HL Deb 16 June 1874 vol 219 c1668

House in Committee (According to Order.)


said, that acting on a suggestion of the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack, he had taken means to obtain the opinion of the Common Law Judges with reference to this Bill; and through Mr. Justice Keating he had received an answer that they entirely approved its principle. The second clause was thought to be stringent; but it was intended to be so. It frequently happened that advances were made to minors at usurious interest; that no pressure was put on them till they came of age, and that then they were tempted by some small additional advance to make themselves responsible for the principal and interest incurred by them when they were under age. It had been found that the provisions of Lord Tenterden's Act were insufficient to meet those cases; but the second clause of this Bill would prevent a man from being sued at law upon any promise made after full age to pay any debt contracted during infancy, or upon any ratification of any such contract, whether there should or should not have been any new consideration for such ratification. This provision would prevent any young man being sued for debts for which through the fraudulent machinations of money-lenders or others, he had inconsiderately made himself liable. The third clause left the question of what were "necessaries" for an infant to the decision of the Court or Judge, instead of as at present to a jury of tradesmen.

Bill reported, without Amendment, and to be read 3a on Thursday next,