HL Deb 25 July 1878 vol 242 c207

(The Earl of Limerick.)


Order of the Day for the Second Beading, read.


in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, explained that under the Debtors' Act, 1869, and the Debtors' Act (Ireland), 1872, when an application for attachment was made against any person who had failed to comply with an order of the Court as to payment, the Judge had no option in the matter; he was bound to direct that the attachment should issue. Many cases of hardship had arisen out of this arbitrary rule; and very frequently in instances where there was a legal, though not a moral, responsibility to the law in this respect, Judges had expressed their regret that no discretion was allowed them. There were only two clauses in the Bill, the first of which recited that— In any case coining within the exceptions numbered 3 and 4 in the fourth section of the Debtors Act, 1869, and in the fifth section of the Debtors Act (Ireland), 1872, respectively, or within either of those exceptions, any Court or Judge, making the order for payment, or having jurisdiction in the action or proceeding in which the order for payment is made, may inquire into the case, and (subject to the provisions of the said sections respectively) may grant or refuse, either absolutely or upon terms, any application for a writ or attachment, or other process, or order of arrest, orimprisonment, and any application to stay the operation of any such writ, process, or order, or for discharge from arrest or imprisonment thereunder. Their Lordships would see, therefore, that the Bill simply left to the Judge or Court a matter which was now beyond his or its discretion; and to such a change in the law, he thought, there could be no opposition. If the House agreed to the second reading, he would be prepared to insert modifications for the purpose of bringing the Bill into harmony with that introduced by the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack last year.

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