HL Deb 18 June 1874 vol 220 cc68-9

Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.


, in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, that as the law relating to powers stood formerly the person with power to appoint a fund among a certain number of persons was bound to appoint a substantial share to each. If he did not, his execution of the power might be set aside as illusory. In 1830, Lord St. Leonards induced Parliament to pass an Act providing that no execution of power should be set aside as illusory if anything whatever had been appointed unless it clearly appeared on the face of the power that the donor intended that a substantial share to each person should be appointed. Since the passing of that Act it had been held to be sufficient, in order to prevent the execution of such power from being set aside as illusory, to appoint a shilling or some other nominal sum to each of the objects; but if any of them were totally left out the execution of the power might still be set aside. Vice-Chancellor Hall had called his attention to the necessity of further legislation in the matter, and the object of this Bill was to provide that no appointment which should here after be made in exercise of any power should be invalid on the ground that any object of such power had been altogether excluded; but every such appointment should be valid and effectual notwithstanding that any one or more of the objects should not thereby or in default of appointment take a share or shares of the property subject to such power.


said, that the Bill was a curious illustration of the way in which legislation advanced in this country. Formerly the law held that no power had been duly executed unless every object of the power had a share in the appointment,—but did not require that the share given should be a substantial one. The exercise of many powers had been declared invalid on the ground that though no person within the power had been absolutely excluded, the share appointed had been merely illusory. Lord St. Leonard's Act made the appointment legal if the share apportioned was only one shilling. The present Bill would render unnecessary any longer to "cut off a man with a shilling." The provision of Lord St. Leonard's Act was itself illusory; and as this legislation was a step in advance he should not oppose the second reading.

Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Monday next.

House adjourned at Six o'clock, 'till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.