought, in his opinion, to be done on the responsibility of the Government.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, he was afraid that one of the effects of the operation of the Bill would be to increase rents, inasmuch as it would diminish the security for the payment of his rent now available to the landlord.
§ THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM AND CHANDOS
said, that whether the law on the subject was or was not in a satisfactory state, the Bill was one of great importance, and demanded much consideration. The subject, however, was one which could not be dealt with in the summary way proposed. It seemed to him that the provisions of the measure opened the way to much fraud and collusion, and, as a remedy, he thought it ought to contain provisions rendering it necessary that a landlord should be warned that certain persons were lodgers or under-tenants. He would therefore move, as an Amendment, that the Bill be read a second time that day three months.
§ Amendment moved to leave out ("now") and insert ("this day three months.")—(The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos.)
§ On Question, Whether the word ("now") shall stand part of the Motion? Resolved in the Affirmative.
§ Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.
§ House adjourned at half past Seven o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter before Five o'clock.